The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has released a report of its three-month investigation on the status of the waterworks in Lagos in response to the state government’s public service campaign asking residents to wash their hands regularly to curb the spread of the COVID-19.
The report titled, “How Acute Water Shortage May Jeopardize COVID-19 Response in Lagos,” is the culmination of fact-finding activities by CAPPA team which included visits to 13 waterworks spread across 11 local government areas of the state, and interviews with local residents.
CAPPA visited Adiyan, Akilo-Ogba, Badagry, Bariga, Epe, Ifako-Ijaiye, Iju, Isashi and Lekki waterworks. Others are Otta-Ikosi, Shomolu, Surulere and communities around the headquarters of the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC) in Ijora. Combined, the waterworks visited are supposed to provide Lagos residents about 137.6 million gallons of water per day.
CAPPA executive director, Akinbode Oluwafemi said that when the Lagos State government commenced its public service announcement on the need for citizens to regularly wash their hands with clean water, it was necessary to complement their efforts by ascertaining the true state of infrastructure that would deliver on that mandate.
He added that unfortunately, the findings were very disturbing.
“Not only did we discover that many of the waterworks were performing abysmally below capacity, at the time of the most crucial need for residents, most were practically on lock down,” he said.
According to the report, some of the reasons why the waterworks were performing abysmally include faulty engines, irregular power supply and lack of manpower among others.
The report observed that Shasha waterworks in Alimosho – the most populated local government in Lagos had not functioned for upwards of seven years, while infrastructure at the Badagry waterworks have started crumbling and the premises taken over by weeds.