In a creek near Bue Abomaca, Cameroon, a woman is washing her 20-liter plastic bucket with sand before refilling it with water. advertise Hairdresser Emerencia Fosuh has used this stream as her only water source for the past four years. The locals call this small river “Mr. Peter Water”. “I take this water for a bath, and if I have to go to the toilet, I will ask for water from my neighbors,” she told Batata Boris Karloff, a reporter for “Africa Call”. She added that the plastic bucket is very heavy and it is difficult to bring it to her house. “I used to take a bath four times a day, but now I can’t lie, I only take a bath once. I have been here for four years and I am tired of it. Due to this crisis, I cannot continue to go to people’s homes to ask for water.” In this area of Buea, the capital of the English-speaking Southwest, many residents have not had running water in their homes for many years.
According to Malomba Esembe, a member of the Buea City Constituency of the Cameroon Parliament, the four-year service interruption was due to an industrial accident caused by the Cameroonian energy company ENEO. “I understand that around the Molyko checkpoint, ENEO is repairing concrete pipes, causing damage to a main pipe that supplies water to the area,” he said after investigating the matter and discussing it in cooperation with Camwater, a government water supplier. Students also suffer He was referring to Molyko, a large student community with a large population, more than any other area in the capital of the region. For students on a tight budget, the only way they can get water is to order it from a local merchant, called a “truck pusher”, who fetches water from a borehole and sells it nearby. College student Josiene Konyuy often drinks water. She said she didn’t believe the source of the water she bought, but she didn’t have many choices.
“The truck propeller transports water from the borehole, because you did not follow them to transport water. I don’t believe in the source of water. Considering that buying a container of water is very laborious because it has to travel a certain distance, so we only need to order water from the truck driver. Then pay a thousand francs,” Konyuy said. Water lasts four days, so she usually buys water at least twice a week, which is very expensive. “Although we are suffering to get water, some people are actually taking advantage of this situation to make money,” she added. According to Franklin, a truck salesman, this is a booming business, and he just sold all the water that day. “As a part-time job, if my clients call me on a regular basis, I can earn about 2,000-2,500 CFA (3-3.80 Euros) per day. For my colleagues with stable business, they can earn 9,000-10,000 CFA (13.70 Euros) per day. To 15.20 euros),” he said. The person pushing the truck buys the water from the owner of the borehole and changes the price of the water according to how far they want to transport it.
“In terms of distance, the price of a gallon of water is 100-200CFA (0.15-0.30 Euro), and in Molyko, the cheapest price is 150CFA”. The demand is high and he has more orders, so he needs to get more from the drilling. Although Franklin knew he had benefited from the water crisis, he felt sympathy for the students who were forced to buy water in this way. “We sympathize with students because it is not normal for students to buy water, because water is a free commodity given by nature,” he said in Pidgeon, noting that they already have a lot of books and housing expenses. “Actually, even if we receive their money, we will feel sympathy for them, but some of us have gone to school and are out of work, so that’s why we are pushing the truck. We beg the government to investigate the situation,” he added road. Water needed to work and fight Covid-19 Hair stylist Fosuh said that due to lack of water, she made less money.
“Like now. A lady came and said she wanted me to put the product on her hair. I told her I couldn’t get water because it was too far away. I just told her to find another salon,” she said. She lost many customers as a result. “Even if I come here to fetch water before returning home, I am tired and unable to work. Some people will want to wash their hair and style, but I can’t because of lack of water,” she added. The lack of water has also affected the effectiveness of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the regulatory guidelines for the virus is to wash hands regularly with soap and clean tap water. For some residents of Buea, it is not feasible to maintain this practice. “If you look around the entire town, even the buckets that are placed in important places for people to wash their hands no longer exist. In some institutions, this is just a bottle of disinfectant, and we are advised to wash hands regularly,” said university student Konyuy.
With information from: https://www.rfi.fr/en/africa/20210913-how-the-water-crisis-in-one-town-in-english-speaking-cameroon-is-hitting-students-and-the-poor