The residents of Iponri Low-Cost Housing Estate on Thurday appealed to the Lagos State Government to reduce water tariff charged in the estate by the State Water Corporation.
The residents, under the aegis of Iponri Housing Estate Residents’ Association, made the appeal in an interview with our reporter in Lagos.
Alhaji Abdul-Rasak Osho, the Association Chairman, said the residents have been enjoying potable water from the Corporation since 2009.
According to him, since the residents have been paying the agreed monthly charges.
“We started with paying flat rate of N300 until 2012, when it was increased to N500.
“Then, in February 2017, the charge was increased to N1,000 without notice.
“As law abiding citizens we continue to pay without complaining.
”However, we thought that the metres installed in each flat in the estate in July will reduce the monthly payment further but it had not been the case,” he said.
Osho said that water corporation officials explained to them that the metres would stop unnecessary usage of water as well as enable the residents conserve water supplied to the estate.
He said that the metres had recharge of N1,750 worth of water credit on them, but that they stopped dispensing water after each household consumed water worth of N650.
Mrs Florence Adetoun, the Association’s Vice-Chairman, said that when they complained, the corporation’s official asked them to recharge with N, 5000 being the first payment after installation of the water meters.
She said that the officials also told them that after this first payment, subsequent recharge of their metre cards would be from a minimum of N1,000.
”We were told that 1,000 litres of water which is equivalent of two tanks of 500 litres will be sold for N350, the new water rate,” she said.
Mr Emmanuel Adeleke, the Association’s Treasurer, said that most of the residents were retirees and pensioners and that buying 1,000 litres of water at N350 was still costly for them.
”Most of the cities where metres have been introduced to measure the rate of water consumption are not paying more than N100 per 1000 litres.
“The water meters are to reduce the wastage and help people to conserve water and not to increase the hardship they are experiencing now.
“We are appealing to Gov. Akinwumi Ambode, to help us in reducing the water tariff.
“We are all retired public servants and some of us had not been getting our pensions and we do not want to turn to other sources for water as a result of this hike in water tariff.
“Using other sources of water can result to cholera and other deadly disease that could give the state bad name, LASG should help us out,” he said.
A senior official of the Lagos State Water Corporation told NAN that the N350 for 1,000 litres was the last the Corporation could go for water charges in the State.
According to him, the N350 amounts to between N8 and N9 for a 25 keg of Jerry can.
He said that if the estate residents were complaining it meant that they want free water which was no more possible in this present dispensation.
He said that the metres were installed with N1,750 recharge card, adding that after using N650 it would stop dispensing water.
The official said it was to enable the occupant of the flat to go to the nearest Water Corporation service centre to recharge and get a new card to swap the one used to install the meter.
He said the Corporation staff would also use the opportunity to collect the details of the customer which they did not do during the metre installation.
The official said that if there were leakages in the overhead or underground tanks , the metre would record it and the recharge would run out fast.
He said that in residence where the occupants did not waste water, they would not have issues with the metres and the rates.
According to him, the metres will not read if the taps are not opened and there are no pipes leaking in the house.