Buea Water Crisis Worsens
By Moki S. Mokondo in Buea for Fako UK/Fako News Centre
8th of March 2014
The population in and around Buea municipality may have many daily problems to deal with, but access to potable water is the most distressing. It has now become a daunting task to get potable water for daily use as people spend hours queuing to fetch water while others travel long distances to get this precious liquid.
Though the government recently carried out a project to reinforce the existing water supply managed by the National Water Corporation Company, most taps still go for days without a drop of water coming out.
By the end of the year 2013, giant pipes had been laid from a water source at Small Soppo to increase the supply at Great Soppo. Another line of giant pipes linked the Great Soppo supply source to the water reservoir tank towards Buea Town.
With this project, many had thought the issue of water crisis would soon be a thing of the past. Notwithstanding, inhabitants in villages and neighbourhoods like Bokwaongo, Buea Town, Vasingi, Wonya Lyonga and others are sometimes only lucky to scramble for rationed water that flow within specific periods in their communities. On the other hand, those living in Bwassa, Likombe, Ewonda, Bova, Bonakanda and others have gone for over six months without any water flowing in their areas. They now buy water of doubtful quality from water vendors.
A small spring called Njonge, around Vasingi village in Buea, that gradually gets dry every year as the dry season gets intense has become a source of life for many. Inhabitants from Vasingi, Ewonda, Bova and Mokunda do not allow a drop of water from this spring to waste as they carry water here day and night. As of Friday February 28, 2014, it was taking an average of 9 minutes for a 20-litre water container to get filled. Yet the inhabitants have no other choice than to spend hours under the scotching sun at day time and intense cold at night time to get water from this source.
In places like Bomaka and villages located below Molyko where the water table is somewhat high, inhabitants have resulted to constructing water wells to at least get water to carry their house chores if not for cooking and drinking. Many persons are just waiting for the rainy season to set in so that they can collect rain water for other house chores so that they can cut down the huge bills they are incurring buying water.
It is true that the population of the Buea municipality has more than doubled many times that the present water system that was constructed in the colonial days can no longer support. It is also true that there are a number of water sources in and around Buea that can be well managed to meet the needs of the growing population.