Clean water for better health outcomes in Ikorodu-North Local Council Development Area

Ajaniku Bilikis, 42years old, and a teacher travels miles every day to fetch water.
Image: WaterAid/Harry Kolapo

Adamo community is situated in Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area of Lagos state. It is an industrial area with manufacturing companies. Residents of the community are mostly traders.

However, the community is characterised by an acute lack of clean water. The only source of water is a stream that is several kilometres away and residents are forced to rely on water vendors.

Bilikis, 42, a teacher and mother to two children describes life without clean water close to home and how this has impacted her finances.

Although defecating in the open became a culture for them, Mama Tatali says she is excited that it has become a thing of the past.  Motivated after sanitation awareness and sensitization outreaches by the state’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency and WaterAid, Mama Amina mobilised a few youths in the community to dig her a traditional toilet with a fence made of local materials to protect her and give her privacy while using her toilet.

I wake up 4am every day during school days so I can fetch water before leaving for work. It takes about 45 minutes including queuing to buy water from a privately-owned borehole. If there is light, a bucket goes for N20 while two buckets are sold for N50 when there is a power outage. I have to make about 8 to 10 round trips before reporting to my place of work.

Unfortunately, the water is not so clean and that is what we use for domestic chores like cooking, washing plates, and even drinking from it. Because it is not treated water, children easily get infected with diseases. I am not pleased that my children drink the water from the borehole but with the situation on ground I cannot help it.

My child was recently admitted in the General Hospital due to infectious diseases emanating from unclean water. Just this month we have been to the hospital at least three times. I spend money that could be used for other things on treating infectious diseases.

Bilikis confesses that lack of water has negatively impacted her job as she finds herself going late to work.

My children are still too little to help out with domestic chores, so I am left to bear the burden. If I had water close to home, it would make me so happy because I can get to my place of work early. The time spent to queue long hours will be channeled into other domestic chores. In fact, I cannot count the number of times money has been deducted from my salary due to lateness.

She expresses joy with the female local area mechanic training and looks forward to the provision of a water scheme under the PepsiCo Foundation-funded water, sanitation, and hygiene improvement project in Lagos State.

I am happy that we will soon have water close to home. Then I can use the time for other things. I look forward to the female local area mechanic training at least it will help augment my finances.