Market Women in Lagos, especially women, have lamented the huge cost they expend on water to ensure their produce remains fresh and marketable to consumers. Lamenting the fact that they must patronize private water vendors to fill the gap, they told members of the African Women Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network (AWWASHNet) that they want the Lagos State Government to provide safe, clean, and affordable water in markets across the state.
AWWASHNet visited markets in Lagos to mark the Africa Week of Resistance Against Water Privatization which is commemorated by water justice activists annually to coincide with World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) annual meetings. This year’s commemoration will be held 11-14 October 2022.
AWWASHNet Coordinator, Veronica Nwanya during the engagement at Ogba Market, said the visit was to obtain first-hand testimonials from market women and men who depend on public water to keep their produce fresh.
Nwaya explained that the markets are largely overlooked even by the government when issues of access to water are discussed, hence the need to amplify the situation in the markets across the state.
Madam Grace Oshonaike, a food seller
Our inability to get adequate water to wash food items compromises food safety and increases the chances of food contamination. If there is adequate water this will be avoided
Bisola Ogundele, a marketer
We pay so much in taxes and other levies. We have no option other than to rely on any available water. It is a situation that we are forced to accept because we have little available after paying those taxes and levies
Mrs. Musilikat Rafiu, Trader
Public water is nonexistent around Agege and Ogba, so we depend on private water vendors. I cannot tell you that we know their source, so I agree that food contamination is possible. But it is not our fault. Government should make water available and cheap to procure
Mrs. Odunewu Mgbemere, Trader
The fact that the Waterworks do not function anymore puts all of us at risk of food contamination because the water we use in washing our fruits and other food stuff is either inadequate or reused. Government should fix the waterworks and provide taps in the markets.
In response to the concerns raised by the traders, Nwanya, explained that the engagement was an opportunity for the traders to voice their concerns to their elected representatives
Aderonke Ige, Associate Director of the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), in her intervention reiterated the need for the traders to also support the campaign against water privatization and advocate the rehabilitation of water infrastructure with public funds.
Source: News Archade