Bamenda: City Dwellers Decry Quality of CDE Water

Children trek for long distances to fetch water

Getting clean portable water has become an issue in Bamenda and its environ of recent. Most city dwellers have been complaining about the brown colour of pipe borne water in the town which to many have become inconsumable. Some have resulted to bottled water while others prefer to track for distances to fetch water from bole holes   and some community water supply schemes. 

It’s common knowledge that good water has no taste, colour or smell, but in Bamenda this is far from true.  Water in Bamenda for the past few months migrates from brown, to riddish-brown colour and at times a light black colour. Many consumers now referred to it as “cocacola”  a mockery of the state and colour of water they now consume.

According to Purate Neh a city dweller at Nitop “water in Bamenda is deplorable for consumption, it is like taking poison into the system as the water is good just for flushing the toilet” Acha Samuel, a provision store owner at the Ntamulung neigbourhood  said he has now resulted to consuming bottle water  for fear of stomach disorder. 

Fogang Desiree, a shed owner at the Bamenda Main Market says sales of water filters have seen a drastic rise since the water crisis that hit Bamenda in the dry season of 2016 and has continue to improve with the present state of water in town.

Dr Mboeba Dave King of the casualty department at the Bamenda Regional hospital says statistics from the hospital reveal that “an alarming number of patients are brought to the hospital by water borne diseases such as typhoid, abdominal pains and dysentery. Most of the patients say they only remember consuming water from the main supply and have not eaten anything suspicious” He said the colour of the water may indicate that something is wrong with the supply and has adviced them to boil the water before consumption, use water filters or bottle water if they feel the main water supply is impure.

According to Jules Onana head of the technical department of Les Camerounaise Des Eaux “CDE” the main distributor of pipe borne water in Bamenda, the colour and nature of water they supply is due to the extension work on their network being carried out by a Chinese enterprise which he said are connecting the newly laid pipes to the existing CDE water supply pipes. These new pipes he confirmed lay exposed for several weeks and may have accumulated dust and dirt causing the water to be coloured. He said they have been supplying water to flush out these dirts from the network to enable the city to have its usual clean water supply. Once they identify a sector the open up valves to release the water, though some still find its way into homes. He promised system would completely clean sooner than later.

Since this report and interviews were broadcast over City FM Radio in Bamenda, many Bamenda residents have ceased to complain and are all patiently waiting for the problem to be solved once and for all and for Bamenda to regain its normal clean and sparkling cold water supply.

                                                                                                                   By Juliet Sih Aji


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