Hike in “Pure Water” Price Triggers Protests in Edo (PICTURES)
– Pure water new price triggers protest in Benin
– Residents express mixed feelings over new selling price
A sudden increase in the price of sachet water, otherwise known as ‘pure water’ in Benin City, the Edo state capital, has caused heavy protest.
According to report reaching Naij.com, the sudden increase has led to many patrons of local eatery joints, popularly called ‘mama put’ drinking untreated borehole water kept.
However, it was learnt that while a few others who could afford the new price of pure water, opted for bottled water instead.
The increase in price sparked protest from hawkers of sachet water who lamented poor sales. It was gathered that residents can’t afford the N20 price tag of pure water as against the previous N10.
Prices of bottled water were also increased from between N50 and N60 to N70 or N80, depending on the brand.
A patron of one of the several eateries in the premises of Edo state secretariat complex, located along Sapele road, who gave his name simply as Iredia, told Naij.com that he decided to drink the untreated water as he could not afford to but 2 satchets of pure water at N40.
“My brother, how much is my salary? I used to buy N200 food and one or two sachets of pure water every day from the meagre salary I earn. But now that it has gone up to N20 per sachet, that means I have to manage the water in the jug. After all, that is what I drink at home,” Iredia said.
Angry hawkers of sachet water disclosed that a bag of sachet water, which contains 20 sachets, that used to sell for N100 now sells for N150.
One of the protesters, Helen Usunobun, who spoke to journalists, said the situation has worsen their plight, as they have to pay the mandatory N60 daily ticket fees to council officials.
She said they could not cope with the hike in price which would leave them making N30 profit for very bag of sachet water.
“They said dollar has gone up. Whether dollar is in the water, we don’t know,” she said.
Also speaking in the same vein, Enoma Blessing, many of her customers have had to reduce their intake of water, noting that some who used to consume four sachet water now buys only one per day.
John Irhue, a water factory operator, who described the situation as “terrible,” blamed the price hike on increase packaging and bagging materials.
He said a roll packaging film that used to sell for N600,000 last week now sells for N920,000, while the bagging material rose from N3300 to N5000.
Irhue said: “It is the sourcing of the materials that is causing this problems. Nobody can give water treatment and sell at the former price of N100. It is a terrible situation we have found ourselves.”
The Chairman of the Water Producers Association, Henry Eremokhai, however said the approved price by the association was N120.
According to Eremokhai who bemoaned the situation, said many water factory have been forced to close down due to dearth of packaging materials.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have reacted to the reported instability of the naira.