Douala hit by water shortage. For some days now, taps have gone dry in many neighbourhoods, causing hygienic problems in toilets that depend on water for flushing. From Bonaberi through Bonamoussadi, to the administrative headquarter, Bonanjo, the cry is the same; "We are dying of thirst!"
The situation has led to a boom in the sale of bottled water by supermarkets and shops. Households, notwithstanding their financial situation, are obliged to buy a10-litre bottle of table water for 1,250 FCFA, which barely quenches the thirst of family members. While families that barely survive manage the 10 litres for two days, few wealthy families use the bottled water not only for drinking, but also for household chores like washing and cooking.
Meanwhile, the crisis has created a boom in the sale of water from treated wells.
One hardly moves 15 metres without coming across groups of persons roaming the streets with empty containers and those returning from far distances with gallons of water. Owners of wells sell a 20-litre container of water for between 50 FCFA and 100 FCFA. Others, who give out the precious liquid free of charge, impose timeframes on those who come to draw the water.
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