featured Osun

Osun Residents Turn To Iced Water As Sachet Water Prices Soar

Osun Residents Turn To Iced Water As Sachet Water Prices Soar
  • PublishedMarch 1, 2024

In Osun State, the rising cost of living has led residents to face challenges in accessing drinkable water, a vital necessity for maintaining the body’s functions. Over the past few years, the prices of sachet water, a common source of affordable drinking water, have skyrocketed, placing a strain on the populace.

Previously sold for a modest sum of N50 per bag, sachet water prices have surged to as high as N500 in certain areas of Osun State. Consequently, individuals who used to purchase water in small quantities now find themselves paying N50 for just a sachet or two, further exacerbating the financial burden on households.

Even affluent residents of Osun have had to resort to cost-cutting measures in their water consumption habits. Many have abandoned bottled water, which now commands prices as steep as N300 per bottle in certain towns within Osun. Instead, they have opted to repurpose used bottles by filling them with sachet water obtained at a fraction of the cost.

Another strategy adopted by some residents involves boiling water from boreholes and then straining it into empty containers once it has cooled. While this method may provide a more economical alternative to purchasing sachets or bottled water, it has resulted in decreased patronage for beverage hawkers, leading to a decline in their income.

In an effort to cope with the economic strain and maintain their livelihoods, these beverage hawkers have reverted to selling iced water, a practice reminiscent of years past. By pouring water into white nylon bags and refrigerating them or adding them to blocks of ice to chill, sellers can offer a more affordable option to consumers.

These makeshift vendors can be found stationed at strategic locations such as school vicinities, marketplaces, and motor parks in various towns across Osun State, including Ile Ife, Ilesa, and Owena. The resurgence of iced water as a popular and economical choice highlights the ingenuity and adaptability of residents in the face of economic challenges.

Mrs. Ademarati Lawal, a seller of sachets and bottled water in Ile Ife, said she had to improvise by selling ice water to increase sales.

“I never thought ice water would be sold in Nigeria again since the 90’s.

“But the continuous increase in the price of sachets and bottled water has left many drinking borehole water.

“My sachet and bottled water business is not moving at all.

“A bag of sachet water is sold for N600 here. It was sold for N300 a few months ago.

“In a day, I sell 40 bags of pure water because those hawkers used to buy from me. But now, they only buy a few.

‘So I added the sale of ice water, which goes for one N20, because of the cost of nylon and the boiling of borehole water before icing it.”

Mrs. Wunmi Adedeji, a snack and water seller in Ilesa, said: “I sell snacks and water outside a public school.

“Students cannot afford a sachet of water for N50.

“Also, if you sell two sachets of water for N50, you will run a loss because a bag is N500.

“So I had to improvise by selling ice water to increase patronage.

“I prepare the water by boiling it, and when it cools off, I tie it in transparent nylon. Then I refrigerate them. When there is no electricity supply, I use ice blocks to make them chill. I sell it for N10 and they patronize me.”

Residents React

Mr. Orazakin Abdullah, a resident of Ile Ife, said that life has not been easy for her family since the increase in the cost of sachet water.

He said, “We no longer buy sachet water since there are other ways to get potable water.

“Some of these sachets of water are not even clean; anyone can buy a sealing machine and pour anything in them and sell it.”

Similarly, Mrs. Liamid Olanrewaju, a resident of Osogbo, said that she used to buy 10 bags of sachet water every week for ₦1,700 for her household, but now the same amount of bags sell for ₦5,000.

“It has not been easy at all, we had to cut down the number of bags to five, which is ₦2,500 in my area, and we managed it for the week.

“I have introduced boiling water in large portions to my wards to store in containers for drinking.

“This is because we cannot continue to cut the amount of water we drink because we cannot afford it,” she said.

Why We May Sell Pure Water For N100 Per Sachet – Producers

The Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) had indicated that the cost of production materials may necessitate selling pure water sachets for N100 each.

The association made this known on Tuesday during a press conference held in Lagos on the rising production cost of packaging materials and its effect in Nigeria.

Clementina Ativie, the President of the association, highlighted various challenges they are encountering, including the exorbitant prices of diesel, insufficient power supply, and elevated production costs.

He added that the current price of water sales reflects the country’s situation, and there is nothing they can do about it.

He said, “Pure water is sold for N50 now, and it is even going up to N100 per one. At our own end, there’s nothing we can do. The cost of production is high.

“As of last year December, we were buying materials (nylon) for N1,100 per KG. The 6 kg of nylon is now N3,600/N3,700. The cost of treatment is also high. The increment for these materials comes at 3 times in one week. It is also difficult for us to increase the price of water.

“If ordinary Nigerians can’t afford pure water, I don’t know where we are going. Every water producer is funding the pure water factory from their personal pockets or borrowed money.

“Many banks don’t give pure water producers loans. We want Nigerians to bear with us. We don’t want Nigerians to buy water at more than N20 per sachet. The cost of production including the price of diesel has affected so many things.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *