Monday, March 3, 2008

Women in Abidjan protest lack of water

Abidjan is facing severe water shortages. From IRIN:

A third of Abidjan’s inhabitants have had no drinking water for over a month and many have taken to the streets to vent their anger.

"Each time we launch an appeal to the authorities for help there is no action," local resident Georgette Akissi 38, who has been on the search for water for three days, told IRIN.

Some inhabitants have been forced to walk up to 6 km every day to find water, Akissi said, while others are resorting to deepening their boreholes in their backyards.

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s largest city, requires some 500,000 cu.m of water a day but only 350,000 cu.m is available. That has meant that 300,000 people have no water from the city’s central supply, Ebah Basile, executive director of the water company Society of Water Distribution in Cote d’Ivoire (SODECI) told IRIN.

Women took to the streets on 20 February to protest the lack of water, putting up barricades on the main road leading to the east of the city. Police used tear gas to disperse them.

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