In Nigeria, the cost of staying hydrated is becoming increasingly out of reach for many as inflation soars and the cost of living crisis deepens, sachet and bottled water are becoming luxury items for many families.

For the low income earners in Nigeria, bottled water already seems out of reach. As a result, they turn to sachet water which is often seen as a cheaper and more accessible alternative.

However, even the price of sachet water often referred to as ‘pure water’ is on the rise and the quality is often questionable. This leaves many people in difficult situation, forced to choose between their health and their budget.

Currently as we speak the price for sachet water which was N5 in the early 2000s rose through N10, N20, 2 for N50 now goes for N50 per sachet and 3 for N100 in some areas. Bottled water initially sold for N50 now sells for N200 per bottle.

Bottle and sachet water

In a quest to know the mind and reactions of the people and how they were able to adjust to the current situation, The Beautiful Day Testimonial spoke with some residents and visitors at the Redemption City of God main gate in Ogun State to this effect.

According to a sachet water vendor, popularly known as Mama Blessing, a lot have changed about the business of pure water. She said:

“The selling of pure water has changed because when we started selling pure water early last year, we started by 10 bags for2,000, they will give you extra bag with the pure water in case of leakage.  Now, there noting like that again.  We now buy for N3,500 or N4000. There is no extra bag for leakages even nylon they will not give.”

RCCG Redemption City of God main gate

When asked if she demanded for a reason from the pure water manufacturers on why they are not giving extra bags for leakages and nylons for people that want to buy half bags, she said their reason has been for increase in the cost of production.

On whether the price surge has affected her sales, she said not yet and that her customers still buy one sachet for N50 and three for N00.

A lady who simply gave her name as Tobechi also noted that economic crisis is biting hard and everyone is feeling the heat. She noted that the pure water producers are not at fault.

In her words “The increase in price of pure water is actually hitting hard but I won’t blame the pure water people because I think the inflation is affecting everybody and they too are feeling the heat. I believe if there is a way, they could have helped out.  It is very hard before we used to buy 10 bags N1, 500 but now we are buying it N4, 000 which is too much. But we won’t blame the pure water people it is not their fault.”

When asked if she still buy pure water or she has taken alternative measures, she said she still buys pure water but in lesser quantity.

“Yes I patronize them, but now I buy lesser instead of 10 bags I buy 5 bags just to manage.” She noted

Mr Sunday, an Okada rider said he believed it is the removal of fuel subsidy that is responsible for the price hike.

To Deborah John, the hike in the price of water is a sign that God in angry with the people.

In her words “Everything has turned upside down and it is because God is angry. What is happening here is happening everywhere. When I started this business if I have N100, 000, I will buy 50 packs of bottle water for N40, 000, 10 packs of Pepsi for N20, 000, 10 packs of American cola for N20,000, and  10 packs of Coca Cola for N22,000,  everything for N102,000. But with the coming in of this present federal government on May 29 everything changed. The money I used in purchasing all then is what I now use in buying only bottle water. Bottle water was N900 but now it goes for N1700.”

Deborah John

Deborah noted that she decided to confront the people supplying her good and she was told that the current state of the country is what is reflecting on the price of things.

She said the producers have hinged the hike on the exorbitant cost of petrol/diesel and cost of transportation. She however solicited for the support the Nigerian government to look into the issue of cost of petrol.


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