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Power Failure: Ice-block initially sold for N20 now N250 in Zamfara

Ice-block made from 50ml sachet water now sells for between N200 and N250 in Gusau, the Zamfara capital.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this was caused in parts of the capital city by the current erratic or total absence of electricity.

Hajiya Hauwa’u Suleiman, a housewife who sells the sachet water and ice blocks said, her freezers could no longer freeze water into ice as there was no light to power them.

She said during hot seasons and especially with the Ramadan fast, the demand for cold water and Ice-block is always high.

“At such seasons, l usually make over N20,000 or more daily, but as it is now, l don’t even sell at all and life has become difficult for me and my family.

“I concentrate more on making the Ice-block because it is more preferred by the customers who will need only one and add water to meet their demand.

“Houses of big people with big generators are the ones who have monopoly over the commodity now.

“Because they don’t want to be known in the business, they sell to middlemen who sell it exorbitantly to some of us which caused the present high cost,” she said.

Also, Malam Umaru Mai Kayan-sanyi in Tudun-Wada market, said: “many people now rush the ice block, some of which are locally made in ordinary polythene using any water source, this can be dangerous,” he said.

One of the users of such commodity and a resident of Samaru, Gusau, Lawali Dahiru said, “We know of only one person that brings this Ice-block in the evenings.

“We used to buy one for either N20 or N25 but now, even when one sees him, it goes for N200 or N250.”

Many of the people who spoke with NAN said the cold water had remained the best nourishment they use in breaking the fast which is now in its second week.

Dr Mannir Bature, the Chairman of the state’s branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) however, cautioned people on the use of the ice block to break their fast.

“Warm water is even preferable to loosen the intestines after a whole day of inactivity.

“Moreso, with the desperation in making the ice now, the source of water can be dangerous, so there must be care,” he said.

NAN reports that the one month long Ramadan fast for this year is coming under harsh weather condition with places like Zamfara recording over 40 degrees in the day time.

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