‘Give us electricity, water, roads…’
THE Yetugh and Agbungu communities in Logo Local Council in Katsina-Alu/Ukum/Logo Senatorial Zone of Benue State have complained of insanitary conditions due to lack of safe water, toilets and health care centre in the area.
The villagers, while revealing that some have died as a result of poor water, sanitation and hygiene, also said some people have also been bitten by snakes while searching for water.
They bared their minds when WaterAid, a non-governmental organisation, visited the communities with some journalists recently.
The Kindred Head, Mbagbaar, Yonov ward in Yetugh community, Chief Moses Orte, lamented that they had been facing huge challenges as a result of the non-availability of potable water.
“ We live in difficult times. Some of our children get infected after drinking water. At times, they would vomit, which usually leads to diarrhoea. The situation sometimes leads to death. We face many challenges here as our people always travel from here to far places in search of drinkable water. Many of our children have died as a result of snake-bites while looking for water. Our elders have also not been spared. The government should please help us.”
On defecation, he said: “We usually go into the bush at night to defecate because we don’t have electricity. This situation has always been like that. We inherited it from our forefathers.”
Orte also complained that those they voted into power had promised severally to come to their aid, but all to no avail.
He said they were preparing a document for politicians who want their votes to endorse before they would vote for them so that they would attend to the needs of the community.
He said: “When there is an election, we always vote for them because it is our constitutional rights. What we are asking for those who represent us in Abuja is to come to our aid to provide safe water, electricity, toilets and good roads. We usually complain to them about our predicament, whenever they come to campaign within the community but at the end of the day, they do nothing.”
The Headmaster, St. Christopher Nursery and Primary School Yetugh, Mr. Kwagabee Jeremiah, said: “There is no potable water in our area. We used to get water from the stream. Sometimes, it dries up and then children would stop coming to school. Some always come late. So we have very poor source of water here. There are some kinds of disease that these children suffer because sometimes I have experienced most of my children getting diarrhoea, some getting malaria and I discovered that it is as a result of that poor water. Also, we don’t have toilet facilities for the children in this school and the school is very poor.”
One of the students, Jorpav Kashimana, a primary six student of St. Christopher Nursery and PrimarySchool, Yetugh, said “we don’t have good water to drink and the stream we usually go to fetch water is not clean. We want government to give us good water, toilets, road and electricity.”
Mr. David Baka, retired head-teacher, Agbungu Community Primary School, also pleaded with the government to build a hospital for the community.
One of the victims of the snake bite, Aligba Member, said she was going to the stream to fetch water when a snake from a nearby bush bit her.
An Assistant Chief Community, Health Extension Worker in charge of primary health care in Agbendu, Mrs. Nyikyaa Dorcas, said: “As a health worker, I always give them health talk whenever they come to immunise their children. I always advise them to dig their own toilet and maintain good hygiene. There have been cases of diarrhoea because of lack of safe water. In the case of snake bite, one of my colleagues was bitten by a snake when she was looking for water.”