Taraba communities bemoan deplorable Mararaba- Baisa road, laud UNICEF’s HTR
Since the creation of Taraba State in 1991, no administration has deemed it necessary to address the pathetic state of the Mararaba- Baisa Road, which leads to Baisa, the administrative headquarters of Kurmi Local Council.
Now, the international road which hosts a common boundary between Nigeria and Cameroun, that ought to be a 45-minute drive from Mararaba in Donga Local Council to Baisa, is now in a deplorable state, and the journey now takes over two hours to complete.
The deteriorating condition of the road has not only compelled drivers to seek alternative routes, it has also exposed communities dwelling along it to all sorts of avoidable challenges, even as they blame the pathetic state of the road for the high rate of crime and constant death of pregnant women, or their unborn babies.
The bad condition of the road, made the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the state’s Primary Healthcare Development Agency to take healthcare services through the Hard-To-Reach (HTR) programme to some areas of the council.
This development, no doubt, succeeded in reducing the number of deaths among pregnant women and children. But the compelling need for relevant authorities to find a permanent solution to the situation is increasingly glaring.Worried that the HTR programme is coming to an end, community and religious leaders, health workers and the generality of the people are united in their conclusion that for the purposes of sustainability, the needful must be urgently done in order to save lives.
According to a community leader, Amos Ali, “We have lost several women and unborn babies as a result of the bad situation of this road. So, as the end of the HTR programme embarked on by the UNICEF gets closer (December 2018), we passionately plead with the state government to fashion out plans to sustain this programme because it has helped us a lot.”
Recalling instances where pregnant women meet their untimely death on their way to getting medical attention at the council’s headquarters, he said the HTR programme became the game changer “saving a lot of lives here. So, we are calling on our government to kindly sustain the programme as it would protect our women and children from untimely death.”
Ali while pointing out that the situation on the road gets worse during the rainy season, added that various communities, which have benefited immensely from the programme have agreed to throw their weight behind the government in its bid to achieve it dreams of sustaining the HTR programme.Another community leader, whose child, the breadwinner of the family was hacked to death by armed bandits on that bad road,” pleaded with the government “to help us construct the road.”
Also baring his mind on the programme and the dilapidated road the UNICEF-MNCH State Consultant and HTR State Coordinator, Dr. Benjamin Andeyaba, urged the state government to sustain the project, treat the wellbeing of the people with the needed attention, as well as, spare a thought on the situation of the road.Women from Gidan Danjuma, Gidan Ali and Gidan Yaro, all communities along the road, were full of praises for the UNICEF HTR programme, saying if not the services it brought to their doorsteps, “many of us would have not live to see this day.”
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