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Residents of Rugan Hardo community, in the Idu area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are living in danger of infections over lack of potable water.
The residents lamented that they usually drink from a stream.
The residents, who are largely cattle rearers, told PUNCH Metro that they drank from the stream with their cattle, especially during the dry season when the only well in the area dried up.
A visit to the community on Wednesday also revealed that children in the area had no schools to attend and a few of them trekked to the nearest school in the Gwarimpa area, which is about 45 minutes’ drive.
The Chairman of Rugan Hardo, Muhammed Jibril, told our correspondent that the people needed government’s assistance in the provision of health care and other social amenities.
He said, “The well we use dries up and that makes us to depend on the stream water which our cattle also drink from. We must go to the stream as early as 5am so that we will be able to access the water. Most of our residents have suffered from sicknesses arising from the use of the water; but we do not have any option. We all know that it is not hygienic that our cattle drink from the same stream we drink from.
“We call on the government to come to our rescue. We also need a good health care system and schools. Children in this community have to trek to a faraway school in Gwarimpa because we cannot afford to give them transport fares on a daily basis.”
Another resident, Maryam Audu, begged the government to come to the aid of the community, noting that their living conditions were pathetic.
She said, “There are many children in this community who need to go to school, but we do not have schools here. We cannot even afford to pay teachers to have them come over to teach our children. You know that it is inappropriate for children to be wandering around because we all know that education is important. So, if government can come to our aid, we will appreciate it.”
Our correspondent learnt that a non-governmental organisation, Centre for Communication and Social Impact in the Utako area, visited the community and planned to donate a borehole.
The CCSI Chairman, Mr Ike Osakwe, who brought up the plight of the community to PUNCH Metro, said the intervention was to supply potable pipe-borne water to the area.
He said, “We have been touched by the lack of basic amenities in this cattle rearing and farming community. We are partnering the community to initiate a water, sanitation and hygiene programme. The programme will include sinking a borehole to provide potable water for the community and we will work with them to also build toilets and other conveniences.”
Also, the CCSI Executive Director, Mrs Babafunke Fagbemi, said the intervention in Rugan Hardo was part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibility to mark its 10 years’anniversary.
The Director, Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, while speaking on the CCSI’s intervention, noted that the Federal Government would continue to collaborate with organisations to tackle the challenges in urban and rural communities.