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Benue state residents groan from lack of safe water

                                        By Joke Falaju and John Okeke, Abuja

Yetugh and Agbungu communities  in Logo Local Government Area , Katsina-Alu/Ukum/Logo Senatorial Zone , Benue State are no longer finding it easy  as the communities have complained bitterly  about  the threat of their lives as a result of lack of safe water , toilets and health care centre in the communities .PIC.7.PEOPLE QUEUING TO FETCH  WATER AT OKENE IN KOGI ON TUESDAY (31/12/13).

The villagers while revealing  that some have died as a result of poor water , sanitation and hygiene  also said that some have been bitten by snake in search of water in the communities.

They bared their mind when some Journalists visited the communities.

Chief Moses Orte , Kindred Head , Mbagbaar , Yonov ward , Yetugh community lamented that they have been facing huge challenge as a result of the unsafe water.

In his exact words “Life at this time is something that is very very difficult for us . Some of our children after drinking the water they will start vomiting leading to Diarrhoea . So they usually have this case and when they are taken to the hospital which is not close to this place so in this kind of situation they end up giving up .

We faces many challenges here you see most of the time when our people want to get water they have to travel from here to far place and as a result of this many people in the community has been bitten by snakes and some of them died in the process . Also most of our children have died as a result of drinking bad water . So in this regard our elders have suffered because of this predicament. You know we are from interior bush nobody is here to here our cry and to set us free from all these problems.”

On defecation , he said “we usually go to bush so as a result of this when you go to bush at night because we don’t have light here maybe a snake is hereby it will just bite you . This has been on since the foundation of this our locality . We inherited this from our fore fathers .

Orte also complained that those they voted into power have promised severally to come to their aid but all to no avail .

As a result he said that they have prepared a document that any politician who want their vote must endorse before they will vote for him owing to their needs in the community .

He said “When there is election we go and 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 in this community but at the end  of the day they will not do anything . We have a document of all they will do for us and we usually ask them to sign so that at the end when they are not doing it we will not vote them again .”

Mr. Kwagabee Jeremiah , HeadMaster St. Christopher Nursery and Primary School Yetugh, complained  ” There is no any good water in our area completely . We use to manage our stream here and sometimes it gets dried up and then children will stop coming to school and so when they want to come they come late . So we have very poor source of water here. There are some kind of disease that these children suffers because sometime I have experience 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 for the children in this school and the school is very poor and it is very very hard for us to get toilet in our school. We don’t have road here and then if our politicians will help us we will like them to give us these things .

One of the student , Jorpav Kashimana , a primary six student of St. Christopher Nursery and Primary School Yetugh, said “we don’t have a good water to drink here and the stream we usually go a fetch water the water is not clean . We want government to give us good water , toilet , road and light here.”

Also Mr. David Baka, retired head teacher , Agbungu Commuity Primary School has this to say “Our community has been facing a lot of challenges for a long time now . The first challenge is water . We don’t have water here in the village  . The other challenges are road , electricity and toilet . Also , there is no hospital around here we use to travel from here to a far distance to attend to visit to some hospital. When there is raining season we have water to drink but when there is dry season we find it difficult to get water . We move as far as eight kilometer away to look for water. When there is a dry season they dry off . Our politicians have come here and promised to do all these things for us and at the end of the day they will not fulfill it .”

“So for that we have a document now that if any one comes here to tell us to vote for him we will ask him to sign the document and if at the end he  did not fulfill his promises we will not vote for him again . And if care is not taken we take you to court to get what he promise to us .” He added.

One of the victim of snake bite , Aligba Member , said she was going to the stream to  fetch water when a snake from the bush bite her.

“We dey suffer here be cause of water and I dey look for water in the morning around 10am when the snake bite me from the bush because we dey suffer here too much that is why the snake bite me ”

In addition , Mrs. Nyikyaa Dorcas, Assistant Chief Community, Health Extension Worker in charge of primary health care in Agbendu said “As a health worker in the village I use to give them health talk whenever they come for immunization for their children I advised them to dig their own toilet you know it is not easy to convince the villagers for that . There has been cases of Diarrhoea because of lack of safe water . In the case of snake bite my one of my worker is a victim . She was bitten when she was looking for water .”

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