Some communities in Benue States have been dealing with the hardship of shortage of water as residents need to dig shallow pits to get soiled water for consuming and home functions.
One of such communities is Agasha the place a major variety of residents rely on a shallow properly dug in a swamp beside the dried-up river for residents to get water, The Cable reviews.
The newspaper reviews that the locals need to queue up day by day with a number of sizes of bowls and basins to fetch.
“Every day I come here and see the water dried up, it makes me cry,” stated an outdated girl addressed as Mama.
“Now, not only do we use dirty water, it is not enough for everyone. To have water at all for your daily usage, you will have to wake up around 3 am to join a long queue.”
“And when that happens, we usually fall back on swampy areas for water. That’s where diseases like the one that made me blind come from,” stated James, an aged resident of Agasha.
Mike Igber, chairman of the water, sanitation and hygiene committee (WASHCom) in Agasha, stated the army as soon as donated a hand pump borehole to the group however it stopped working “a long time ago” and that no try has been made to repair it.
“The saddest tale is that no state government in the last 50 years has ever done anything about the community’s water dearth,” stated Igber.
Like it’s in Agasha, the river in Ipaav, Gboko LGA, as soon as served the group, however nowadays, it has dried up and the residents have dug a makeshift properly in a swamp across the space. Although the water is unclean, residents haven’t any selection however to make use of it for his or her day by day wants.
Joseph Agibee Terlumun, the group spokesperson stated it was disheartening watching the residents drink the water.
“I was born in this community just as my father was. Though, I wouldn’t know how long (old) this community is; but I can state categorically that I have never seen any government agencies here,” he stated.
“It is only during electioneering when some of them will send their boys to come and give us things like seasonings and salt just to vote for them.
According to this publication, in Oye-Obi, a community in the 66Oju local government area, which is surrounded by rivers on every side, water scarcity is not a problem. But while water is always available, the River Obi which the community relies on is permanently unclean; it is dirty and has an offensive smell.
Regardless of the state of the water, residents are always at the river bank to scoop some for their daily use.
“Ours is now like a community that has never been a part of Benue state or this whole country,” says 72-year-old Abraham Ogbu Ijih.
“Our lives are now marked by abject poverty and poor living conditions. We are surrounded by water and forest on every side. Yet, we are thirsty with no access to clean water.”
Ijih, a visually impaired man who has lived in Oye all his life, stated he misplaced his spouse and kids to a “water epidemic” in 2020.
“I went blind six years ago. I wasn’t blind from childhood. But in 2020, I lost my wife and three children to water impurities. There was a period in this community where a water epidemic killed about 273 people according to our communal records,” the previous rice farmer stated.
Clement Onaa, chairman of Oju LGA, acknowledged the water issues within the communities however stated there was some intervention from the state and federal governments.
“We are working in collaboration with the state government and the federal ministry of water resources and environmental sanitation and we have recorded some level of intervention,” he stated.
“Some of those interventions include the provision of solar-powered motorised boreholes to the people of Oye-Obi. The community had water pollution sometime ago and part of the interventions was to ameliorate their plight of bad water.
“Waters in our place are always recharged with rainfall and whenever there is no rainfall, the volume of water reduces.”
Onaa referred to as on the state and Nigerian authorities to supply extra boreholes to the affected communities.
In Otobi group situated in Otukpo LGA, there are shallow wells dug on either side of the street. And regardless of the milky color of the water, kids are all the time discovered round them; excited to fill their basins and pots to the brim.
Richard Inalegwu, a resident of the group, stated they haven’t any functioning borehole, including that every one the residents drink from the identical place, save for individuals who don’t thoughts strolling lengthy distances to some neighbouring communities which have boreholes.
“When it comes to drinkable water, we don’t have options. It’s either you drink the water or not, since I was born and have been living in this community,” he stated.
Rachel Agbenu, one other resident who had a heap of soiled garments to scrub, stated: “The scarcity of water is worrisome. My family has not been able to wash our clothes for the past three weeks because there is no water. We have even reused some of our dirty clothes.
“Just to drink water, we often go to a nearby community a little far from here. Even at that, the water is not always clean and people are always too mamy there, and there is never enough water to go round everyone.
“Sometimes, we spend nights there.”