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Women scoop water from a well at Sabo community in Kuje Area Council of FCT.

Kuje Area Council has the highest number of communities in the FCT-Abuja.
But the council’s 163 rural communities face the problem of water scarcity.

As the dry season sets in, people in the area, especially women, think of the difficulty they will face to get water for drinking and other domestic uses.
The Aso Chronicle observed that at the peak of rainy season, the
villagers mainly get water from the numerous streams located in the area council and also store rain water.
During the dry season, however, they go to the beds of the streams, dig holes and wait for water to well up before they fetch.

Though boreholes with overhead tanks or hand pumps and solar-paneled boreholes are found in some communities, they are mostly not functional.
Mr Iliya Isaac, a spokesman of the Gunagu community, told  Aso Chronicle that the perennial water problem in the area became a nightmare while efforts are not made by the government to address the problem.
He said that even during rainy season, the stream water they get is contaminated and not hygienic for drinking.
He said the only existing hand pump borehole, sunk several years ago, has broken down, adding that residents now depend on the stream for their water needs.

“The moment dry season sets in, that is when our women face serious hardship because most of the streams have already dried up and women dig out sand and wait for several hours for water to gather for them to fetch,” he said.

The situation is the same in Tubwa, Kanzo and Takwa villages.
Some residents who spoke with our reporter said that they sometimes drink water from the same source with cows.
Mr Bulus Ayuba, a resident of Kanzo community, said:

“Sometimes if you go to the stream to fetch water from the well that you have suffered to dig, you discover that herders have taken their cows to the well and as they drink, they contaminate it.”

He added that another challenge facing the residents of the community and neighbouring villages was the deplorable state of the road that links Takwa, which he said was abandoned by the past administrations of the council.
Ayuba urged the present council administration, under the leadership of Alhaji Abdullahi D. Galadima, to build new boreholes and rehabilitate spoilt ones at the village. Continued from previous page

But residents of the Kabbi-Kasa community can now heave a sigh of relief as the situation has improved there.
The community now has a new primary healthcare centre with a borehole and an overhead tank constructed by the FCT Sure-P.

 “Honestly, we were exposed to all forms of water borne diseases especially during dry season when our women had to go to the fadama (stream) to get water,” the village head of Kabi-Kasa, Danjuma Bako, said. 

“But we thank God because in His infinite mercy, He has intervened, now we have borehole here.
 “Our women used to spent many hours at the fadama to fetch water to bring home.”
For Gbamfa community, good road network is a major challenge. A spokesman of the community, Mr Abila Beje, said that lack of good roads to enable farmers transport their farm produce to the market is their major problem.

“Last week, we had to mobilise farmers and youth to fill some bad portions of the road, right from Sumami down to this village, to enable vehicles come in to carry farmers produce to the market,” he said.

He said there are two functional hand pump boreholes at the community. Beje also complained of lack to mobile telephone service at the community, appealing to the authorities to liaise with telecommunication companies to provide telephone service at the community.    
Mr Friday Simon, a resident of the Sumami community, complained of lack of pipe borne water at the community, saying that residents used to trek to the drying stream to fetch water.

“Actually, there was a borehole with an overhead which has broken down several years ago,” he said. “I will like you to pay a visit to this village in December and or January next year to see the colour of water our people drink,” he said.

 Reacting, the chairman of the council, Galadima, said that he was aware of the lack of potable water and bad road in some communities of the council.
Galadima, who spoke through his special adviser on media and publicity, Haruna Usman, said that the council, on his assumption of office, has set up a committee to tour all the villages across the ten wards of the council to take record of challenges facing rural people.

He said: “During my electioneering campaign to all the communities across the ten wards of the council, I was able to see the pathetic situation of our people, especially in the area of water and road network, which prompted me to constitute a committee to take record of these challenges.”

 The chairman regretted that he assumed office at a very difficult time, when payment of workers’ salaries was difficult. He, however, said that his administration will address some of the challenges if finances of the council improve.



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