Residents of Gishiri in Abuja Municipal Area Council have called on the FCT Administration to provide potable water and other basic amenities for their benefit.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in an interview that inadequate water supply and other basic amenities had made life unbearable for them in the community.
They said it was important for the FCT Administration and philanthropists to provide a source of potable water to reduce the number of children dying from water-borne diseases in the village.
Some of the residents, who spoke with NAN, said women and girls usually spent many hours searching for water at distant streams. They said that was affecting the girls schooling.
A civil servant, who resides in the community, Yakubu Saleh, bemoaned the long hours spent in search of water.
He added that the challenge was causing loss of man hours for adults that should had been used to source other needs for survival.
He said there were no recreation centres and other relaxation spots in the community, which was close to the nations’ capital, stressing that the trend needed to be reversed.
“We don’t have water at all; we go to far places to get water from streams and the water is dirty, but that is the only source of water we have here.
“Since it is the only source of water in the community, the people are usually left with the option of using the water the way it is.
“We want the FCT Administration to come to our rescue so that our children will stop falling ill from preventable diseases and water-borne diseases,” he added.
Saleh said children from the community usually fall sick from cholera and diarrhoea, noting that it had led to most of them not being punctual at schools.
Another resident, Cecilia Audu, told NAN that she had to trek long distances before getting water for domestic use, saying this had caused untold hardship to most women.
She said women in the community gave birth at home engaging the services of traditional birth attendants.
She expressed regret that the only health centre in their area had no infrastructure for delivery to take place.
According to her, a large number of women have died while giving birth, saying in most cases, the children died due to lack of emergency response to arrest pregnancy complications.
She said due to lack of potable water, there was an increase in activities of water vendors, known as ‘mairuwa,’ who used the opportunity to make money, selling a 20-litre jerry can for N50.
Audu said the quality of the water sold by the water vendors could not be ascertained but that was the only available option.
“Although some houses have bore holes, it is still not free, yet if you want to fetch water, you waste time because of the queue, and pay maybe N20 or N50, depending on your container.”
Another resident, Adama Shuaibu, called on relevant authorities to provide access roads to the community, saying they faced difficulties while conveying farm produce to the markets.
“We need road in this community; vehicles find it difficult to get into this place, we have to park at distant places and use motorcycles to get home.
“It is very difficult to take our goods into the market. Some of us have fallen off bikes several times, while riding them into town,” Shuaibu said.
The manager, Hope of Survival Orphanage, Mr Cephas Shedrach, said there was need for private individuals to help in the provision of basic needs to the orphanage.
He called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to help in the improvement of lives of all Nigerians. (NAN)