Damagaza community is one of the communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where basic social amenities are lacking. CECILIA OGEZI writes on the challenges residents of this community face on a daily basis.
Damagaza community, which is located in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), is predominantly occupied by the indigenous people of Gbagyi tribe of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). There are also a large number of Hausa populations, who reside in Angwan Hausawa area of the community, as well as other tribes in Nigeria. Investigation by LEADERSHIP revealed that this community has been in existence for a very long time, even before the creation of the FCT.
However, the challenges facing this community are numerous. These challenges range from lack of access road, poor drainage system, absence of potable water, school, power supply, security, and health care services, among others. These facilities are not available to cater for the growing population in the area.
Our reporter gathered that the community’s only source of water supply is a borehole, donated by one Pastor J. k. Olaade of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), with another borehole, donated by the chairman of AMAC, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido, which has since broken down. Residents are therefore forced to buy water from privately-owned boreholes or resort to getting water from the stream which is unhealthy.
A trip to Angwan Hausawa settlement shows the deplorable state of the environment which could expose residents to health hazards. There is no access road, no electricity and no primary health care centre or school for children in this settlement. LEADERSHIP gathered that there about one million people residing in the area, with more moving into the community. Security is also a challenge to residents of the community as no police post or any form of security is available.
A resident of the area, Muhammed Anas, told our reporter, “Our means of getting water is a borehole, donated by a church and even at that residents will have to pay N10, to power the borehole. I feel to some extent that water is available, but we do not have primary school or a health centre. There is no electricity. If you look round, you will not see any pole, we need government to look into the problem of this area.”
Another resident of this community and owner of a patent medicine store in the area, Nicolas told LEADERSHIP that government has completely neglected the community, adding that residents are living in an unfavourable condition.
Nicholas also disclosed that some personnel from World Health Organisation (WHO) had approached him to alert them in case of any outbreak of any disease in the community. He continued: “Since I moved to the area for over two months now, there hasn’t been any outbreak of any disease, but I have been approached by personnel WHO to contact them in case of any outbreak of chicken pox, yellow fever or measles, or any other disease in the community.”
Another resident of the community, Salisu Maaji, who spoke with LEADERSHIP, explained that the community needs proper integration, adding that the Gbagyi people have been given resettlement.
There are also a number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in this community, especially at the Angwan Hausawa settlement. Chairman of IDPs in the settlement, Muhammed Yola, disclosed that there are about 372 IDPs in the area, mostly from Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Gombe states. Yola added that the settlement has been in existence for over 30 years.
He therefore appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), to relocate the occupants to a permanent place, noting that any efforts to bring electricity or development to the settlement might result in the original owners displacing them to posses their land. “We seek relocation because there will hardly be any meaningful change in our living conditions, because the owners of the land will not agree to any of such development.”
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