Gwagwa community, located in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) is home to Nigerians from diverse backgrounds. Residents of the community are forced to live without some essential amenities, DAVID ADUGE-ANI writes.
Gwagwa community, which is one of the communities in the present Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), is believed to be one of the most ancient communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Observers said that this community, which is about 20minutes drive from the city centre, is one of the areas where the old Suleji-Keffi Road passed through. In fact Gwagwa community is said to have existed even before the creation of the FCT.
Also, the community is blessed with many personalities, who have not only contributed to the development of the community, but to the entire FCT. For instance, a former chairman of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), in FCT, Alhaji Alhassan Gwagwa is an indigene of this community. Again, a stone throw from Gwagwa community lays Jiwa community, where the present chairman of AMAC, Hon Abdullahi Adamu Candido, lives as an indigene, including other notable personalities.
However, despite these credentials, Gwagwa community has remained a shadow of itself, especially when it comes to available social amenities for residents. Recently, Sarkin-Yakin of Gwagwa, Alhaji Jafaru Gwagwa, noted that the community lacks enough public toilets, adding that some residents, most times, have to pay N20 each before they could use one. Gwagwa noted that most landlords did not build toilets in their houses, as tenants have to defecate in the bush. “Many people in this community usually defecate in the bush. If it is late at night, some prefer to do it using nylons or somewhere and throw them away in the bush in the morning.”
Apart from the absence of toilets in many homes, the community does not have drainage system, as most of the drainages are blocked by refuse being thrown into it by residents of the area. A resident of the community, Salihu Ahmed told LEADERSHIP that many residents prefer to gather their refuse in a bag only to throw them into the gutters as soon it starts raining. Ahmed noted that this attitude has led to the blockage of the drainage system in the area.
“You can see how the water is not flowing well in the gutters, when it rains. It is because many people throw their dirt into the gutters and it blocks the water from flowing.” He noted that the attitude is reinforced because no security agent has arrested anybody.
Besides, there are also no proper ways of disposing refuse here, because most people, who are mainly children, that are involved in the collection and disposal of refuse end up dumping the garbage indiscriminately along the road, leading to blockages. Our reporter gathered that in this community, there are no central refuse collection centres, where this garbage could be collected and disposed appropriately. This has to lead to a situation where almost every corner of the community has become a waste disposal points. Sometimes, the refuse are gathered and thrown into Gwagwa River. This river is also the source of water for domestic use in many homes in this community.
Electricity supply is also a major challenge in this community. John Abah, who lives in Gwagwa, told our reporter that sometimes, residents stay for about one month without seeing electricity. “Electricity supply is a major problem here. You can imagine that sometime, we stay for about a month without electricity. The funny aspect of it is that when the officials of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) want to collect electricity bill from residents, they will first bring the light for about two days. And after collecting their estimated bills from residents, they will stop bringing electricity.”
Again, residents of this community are also suffering daily from the menace of bad road. In fact one of the challenges facing residents, especially in this rainy season is the bad road passing through the community, which many have described as an eyesore. LEADERSHIP noted that this major road has been abandoned and when it rains it becomes moody and discomforting to residents.
A resident of the community, who preferred to be anonymous, noted that every other community surrounding Gwagwa have their roads rehabilitated and tarred, but wondered why Gwagwa road has been abandoned. “It is unfortunate to note that other communities here, such as Jiwa, Tasha and Zaudna have had their major roads rehabilitated and tarred, but Gwagwa road has remained abandoned, and during the dry season, residents experience dust, while in the rainy season the road becomes moody.” He pointed out that both the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) have abandoned the community and residents of the area to their fate.