Rugan Hardo Community in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) is where the provision of basic amenities seem like a mirage to residents. IGHO OYOYO writes on the need for government to put an end to the suffering of residents of the community.
The desire of residents of any community is to benefit from the dividends of democracy from government at every level, through the provision of basic amenities, ranging from pipe-borne water, rural electricity, access roads and health care facilities amongst other things that can give meaning to life. However, when communities lack these basis amenities, they are bound to ask questions on how important they are to the government in existence.
This is the case with Rugan Hardo community, whose residents have been appealing to the government to provide them with potable water and other social amenities that will make life easy for them.
The community which indigenes are predominantly Fulanis who are herders, is about a few kilometers away from the new train terminal in Idu, has been in existence for over 20 years without potable water, health facilities and school. unlike other communities in the FCT, the community is still far from civilization, apart from the entrance road to the community, the houses revealed a typical rural community.
When LEADERSHIP visited the community, it was discovered that almost all the houses in the community numbering about 100 are built with red mud, giving a round shape with thatch roof, while the only outstanding house belongs to the village head, Hardo Mohammed, which was built with cement bricks.
To residents of Rugan Hardo, the quest for potable water and basic health care is better imagined as farfetched, as residents share the only source of water for drinking and cooking, which is a nearby stream, with their cattle. This has made the residents to be at the mercy of an impending cholera outbreak.
Chief of the community, Hardo Mohammed, who appealed for government’s intervention, stressed the need for potable water, health and provision of schools in the community, saying that residents of the community have always been at the mercy of sickness because of the unhygienic water they consume on daily basis.
“We have many demands to make in this community, but our biggest challenge here is potable water. The well we use here dries up and that leaves us to start depending on stream water which our cattle drink from. We must go to the stream as early as 5am, so that we will be able to access the water.
Most of our residents have suffered from sicknesses arising from drinking the water, but we do not have any other option. We all know that it is not hygienic that our cattle drink from the same stream we also drink from same. That is why we are begging the government to make way for us to have access to clean and drinkable water, because water is life,” he said.
Apart from the challenges of potable water, the community chief also lamented the non-availability of schools for children in the community, adding that the nearest school is at Gwarinpa axis which is about 45 minutes drive from the community. He said that children in the community have to trek to the school, because they are unable to give them transport fares on daily basis. “There are so many children in this community who need to go to school, but we do not have schools here. We cannot even afford to pay teachers to have them come over to teach our children and you know it is inappropriate for our children to be wandering around because we all know that education is important. So, if government can come to our aid, we will be excited and we will appreciate it,” Mohammed said.
A resident of the community, Sani Useni, also explained that aside from other water-borne diseases suffered by residents of the community, malaria infection had been a major scourge which has claimed the lives of innocent residents, because there is no primary health care centres for them to seek immediate treatments.
“We are really suffering in this community, apart from the issue of potable water, we do not have health care centre and this has resulted to the death of people in this community. Mostly, when there is emergency case that needs urgent medical attention. The closest health care facilities are Kuchingoro Primary Health Care Centre and Gwarinpa General Hospital which is located around Gwarinpa Estate and are very long distance away from here.
We know that the present chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. Abdullahi Candido is a leader with good heart who is working in the interest of the people, that is why we are appealing to him to come to our rescue, before we all die of cholera due to the bad water we drink and no accessible medical health care.
“We are appealing to him to use his good heart to alleviate our suffering just as he has been doing it in other communities in the council. We are really suffering in this community because we are far behind in terms of development, but if we can get potable water supply and health care facility here, we will forever be grateful to this government,” he said.
A petty trader in the community, Raliat Usman, lamented that the non availability of basic amenities in the community which has rendered the residents to unbearable suffering, adding that she sells Kunu, which she had to buy bags of sachet water on daily basis to prepare the delicacy.
“If there was potable hygienic water in this community, I will not be buying sachet water to prepare my Kunu. Also, the absent of health centre in this community is not a good thing at all. The other day a woman almost lost her baby that was very sick, because the child had chronic malaria and we have to rush the child to Kuchigoro Health Centre.
Some children have suffered the fate in this community, but did not survive. If we have a health centre here, we will not have to travel to Kuchingoro for treatment. This government should use his good heart to remove us from this suffering we are going through in this community,” she said.
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