Nasarawa Youth Corps Member Provides Water For Her Community

Halima Gayam  
Updated December 4, 2019



As the Nasarawa state government is working towards providing access to safe water, some residents still grappling with water scarcity are devising means of alleviating the discomfort from they are facing.

While some residents have taken the responsibility for providing water for themselves, some others who do not have the resources are waiting and hoping that government efforts will yield the needed results.

In the northern region of the state, a banana and plantain farming settlement in Wamba local government area named Kanja has contended with decades of water scarcity.

Sunday Samuel, a resident of the area told our correspondent, that the over 7,500 inhabitants of the community have shared water sources with animals for as long as he could remember.

“Initially we don’t have any portable water in the town so we gotta the stream where the cows pass and other animals too because of lack of potable water,” he said.

The Corps Member with a good heart

A Batch A’2019 National Youth Service Corps Member, Uwayi Shammah from the community who is serving at the Defence Headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has contributed her quota to tackling the water crisis in the state beginning from her birthplace.

She built a borehole for them alongside a new generating set as the community lacks electricity to enable the efficient use of the facility.

Residents are said to contribute money for fueling the generating set to enable them to pump water every evening g for use against the next day.

“I did it for my people because I was born and brought up here and I felt they need it because they don’t have water to drink. They are suffering from various diseases like typhoid, malaria all because of lack of water. I just want the government to please come and make boreholes for them,” she said. 

The people of Kanja who spoke through Uwayi’s father, Mr. Bitrus Shammah are satisfied with the gesture which has ameliorated their agelong plight and
want a replication by the government across the state.

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“I appreciate what this girl has done, she is my daughter, she has tried, she has lifted the standard of the people of the village with portable drinking water before we have been suffering and drinking from a dirty stream but we are now happy. My call to the government is to come to the assistance of those who don’t have such a thing and we again, we are calling for the assistance of the government to give us electricity so that we can use it to pump the water,” he said. 

In the same region of the state is Unguwar Makama in Nasarawa Eggon local government area of the state, where Musa Angbo, a peasant farmer lives with one of his wives and some of his twenty children.

Musa is also an internally displaced person who relocated from Assakio village of the state to the area to seek respite.

He said he has found peace in the area, but access to safe water is a biting challenge for him and his family just as it is for many others in the state.

A hand-dug well supported with a plank down his house is their only source of water.

The water is clearly not safe for use and its usage increases their vulnerability to water-borne diseases but Musa and his wife Halima Musa, disclosed to us that they have been using the water for all domestic purposes for three years and there hasn’t been a record of any disease.

“We cook with it and we drink it but since we have been using it, we have not experienced any challenge yet, Musa said.

His wife corroborates his submission saying,” this water we have been using it and we have not noticed anything, we want the government to help us provide a borehole”

However, the Nasarawa state government is not oblivious to the water challenges facing the state.

Upon assumption of office on May 29th, the state Governor Abdullahi Sule inaugurated a 7-man task force to address the huge problem of lack of potable water.

After two months of in-depth appraisal of the water situation in the state, the task force has submitted a report to the state government with the governor promising to come up with modalities to tackle the menace headlong.

“You will recall that during the electioneering campaign, we promised to provide social amenities, of which water is major to make life meaningful for our people. It is for this reason that the provision of potable water constitutes one of the cardinal objectives of this administration,” the governor said. 

Water is not just for domestic consumption, it is essential for socio-economic development and maintaining a healthy ecosystem but Nasarawa is among states in Nigeria without a water policy for twenty-three years. But with the receipt of the report of the task force, residents in the state are looking forward to the implementation of the recommendations of the task force as they continue to manage their various water sources.

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