Life in wa­ter­locked Gul­ida is tough, res­i­dents say

Daily Trust - - ASO CHRON­I­CLE -

“In fact the teach­ers hardly come to school es­pe­cially when it rains heav­ily as the river over­flows,” he said.

Awaje, who is also chair­man of the Par­ents Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (PTA) of the school at the vil­lage, said lack of bridge across the river has also forced the stu­dents who are in ju­nior sec­ondary school at Yan­goji to skip classes.

He said the only way to ad­dress the chal­lenge of cross­ing the river us­ing ca­noe was for the govern­ment to con­struct a bridge across the river.

He also said that 90 per­cent of his peo­ple were peas­ant farm­ers who grow va­ri­eties of crops such as mil­let, beniseed, guinea corn and soya beans, but were frus­trated while try­ing to trans­port their pro­duce to the mar­ket.

“Some­times, some farm­ers go and look for mid­dle­men in Niger and Kogi states to come and buy their crops at very cheap rates here in the vil­lage since they (farm­ers) do not have the money to con­vey their pro­duce in large quan­ti­ties across the river,” he said.

He noted that the cost of trans­port­ing farm pro­duce to the mar­ket was high.

“So some farm­ers some­times pre­fer to sell their crops at the farm at cheaper rates in­stead of stress­ing them­selves to pay women who will con­vey them on their shoul­ders to the river bank be­fore load­ing them into ca­noes to across the river,” he said.

The district head fur­ther com­plained of lack of ac­cess to potable wa­ter at the com­mu­nity, say­ing the only source of wa­ter was River Gu­rara which, he lamented was un­hy­gienic and a threat to his peo­ple’s health.

“Some­times we have cases of stool­ing and vom­it­ing es­pe­cially among chil­dren, which is caused by the kind of un­hy­gienic wa­ter we drink,” he said.

He noted that the only health­care cen­tre the com­mu­nity has ac­cess to is lo­cated at Barib­ari vil­lage, which he said was far from Gul­ida and that health per­son­nel were hardly on ground to at­tend to pa­tients.

He said there were over 12 vil­lages such as Mu­na­maya, Gwarda, Yabami, Makama, Paikon Bassa, Tuba, Patakomi, Madani, Barib­ari Gur­iza, Shadadi and oth­ers un­der Gul­ida, but they all lack ac­cess to ba­sic ameni­ties.

The district head called on the man­age­ment of the Uni­ver­sal Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Board ( UBEB) on the need to es­tab­lish a Ju­nior Sec­ondary School (JSS) at the com­mu­nity, say­ing stu­dents of the vil­lage board ca­noes to cross the river to Yan­goji vil­lage to at­tend classes.

He also re­quested for a po­lice out­post at the com­mu­nity, say­ing the ab­sence of se­cu­rity has be­come an­other chal­lenge fac­ing his sub­jects. When­ever there was a mis­un­der­stand­ing be­tween farm­ers and herders, he has to place a call to po­lice out­post at Yaba to come and in­ter­vene, he added.

“And even be­fore po­lice come, it has to be the next day, be­cause of the dis­tance and de­plorable state of the road link­ing to this vil­lage,” he said, adding that “if I am trav­el­ling out, I pre­fer cross­ing the river than ply­ing through the bad road,”

The district head, how­ever, noted that pro­vid­ing a po­lice out­post will help check­mate cases of crime at the com­mu­nity.

“As the dry sea­son sets in, there are re­ported cases of mo­tor­cy­cle snatch­ing by hood­lums.

I be­lieve if we can have a po­lice out­post here it will help a lot,” he said.

When con­tacted, the chair­man of Abaji Area Coun­cil, Al­haji Ab­dul­rah­man Ajiya, said the coun­cil has al­ready cap­tured some of the chal­lenges fac­ing the com­mu­nity in its bud­get, adding that he would chan­nel the re­quest for a bridge to the co­or­di­na­tor of the Satel­lite Towns Devel­op­ment De­part­ment ( STDD) for nec­es­sary ac­tion.

“Even be­fore now, we are mak­ing ar­range­ment to pro­vide speed boats for the peo­ple of Gul­ida and other river­ine com­mu­ni­ties to ease their move­ment and for them to con­vey their farm pro­duce to the mar­kets,” he said.

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