From: Kazeem Biriowo and Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
A rural settlement, Kpanyi Kpanyi community in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, the seat of power is troubled. It has existed for over 10 decades much of which the settlers struggle to access potable water.
The pathetic story is such that pregnant women, children and the elderly on regular basis grapple to drink from same water with cattle at a nearby stream known as ‘Upah River’.
Despite its proximity to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (NAIA), about 12 minutes drive away, Kpanyi Kpanyi dwellers remain far from development.
“We are just about 300 metres away from the eight-lane expressway yet we lack all the basic amenities,” said the Community Youth Secretary, Joseph Dakoi, a student of College of Education Zuba, Abuja.
A visit to the community showed that the village has no access to electricity, Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) including schools and toilet facilities.
According to Dakoi, the community has a population of over 5, 000 people including the indigenes. Access road is considered the least problem despite the tough task involved transporting their farm produce to the market.
Surprisingly, it is a village where land is allocated free, on condition that the beneficiary must live with the villagers and must not take tenants or rent any part of his building.
In an exclusive interview with Agronature, the community youth secretary said Kpanyi Kpanyi records high maternal and child mortality. He added that cholera outbreak is not left out among diseases bedevilling the community.
“Life in Kpanyi Kpanyi village can be described as starving in the midst of abundance. Though, it may have existed before the relocation of the Federal Capital to Abuja but there is nothing to show that the village is part of the Federal Capital Territory.”
Incidentally, River Upah which used to serve as main water source for the settlement is the natural boundary between the village and the proposed multibillion Naira Abuja Centenary City project.
But respite came their way when a serving National Youth Service Corps member, Ifeanacho Chetachi with supports from Hope Spring Water Charity and Haske Foundation discovered and provided potable water for the neglected community.
A member of the community, 37 years old Mrs. Victoria Luka, mother of three children lamented how her family struggled to drink from the same water source with cattle drink before Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation brought smiles to their faces.
Dearth of basic amenities especially drinkable water and hygiene caught the attention of the corp member who is also a Sustainable Development Goals advocate.
According to her, the choice of Gosa Kpanyi Kpanyi for the project is due to the fact that there is no availability of clean and hygienic water in the community as people shared nearby stream with cattles to get water for their daily needs.
In his speech at the project commissioning, the Country Director of Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation, Temple Oraeki said the organisation understand the ordeals of million of people without access to water adding that they are committed to alleviating water poverty everywhere they go.
Oraeki further disclosed that his organisation has impacted directly over 20,000 lives through provision of boreholes and hygiene.
His words: “the Gosa Kpanyi Kpanyi is another project we are proud of in every ways.”
“When the proposal was brought to us at first glance, we knew we have to act fast because access to clean water is a basic human right and it sadden us whenever we come across the stories of lives lost because of lack to acess clean water.”
Chetachi, who is also a Deputy Governor of NYSC SDG CDS Group said she got to know about Gosa Kpanyi Kpanyi through a social worker who informed her about their need for water.
She narrated ordeal of the community to accessing water for their daily needs as she applauded her sponsors for the quick response.
“The borehole would ameliorate lack of access to clean water and eradicates water borne diseases.”
Head of Gosa Kpanyi Kpanyi Community, Chief Amos Gyiangbwa appreciated the efforts of the organisation adding that the borehole will provide access to clean and hygienic water for his people.
After the commisioning, he requested for a cup and drank from the borehole.
But a day after, AgroNature Nigeria visited the community to assess usage of the new borehole but realised it was under lock.
Some of the children reverted to the stream to fetch water since the borehole was under lock.
Few meters away from the small stream is a refuse dump and just by the hill, was a teenager openly defecating.
AgroNature eventually contacted the traditional ruler and persuaded him to unlock the tap.