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In need of potable water

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In need of potable water

Gaduji village in Kirfi Local Government Council of Bauchi State has been identified as the poorest in times of access to potable, safe drinking water as a result of poor nature of its soil.

Kirfi LGA falls within the other seven local governments of state that are not covered by Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) and according to 2015 report on water, the eight LGAs lacks access to potable water.

Speaking to New Telegraph exclusively, Programme Officer, Mr. Nichol Kankani, said that water supply in Bauchi state is not bad.

According to him, about 60 per cent of the population in Bauchi State have access to potable drinking water but only 13 per cent have water in their premises while others have to trek distances to get water from solar or hand pump boreholes.

Kankani said 39 per cent of Bauchi population have no access to potable drinking water in Bauchi State according a joint research they undertook in 2015.

He said government was doing its best to reach other LGAS that are not covered by SHAWN which include, Tafawa Balewa, Kirfi, Shira, Jama’are, Itas Gadau, Dambam, Giade and Misau. The program officer further explained that why the case of Ganduji village in Kirfi LGA was that there is no presence of government in Ganduji, no water, health facility and the people of the area have to trek 15 kilometres away from their homes to get water from a well.

He said: “In the past, government have made efforts to provide water for them but due to the nature of their soil, it did not give them opportunity to access potable water”.

He also attributed lack of water in Bauchi communities to indiscriminate immigrants and poor management of government facilities by community members.

He said it was high time for governor to take the issue of water and sanitation very seriously, so that communities would be free from water borne diseases.

When contacted for his comment on water, Daura Yusuf, a resident of Rafin Zurfi suburb of Bauchi metropolis, said that during rainy season, it is difficult to differentiate between scarcity and availability of water because most people have wells in the houses and reservoir to store water for family use.

He said that it would be difficult to identify communities presently passing through shortage of water, saying that such research should be done at the peak of dry season for accurate result.

He said most communities presently have access to water but lack access to potable drinking water, sighting Yelwa community in Bauchi.

Also speaking to New Telegraph, Samuel Luka, a resident of Wunti Dada community, within Bauchi metropolis, said that, most of the boreholes in his area were grounded, which has led them to hardship and access to potable, safe drinking water.

“We used to have a solar powered borehole during the first tenure of Malam Isa Yuguda in office but now, they have been grounded. They are not functional now. That is why we rely on few hand pump borehole available to us which is often inadequate once student of ATAP are on session.”

Luka explained that, one of the challenges facing the community that resulted to shortage of water, apart from the population of the community, was the large number of students of ATAP resident in Wunti Dada, saying most of the students reside outside the school campus as a result of inadequate hostel accommodation in the institution.

He said: “Whenever, the students are in session, we use to have problem of water”.

According to Luka, the community encountered problem of water mostly during dry season because of the population unlike rainy season where people collect water when it is raining and store for usage.

“I think government should do well to provide more boreholes within that vicinity because of the growing number of students coming to ATAP for studies, so that it could ease our suffering. We also need pipe borne water to complement the existing hand pump boreholes that we have.”

On the part of government, the Bauchi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) said it was set to construct 770 hand pump boreholes in seven Local Government Councils of the state to reduce the shortage water currently faced by communities.

Alhaji Garba Babaji, Permanent Secretary, RUWASSA, who spoke with our correspondent, said that the project was part of government’s policy of opening up and improving standard of living in rural areas.

He explained that the project was part of the ongoing Sanitation, Hygiene and Water-project in Nigeria (SHAWN) implemented in the state. The benefiting Local Government Areas includes, Toro, Bauchi, Shira, Katagum, Gamawa, Ganjuwa and Zaki.

“Government will continue to engage the populace as it implements the projects that have positive bearing on their lives.

“The project will increase access to safe drinking water, improve hygiene and basic sanitation in rural areas.”

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