Lack of toilets facilities in schools, hospitals and communities is threatening the health care delivery services in Bauchi State.
New Telegraph observed this during a tour visit organised by Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) media Network, to three local government areas selected from each senatorial zone of the state.
New Telegraph observed that about 15 health facilities in Jama’are local government area in the northern zone of the state do not have access to sanitary facilities and to potable drinking water, thereby putting lives of the community at high risk of epidemic and short life expectancy.
Similarly, communities, schools and hospitals in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area from the southern zone of the state do not have access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Residents of these area practice open defecation and which they know is hazardous to their health and development but since the option of decent sanitary system is not given to them, they have become used to that absurd lifestyle.
Also, a visit to Dambam Local Government areas in the central zone discovered similar problem. The residents simply told New Telegraph that they could not feel government’s presence in their communities.
“We never knew government exists because we have never felt any their impact. So, if they (government) exist or not, we don’t know,” they chorused.
Speaking on behalf of eleven (11) communities that make up Janda districts in Dambam LGA, the village head, Alhaji Yakubu Isa, called for a quick intervention of government in the areas of potable water, health, sanitation and electricity in the area.
Alhaji Isa, also known as Sarkin Janda, explained that life has not been pleasant for the people of these communities.
“We lack access to potable water, hospital or primary health centres, light, and sanitary facilities. Janda has more than 2,000 people living in the 11 communities and our only source of water for the people and animals is a well dug in the area 40 years ago,” Sarkin Janda complained.
He added that, “we don’t have borehole here. The only one that we used to have was dug by a former member of state House of Assembly, who is late now, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko Japan. The borehole had even stopped working seven years ago. The present well we are using was dug during the regime of former President Shehu Shagari. The only existing health post at Janda was also established 40 years ago and had two personnel who man it.”
Muhammed Janda explained further that the hospital lacked medication, hospital consumables, and suffering from negligence by the government. He said that the health post lacked water, bedding, adequate drug supply, adding that there is always cholera outbreak annually in these communities due to lack of potable water.
In Lariye village in Jama’are Local Government Area, a visit by our correspondent and members of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) media Network, discovered that both Primary Health Care centres, Primary and Junior secondary schools sited in these areas have no toilet facilities and the existing one is not fit for human use.
Responding to the condition of these communities, the village head, Lariye Nasir, who was represented by one of the king makers, Alhaji Wakili, lamented the poor health facilities in their community.
Also speaking was the officer in charge of Lariye clinic, Dan’azumu Garba, who revealed that, out of 3,879 population of Lariye ward, 1,041 have malaria and 113 suffered from acute diarrhoea yearly.
He said that the facilities do not have toilets and water in the health centre.
Also in her words, woman leader, Lariye said, “some of us have toilets in our houses but the schools do not have toilets, and it has been like that for past four years. We don’t find it easy going out to defecate during rainy season especially if it is raining and one is so pressed to use a toilet. Then, we are faced with a dilemma of where to use.”
New Telegraph learnt that there are more than five communities in Jama’are that do not have access to potable drinking water and five primary schools do not have toilet facilities.
The communities without water are, Namaryam, Marke, Kayarda, Lugudi and Homfari. While the schools without toilet facilities include, Lariye, Jauro Babare, Buzuzu, Wanbiyo and Mbmahepta primary and junior secondary schools.
Health facilities without toilets are Jama’are, market clinic, Yolanda health post, Janbiri PHC, Sharobo health post, Baburti health post, Arawa health post, Marmanji clinic and Fetere health post. Others are Jurara PHC, Rarum maternity Lariye health clinic, Komoku maternity, Kunjeri health post and Yangami PHC.
New Telegraph also observed that in Kutaru Sabon Gari in Wai B ward in Tafawa Balewa LGA with a total population of about 1,500 people, practice open defecation and have only one hand borehole as their sources of water, thereby, putting members of the community at high risk of Malaria, Diarrhoea, typhoid and other communicable diseases.
The school in Kutaru is indescribable. The structure of the school looks dilapidated, students use plants and blocks to seat down for lessons while the whole community have one functional hand pump borehole.
Mrs. Denatu Yakubu, a member of the community told New Telegraph that it was very worrisome for them in the community once their children fall sick, because they do not have hospital near and around them. “If any of our family member is sick, we have to take them to Tafawa Balewa, a far distance to this our community, for treatment. In most cases, the patient dies before we could make it to that place.”
According to Mrs. Yakubu, she didn’t know it was part of their rights to demand for water sanitation and hygiene facilities from relevant authorities including politicians who are seeking for their votes.
The Team Leader of Network for Water and Sanitation in Nigeria (NEWSAN), a non-governmental organisation in Bauchi, Mr.Ezekiel Sukumun, said ahead of 2019 general election, his team has been going round sensitizing communities to vote only politicians that would provide water sanitation and hygiene facilities in their communities.
He said, communities have to vote only politicians who are committed WASH should be voted for improve socio-economic development.
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