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30 years after: A bailout from darkness, acute water shortage

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30 years after: A bailout from darkness, acute water shortage

 

 

The month of May, 2019 will forever remain memorable in the consciousness of residents of Orita community in Eruwa, Ibarapa East local government area of Oyo State, as the World Bank and the State through its agency, Oyo State Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA), procured a 500 KVA transformer for the community.

The residents had been living in darkness for past 30 years until the intervention. They also enjoyed provision of other projects including: a unit of motorised borehole, renovation and equipping of school dinning-hall, and construction of a block of six units VIP toilets.

 

The projects which have since lifted the socio-economic status of the community, according to Hon. Olusiji Oyinlola, Chairman of the Community Project Management Committee (CPMC) which executed the projects, gulped over N8million. He however disclosed that the community contributed 10 per cent of the total cost before the Oyo state government and World Bank lent financial support to the community.

Expressing appreciation to the World Bank and state government for ensuring developmental strides in the community, Oyinlola who shared the experience of the residents before the intervention of the CSDA in the community with New Telegraph, said it was a big problem before now. According to him, “Many of the residents, especially the artisans, usually move out of the community because of the poor power supply, but now, many of them are returning to the area because our light is the best in the entire Eruwa land.

 

On the water provision, he said that water was a serious problem for the people of the community before now. “Our people travel for more than two kilometers before they could get drinking water, but now that we have our community water, we can fetch water at will.

The Chairman of the Landlords association in the community, Adewole Emmanuel also said in his remark that the issue of power supply in the area was a serious problem before the intervention, adding that solving water challenges which seemed impossible before had brought a great relief.

According to him, “We had started planning of getting good water and transformer in our community since 1994. We talked to many politicians and associations without a positive solution. In fact, many people had fallen ill, while many have died because of poor water consumption. But when we heard about CSDA, we applied and its management invited us to a meeting where we sealed the deal.

“Today, our people are now enjoying good water and a constant power supply. Many people who had left our community for others are now coming back. Thanks to the management of World Bank and CSDA for their support,” he said.

The Secretary of the management committee of the project, Abiodun Olaosegbe, said life was miserable for residents of the community before the intervention, “but today, the story has changed because our people need not travel far before they could get drinkable water,” he said.
Also a resident, Mrs. Oladiran Funmilayo, relieved her experience, saying that before now, women endangered their lives by traveling far to scout for water, even in a thick forest where it is dangerous to walk at night, since it is a must for them to get water to prepare food. “First of all, let me thank the Oyo State government and World Bank for their support towards this community. Before now, we traveled for over two kilometers to get water but today, as you can see, I can fetch water in front of my house; at my comfort zone. Also, the light was not good for many years but today, the light is very full and constant,” she said.

The VIP toilets built for school of the deaf and blind in the community was also a project immensely appreciated. The Acting Principal of the school, Mrs Adebisi Folasade, said before the intervention, there were no chairs for the pupils to study while the pupils were defecating in the bush. “We thank the World Bank and the Oyo State government for these great projects,” she said.

Speaking on the VIP toilet, Adewole also said, “the pupils used to defecate in the bush before the intervention of the world bank and the Oyo state government. You know they are deaf and blind, and it was always difficult for them to cope if there are no enough social amenities.

 

That was why we opted for toilet and renovation of their multipurpose hall. The toilet had also generated employment opportunity for our people because we employed people who will be responsible for maintaining the toilets.

“The projects also create employment opportunities for our people because we have somebody managing the water. The community also employed another person monitoring the transformer and the toilet. They have been managing it effectively,” he said.

Residents of Temidire, Ogbomosho, in Surulere local government area of Oyo State who alleged that politicians in the state had neglected the area, thereby making life miserable for the people, have also have a course to rejoice.

The residents under the umbrella of Community Project Management Committee (CPMC) had lamented poor road network, poor power supply and even unavailability of drinkable water in the community.

The Chairman of the CPMC in the community, Olajide Funsho John, who spoke on behalf of the community, commended the World Bank, Oyo state government and the State Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA) for their prompt intervention.

Among the projects provided for the community are: installation of 500 KVA transformer, drilling of three units boreholes in three different locations, two blocks of Science laboratory at Omobate community High School, Ajaawa, construction of examination hall at Ibere community High School, drilling of Mono-pump and motorized borehole, and a block of three classrooms at Iroo Community Grammar School, Iro.

 

Speaking, Olajide said, “Our politicians are wicked. They neglected us in Ogbomosho land. We requested for water project here but they turned us down. In fact, one of them who live very close to this community told us that he didn’t know that we don’t have light in this community. But we thank God that CSDA and the World Bank came to our rescue.”

An octogenarian who doubled as a former Chairman of the landlord association, Rev. Nathaniel Ajayi, who described the experience of the residents in the past as “pathetic”, said the intervention of the CSDA and the World Bank was timely.

He said before the intervention, women found it difficult to get drinkable water, stressing that “Our experience in the past was terrible. As you can see, I am an old man. I know all the story of this community and I can tell you it was not easy for us. We thank the state government, CSDA and the World Bank”.

Another resident, Adebayo Oyewunmi, faulted politicians who are representing the community at the State and National Assemblies for neglecting the community, said, “I think the challenges we are having have to do with the poor performance of those representing us at the National Assembly and State Assembly. Many of them have boreholes in their houses and they cannot allow us to fetch from there. We thank God we can now have portable water to drink,” he said.

 

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