The Firo community, located in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi, is about 25 kilometer away from Bauchi state capital, also served as a host community to Gubi Dam water plant project.
In this exclusive interview with some members of Firo village concerning the multi billion naira water plant project sited in their community, the Village Head of Firo Alhaji Abdulhamidu Abubakar say that, as a community they are thankful to God Almighty., “we are also thankful to Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed for demonstrating his patriotism within the shortage period of his administration for embarking on meaningful projects that have direct bearing to the common man especially a community like my own and the water project that has created employment to my people”.
He said, “water is life, and we are happy about any project embark on by government that would bring about development and progress of the people especially this water project that we are the immediate beneficiaries”.
According to him, the community are much lucky to have the projects sited in his community, saying that what excites him most is that laying the pipes line doesn’t affected members of his community much because they were inform and they follow all the rules and guidelines associated with the construction of the project.
Speaking on their expectations as a community, the 45- year-old village head, said they are always expecting good things from government. We are the first beneficiaries of this water project, we have been enjoying pump water many years back and we are still enjoying it.
Everywhere you go in this community you would see pump water running we have enough water and we are grateful to Bauchi State Government
On sources of water following the ongoing project, Abubakar said despites the fact that, project water never ceased in his community except if the company is carrying out some repairs at the main water plant.
He said as community they never faced challenges of water scarcity like other community do face but they have other needs that need to be addressed. He appreciates Governor Bala Mohammed for renovating Firo Primary and secondary schools that was destroyed by wind- storm saying the school is now inhabitable for human and for studies.
On road project, Abubakar said is ongoing but because of the heavy down, fall it has slow the construction of the road hoping that work will resume fully after the raining season “If we have any other thing that we can request government to do for us is the issue of renovation of our hospital.
We need a bigger hospital than what we are having currently now because even those working at the project site sometimes do have problems and this is the only hospital we have it need to be upgraded.
He said as community they are also facing challenges of chlorines gas when it escape and people inhale it, “it has being causing a lot of people to fall sick and taken them away to far away hospital it may be dangerous sometimes so we need a bigger hospital that would acomondate them here in Firo.
The village head of Firo who is married to three wives and 18 children told New Telegraph that workers are working day and night to ensure that the project is completed withing the stipulated time so that portable drinking water can be available in the state capital and it’s environ Also, Mrs Maimuna Abubakar, mother of 10 children and 20 grandchildren said Firo community is much happy about the ongoing water project.
She said, “I know the water project is meant to boost economic activities and also to reduce hardship of women especially those who go far away to fetch water, also reduce water born diseases that have ravaged must communities in the Bauchi State.
The 60-year-old grandmother, “we thank Bauchi State Governor for executing these huge projects in our community, we will continue to support his administration to succeed.” “I lived in Plateau State with my family before but because of the crises in Plateau we have to relocate to Firo village in Ganjuwa LGA of Bauchi and our sources of drinking water is from Gubi Dam water plant.
We don’t have problem of water but because of the ongoing project sometime we do have but it would not be long it will be repair back and put to use’.
We are calling on the government to hasten the completion of the water project which is of immense benefit to the host community and beyond.
The grandmother, also, lamented that the community have stayed for three years without electric light which was caused three years ago as a result of heavy windstorm that destroyed most of the connected polls
She, however, appealed to Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed as a matter of urgent need to fix the electricity challenge that has bedevilled Fro Community saying the community need light as they equaly need water “We want to enjoy like any other person living in the city, we need light to improve our petty businesses such as electric grinding machines, sewing and to watch television so that we be abreast with government activities.”.
Apart from the water project that sited in their community which they are much happy about it, Maimuna Abubakar further appealed to Bauchi State Government to renovate their dilapidated hospital which is at verge of collapse.””we need government to renovates our hospital or to construct a new one for us that would accomondate more people”.
On education, Maimuna said they are thankful to government because all their schools have been renovates and student are enjoying their studies without any hitches She also task government on job creation saying, “most of our children have graduated but have no jobs to do I am appealing to all stakeholders to help us reduce youth restiviness by giving them employment and engaging them on skills acquisition Fatima Aliyu Baba aged 11 years old of Firo village and JSS1 student told our correspondent that she was aware of all the government project in their community but what she needed most in her life is hospital, good road and improve education system
The composed 11 years old, expressed worries that the chemical used by contractors to kill germs and bacteria in the dam sometimes do escaped or leaked and have been affecting them negatively She said, “it has beeing causing problem in their community but we all know is for our own good”.
Fatima Baba said, ” I am aware of the water plant project sited in our community, we are happy about the project and I am also aware that some people don’t have access to portable drinking water like we do have in Firo that is why government is executing this project to provide water for them also and those who do not have access to water
She said, her mother gave birth to eight children and they are all living in the same house, according to her sometimes when the pump is faulty they used to drink well water and now that the project is in its peak both pump and well water do serve their purposes.
Gubi Dam was named by white men instead of Firo and the people are so eager to if the name would be rename to Firo but all effort have proved to abortive according to community members
They said Gubi name have gone far and beyond especially on loans, collected from world bank and many so changing the name it would affect many documents even though the community still want the name to be change.