Pauline Onyibe, Yenagoa
As a means of making her enjoy her old age even though it didn’t come early, some members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) and some philanthropists have contributed to build a one-room modernised traditional home for Madam Tungboere Pondissse, a 95-year-old woman in Amassoma community, Bayelsa State.
The Nonagenarian, who has three children was living in a deplorable mud house apartment without roof, door and widows before luck smiled her way.
Her three children, two male and one female, who are also aged and poor were also managing to take care of their own homes.
Handing over the house to mama, Architect Ere Efeke, the initiator of the project said that the building of the house was made possible by the support of some members of the institute and philanthropists.
Efeke, who is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for
Transport in Bayelsa State, noted that the initiative was to give the helpless and homeless woman a home.
He said: “I visited here in April, because I decided to use my salary for the month as COVID-19 palliative for the poorest of the poor in my community, Amassoma.
“I saw the woman because her name was in my list. On that day, I was moved with pity. Her dilapidated mud house was not different from living outside as it was riddled with gaping holes which could not prevent cold, mosquitoes, or even snake attacks.
“Each time it rains, she suffers severe cold as major parts of the zinc covering the thatched house were leaking, coupled with the fact that some parts of the mud house had already crumbled.
I am happy, today; Mama will sleep in her furnished house.”
On building the house with mud instead of blocks, Efeke explained that the modernised traditional mud house is called “Wattle and Daub” and special to Ijaw culture.
He narrated: “This house will revive the dying Ijaw culture in architecture and civil engineering. This is a traditional architecture, well planned and very strong because it is far different from other mud buildings.
Mr Collins Pondie, the woman’s son who spoke on behalf of mama said he was grateful to the Initiator, the Nigeria Institute of Architects and philanthropists that contributed to provide shelter for his mother.
Hear him “It has been long she has been sleeping in the open space with a two inches flat matrass. We thank them very much for giving my mother’s life a meaning and I pray that God will continue to bless them.”
The one room apartment with modern roofing is furnished with chairs, table, a flat-screen TV and a fully paid pay-tv decoder.