Published On: Fri, May 29th, 2020

Excited Plateau Rural Community Celebrates First Borehole

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News Investigators/ Residents of Nghar, a rural community in Barkin Ladi Local Government of Plateau, on Friday trooped to the village square to celebrate the first borehole ever sunk in the community.
The villagers, who said they had shared their only source of water – a stream – with animals over the years, expressed disbelief as water gushed from the borehole donated by one Bayo Balogun and his friend, Chisom Ezeocha.
The duo, from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had donated the facility after learning that the community was loosing members to waterborne diseases.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the village, which was displaced by violent attacks in June 2018, was resettled in December 2019 after internally displaced persons camps were closed down.
A visibly elated Mabitin Mallo, the Village Head, told NAN that security challenges had reduced, but regretted that the lack of clean water had constituted a major threat to the lives of his subjects.
“The shallowest water well in the village is 25 feet deep, an unusual depth for a hand-dug well, but in spite of that depth, the wells dry up before December, forcing villagers to source for water from a stream several miles away.
“The stream is shared with animals, miners, open launderers and bathers.
“To avoid infections, the villagers sometimes dig craters in sand near the flowing stream, and fetch from it,” he said.
A mother of six, Sarah Joshua told NAN that the borehole was ”a gift from God”.
“Apart from the long distance, the road to the stream is terrible.
“We suffer a lot to get to the stream, but the water from there is not good for human consumption, unfortunately for us, it is the only source of water. We thank God for this intervention,” she said.
She prayed God to continue to bless the donors for the gesture which she described as “life saving”.
The donors, who spoke with NAN, said that they were moved to action by a report indicating that a boy from the community died of typhoid believed to have been contracted through the water.
“When the news of the boy’s death was published, we were deeply touched.
“Even though we did not know the village or its people, we felt, as Christians, that we must assist the people of Nghar since they were our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“We have a common humanity and are compelled by God’s words to help brethren in need,” the donors said, shortly after inaugurating the project.
Plateau water resources and energy commissioner Saad Bello, in a remark at the project’s inauguration ceremony, regretted the lack of clean water in many rural communities in the state.
He said that the lack of access to clean water had often affected productivity as much time is sunk into seeking water and attending to health challenges caused by the water is usually bad.
The commissioner, who was represented by Peter Kassam, General Manager, Plateau Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (PRUWASSA), announced that the state government had sunk 600 boreholes in rural communities across the state.
He said that government had relied mostly on public-private partnership to achieve the feat due to scarce resources.
The President of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Dacholom Datiri, who also spoke at the ceremony, urged Nigerians to emulate the Christlike gesture of the donors.
Datiri, a reverend represented by COCIN Director of Information Communication Technology, Davou Jakawa, said that the donors were both private sector workers with no links to politics.
“Their sole goal is to save lives. This is commendable,” he said.
Chairman, Barkin-Ladi Local Government, Ezekiel Mandyau in a remark, said that plans were underway to provide roads, bridges and clinics in the community and other surrounding villages. (NAN)

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