Several communities in Benue state are currently facing scarcity of clean and safe water, with residents testifying that people die on a daily owing to the intake of contaminated water.
Reports by CableNews confirmed that residents of these communities dig shallow pits just to get dirty drinking water: a situation that could make one thank God for what many believe is a common natural resource.
Most worrisome, not just are these communities facing scarcity of clean water, they are also facing the scarcity of the contaminated water.
An elderly woman in one of the communities (Agasha) identified as Mama cried out saying, ” Every day I come here and see the water dried up, it makes me cry. ”
Another, identified as James, an elderly resident of Agasha said, ” Now, not only do we use dirty water, it is not enough for everyone. To have water at all for your daily usage, you will have to wake up around 3am to join a long queue.
” Although the wells dug in some compounds provide cleaner water to the residents, they dry up once the rainy season is over.
” And when that happens, we usually fall back on swampy areas for water. That’ s where diseases like the one that made me blind come from. ”
The chairman of the water, sanitation and hygiene committee (WASHCom) in Agasha who goes by the name Mike Igber recalled how the military once donated a hand pump borehole to the community but it stopped working a long time ago with no help regarding an attempt to fix it.
Mike noted that the saddest tale is that no state government in the last 50 years has ever done anything about the community’ s water problem.
This has been the root causes of several diseases in these communities as people do nothing but live up to their fate.
In Ipaav community, which faces the same sad situation, one Joseph Agibee Terlumun who is the community spokesperson, noted that it’ s disheartening watching the residents drink the water.
Joseph said, ” I was born in this community just as my father was. Though, I wouldn’ t know how long this community is; but I can state categorically that I have never seen any government agencies here.
” We use this water to bathe, cook, wash our plates and clothes. In short, we use it for everything water is used for because we don’ t have any other water. It is this one we drink most of the time because going to someone else’ s well could result in insults being hurled on you; so we resolved to manage our own water. ”
This is a cause for concerns as several other communities in Benue state face this terrible situation.
What’ s your opinion? What do you think about this situation and the government’ s inaction?