REPORT OF A ONE DAY FIELD VISIT TO KUNCHI LOCAL GOVERNMENT ON WATER CHALLENGES SOME COMMUNITIES ARE FACING BY THE CENTRE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT (CITAD) ON THE 28TH OF MARCH, 2021
Water is one of the necessity for human lives and it challenges is making life difficult for many people and communities around the globe most especially in developing nations which Nigeria is included. For this reason, the United Nation set aside the 23rd of March of every year to highlights the importance of fresh water.
The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. It’s on this note that the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) on the 28th of March, 2021 constituted a media team and paid field visits to some of the communities that are in dare need of water in Kunchi Local Government of Kano State. The objectives of the visit was to:
- Assess the level of the challenges the communities are facing in terms of accessing water
- Gather some evidence and data that will be used to advocate to the concerned authorities, Philanthropies and Non-Governmental Organizations to come to the aid of the communities
iii. Bring the issue to the public notice so that necessary actions will be taken
The team started the visit with Gwalaide village of Gwarmai ward where more than 20 communities depended on a single well that was built for over 35 years by a philanthropy for their source of water. The communities according to the ward head of the Gwalaide village that are using the well are: Dagiri, Limamai, Kargo, Jodade, Gadango, Borin Zare, Madaka, Gwadama, Waire, Santa, Agalawa, Hayin Malamai, Kuku, Gidan Maigari, Gobirawa, Sabuwar Tasha, Tutawa, Jinjimawa, Baje Yola etc. According to the ward head of Gwalaide village, Malam Haruna Mai Unguwa Dan Zubairu these communities are coming to the well every day for over 30 years to get the water they would for their daily activities.
Also in our interview with a 65-year-old resident of the area, Malam Yahuza Muhammadu Yahuza of Kuku community narrated to the team that his community people are in dare need of water. He stated that every day he has to trek for more than 30 minutes and waited on the queue for 8-10 hours before he can get the water his family will use in that particular day. He continued in a cracked voice to mention that because of this problem they have for long stopped their children from going to schools in order for the children to fetch the water the family will use.
Another resident of the area, Malam Abdullahi Mustapha revealed to the team that this water challenge in the area has deprived the people of the communities many things; their children are not being able to go to schools, frequent diseases outbreaks in the area because they are using same water their animals are using and as Muslims, their women are no longer sitting indoors as prescribed by the Holy Qur’an because they have to come out too to help the family in getting the water and most of the times during Ramadan they used to force their children to break their fast in the day time due to the hardship they are facing in fetching the water. Malam Mustapha described the politicians in the area as deceivers and people with empty promises.
However, the team also visited another community in the Local Government, named Kwardagwallen Shuwaki of Shuwaki ward, the community is not more than 22 kilometres from the Local Government Headquarter.
This particular community has only one hand borehole which more than 10 communities relied on for their source of water. According to Malam Muhammad Umar, a resident of the community, thousands of people from the neighboring communities are every day trooping to get their daily water. He noted that the communities are in this difficult situation for a very long time but no one cares to come to their aid.
When he was asked whether they have ever complained to the government, Muhammad Umar said he could not remember how many times they have complained to the authorities but what they received every time is empty promises.
- The communities’ people are finding it difficult to access water
- Their children are not being able to go to schools
iii. Frequent disease outbreaks in the areas
- The communities’ people are using the same water their animals are using
- As Muslims, their women are no longer sitting indoors as prescribed by the Holy Qur’an because they have to come out too to help the family in getting the water
- During Ramadan, they used to force their children to break fasting in the day time due to the hardship they are facing in fetching the water
- Governments both at local and state levels should provide wells and boreholes in the areas
- Philanthropies and Non-Governmental Organizations to also help in the massive construction of boreholes and wells in the communities
iii. Government should build schools in the area
- Government should construct a road that connects these communities
- Civil Society Organizations to sensitize the communities’ people on the importance of community contributions