From Gyang Bere, Jos
For several decades, access to potable water was one of the challenges confronting the inhabitants of Kanam, Kanke and Pankshin local government areas of Plateau State.
The challenge posed serious threats to the villagers that led to deaths due to frequent outbreak of cholera and other diseases.
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The communities had in the past relied on several unsafe sources of drinking water, including streams where people scrambled for water with animals for domestic use.
In most of the communities, women wake up as early as 4am, strap their babies on the back and trek several kilometres in search of drinking water. Their idea was to get to the stream first before the arrival of animals that also drink water from the same source.
Interestingly, the situation changed recently with the massive intervention of Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi, member representing Pankshin, Kanke, Kanam Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, with the provision of motorized boreholes in the constituency.
Gagdi, who is chairman of the House Committee on Navy, noted that water was an indispensable element for the sustenance and survival of humans in the society and free access to water would better the living conditions of the people.
A beneficiary of the water project from Kabwir ward in Kanke Local Government Area, Daniel Sati, expressed gratitude to the lawmaker for providing water to his people and said that has saved his people from a lot of life-threatening diseases such as cholera.
“In my community of Kapka in Ampair District in Kanke, he sanm a borehole in a place where alot of boreholes were sank in the past but couldn’t get water but this one is very functional and supplies enough water to the people and the community is very happy.
“For those who know Ampair, it has been in shortage of water supply because of the rocky terrain. The people don’t usually have water during the dry season and the major sources of water was the ponds and streams where we drink water with animals.
“In this same stream, animal drink and pass their dung there, people wash clothes and take their bath there and also fetch the water for domestic use, which is not healthy for the people.
“But what he has done has not only helped the community but has saved the people from killer diseases and other dangerous infections. I remember that cholera has killed alot of people in this community due to lack of safe drinking water and poor hygiene.
“Our people are happy, particularly women, the situation has improved life and that is what the delegates in Kanke gave him their votes to ensure he secures a return ticket to the National Assembly.”
Also, a 43-year-old mother of four, Martha Yakubu from Pankshin Local Government Area was full of appreciation over the borehole sanm in her community.
Martha said women and children in the community usually trekked long distances to fetch water and sometimes in the night, which has led to the death of some persons.
She noted that, with the borehole, the pains and agony of women in respect to safe drinking water has ended. Sbe caution people in the community to ensure maintenance culture for the facility to serve them for a long time.
“We are very glad that we now have safe drinking water in our community which was provided by Yusuf Gagdi. This project, to us, is more than anything you could give us because it has end our decades of water challenges,” she said.
In Kanam LGA, the people were also full of excitement. Hajiya Mairo Adamu expressed joy over the borehole and said it would save lives and prevent outbreak of cholera.
“We are happy because they say water is life, and our member has given us life because people died in the past because of cholera due to lack of clean water and today we have it in abundance,” she stated.
However, Gagdi has not only provided water but paid WAEC and NECO fees of indigents students on Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam local government areas worth N100 million.
He issued the a cheque of N100 million in Pankshin local government area through the Elders Advisory Committee with.
Gagdi explained that he was not doing the intervention programmes for the people to returned him to the National Assembly but as his responsibility as a worthy representative for service to God and humanity.
He said: “We had promised the people of Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam that we will pay WAEC and NECO fee for all students in the constituency, amounting to N160 million. But today we are presenting a cheque of N100 million to the elders of the constituency advisory committee headed by Nde John Gobak for them to commence the repayment of students who had paid.
“We will also issue another cheque of N60 million for them to settle the WAEC and NAPTEC examination for all the students in public and private schools, including missionary schools in the constituency. This was to ensure that the children of less privileged persons also access education and fulfil their dreams in life.”
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