By Beauty John, LAFIA
The importance of water to human existence cannot be over emphasized, from agriculture to thermoelectricity/energy, transportation, recreation, industry/commerce and most importantly, drinking among others.
It is no longer news that some parts of the country are faced with lack of clean and drinkable water.
In Giza community, Keana local government area of Nasarawa state, it is not a different case as the community is facing acute shortage of drinkable water, even though this is a basic amenity that every community is expected to have.
Residents of Giza community have cried out as about 10 people so far have died and scores hospitalized as a result of water borne disease in their community.
Some of those affected are currently receiving medical treatment at Dahaltu Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia, and in some primary healthcare centers in Keana and Giza respectively.
Speaking with Journalists who visited the area, the residents revealed that they drink from the same water source with crocodiles and cattle.
As unpleasant as it may seem, it was further revealed that some of the women have to visit the river as early as 4:00am in order to get water for drinking, cooking and other domestic chores.
In an interview with newsmen during the visit, the Chairman of Keana Local Government Council, Adamu Adi Giza confirmed the situation.
Visibly saddened by the turn out of events despite his effort to provide clean and drinkable water for his constituency, the chairman assured that he will not relent until he is able to meet the needs of his people.
The chairman who revealed that his administration has been able to provide two boreholes in the community, however noted that they are not enough to solve the water scarcity problem of the community dwellers.
He confirmed that typhoid has been been a major health challenge in the community.
“Apart from typhoid which has been identified after killing so many people, we have the case of guineaworm which has affected many people.
“As leader, I am not sleeping, to ensure that there is no more casualty by providing good sources of water to the people,” he added.
On his part, a second class traditional ruler in the community, Sangari Giza, HRH, Alhaji Umaru Elegu Abu II, appealed to the federal government to revisit the abandoned dam project with a view to completing the project for the benefit of the people.
“When we heard that Giza is one of the communities that the government will build a dam for, we were all happy because of the acute shortage of water, but all of a sudden it was abandoned and we don’t know the reason,” the chief said.
The Sangarin Giza who confirmed that he was a victim of guineaworm disease called on the state government to compliment the effort of the local government council chairman by providing industrial boreholes for the people.
The Chief revealed that the dam project commenced about five years ago but had since been abandoned, noting that if completed will not only solve the lingering scarcity of water, but also give room for irrigation farming as 90% of the residents are farmer.
Mr Usman Abu, a Permanent Secretary with ministry of education, disclosed that he lost his younger brother, Abu Sanusi to typhoid recently.
A resident of the community and also a secondary school teacher, Azigye Abubakar disclosed that “apart from five persons he knows personally, several others have died due to the strange water related diseases.
“Not less than five persons mostly young boys, graduates, have died. The most recent one is Abu Sanusi popularly known as Yobo, one boy called TT, Abubakar Alakai, Samson Ofoku amongst others have been killed. These are the deceased l can mention for now that died as a result of suspected water disease.
“Others are in the hospital in Lafia Specialist known as DASH. If you go to our clinic here, some are there. Our major problem in Giza is lack of water. I was born here, thirty five years ago and I grew up to meet the water problem.
“Our main source of water, is a river called Giza and there are crocodiles there. That is where all the people of this town go, fighting for water, especially during dry season,” he added.
According to him, Fulani herders often come with their cattle also to the bank of the river to drink.
Abubakar, while soliciting for the intervention of the state government disclosed that of the about 10 Boreholes in the community, only two are currently functioning.
PROMPT NEWS reports that on Wednesday, 21st of October, 2020, the Nigerian Military donated five boreholes, one each to five communities in Nasarawa state namely; Ayaragu and Gidinye in Obi Local Government Area; Agudu, Kadarko and Giza in Lafia and Keana Local Government Areas.
Although Giza happened to be one of the benefiting communities, more boreholes are needed to solve the water scarcity in that community.