By Muhammad Rabiu Jibrin (Mr. J)
Before his election victory in 2019, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya and his team garnered at hand the nitty-gritty of the development needs and priorities of the masses across the state. This necessitated the conduction of a needs assessment study to evaluate the availability, functionality of basic infrastructure and services across the 114 wards of the state. The assessment outcome made the state government consider health, education, security, agriculture, and rural development as its core priority sectors. However, despite its strides that yielded remarkable developmental projects, some stones remain unturned at Komi village of Funakaye North constituency of Gombe State. Hence, the community people cry for the government’s intervention.
The Komi maternity health care has been in a state of despair. This will lead to an increase in the maternal mortality rate if it has not been addressed. The refurbishment of the maternity will surely ease the health-related hardship that stroke the community. Moreover, it will help towards the actualisation of goal three (3) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aspires to “ensure health and well-being for all”, seeing to the possibility of bringing to end tuberculosis, epidemics of AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases etcetera by 2030.
Education remains the pillar upon which every roof of socioeconomic mobility of any nation rests. It is an exit from abject poverty. Any country that wants to prosper in it, it must invest. This includes the provision of a suitable atmosphere for learning, qualified teachers and infrastructural materials.
With the current situation of the “Komi Primary School”, the “Quality Education” as the goal four (4) of the SDGs is not attainable. Learning is no longer possible. The zincs are no longer there, and the floor turned to carpet grass. As such, the government’s failure to rehabilitate the dilapidated building could be seen as a denial of education to the pupils, which is a form of “social Injustice” as Ibrahim Sulaiman once said: “A nation is unjust and tyrannical if it closes the door of academic and moral development to some children because their parents are poor and of no consequence. Denial of education to a child is perhaps the gravest and far-reaching of social injustices.”
The well water and earth dam were the only two sources that the Komi community rely on for survival. They only taste the taste of pure water (if it is) during the rainy season. Over decades, lack of drinking water has been a significant catastrophe bedevilling the area. As law-abiding subsistent farmers, they virtually sell off their farm produce during the dry season to buy water. A 25-litre jerrican costs them N70 to N100.
People from afar migrated to the area due to its fertile land for farming, but lack of drinking water forced them to leave. The wells dry up annually in early February, and they all shift to the earth dams for a month and some weeks before it goes off. The earth dams no longer hold water due to colluvium. In trying to solve their problems, they put all hands on deck and dug an earth dam using hoes, shelves, diggers, among others, at few steps out of the southern part of the village.
This has been the life circle of the Komi community. The pathetic thing is that they no longer look for boreholes and so on to see how neglected they have been. Instead, they clamour only for the government to desilt their earth dams to use them before the rainy season. When should these people be rescued? When would their earth dams hold water throughout the dry season?
Muhammad Rabiu Jibrin (Mr J) writes from Gombe. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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