Water project easing lives in Kano community
By Yushau Abdulwasiu
For several years, 12-year-old Idris Yakub maintained a familiar routine every morning – trek about a kilometre to fetch water before setting out for school, most times late.
Sometimes, Mr Yakub, who often embarks on the journey with his mother, comes back without water and is often late for school. His experience mirrors the reality of residents of Tudun Wada and other nearby communities in the Nasarawa Federal Constituency of Kano State.
"Many times, I was banned from entering class until I was punished before I could be let into the classrooms,” Mr Yakub said, adding that he wasn’t considered for the Prize of Most Punctual Student, which his school regularly doles out.
A water project was initiated in Tudun Wada in 2022, and this changed his story for good.
In 2022, Nassir Ahmed, a lawmaker representing Nasarawa Federal Constituency at the federal House of Representatives initiated the provision of solar-powered boreholes as part of his yearly constituency project.
The project was awarded to McTogad Limited by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President (OSSAP) for N53 million.
The project was sited in three different areas of the Tudun Wada community.
The completed project has saved Mr Yakub from the stress of fetching from a long distance and missing his classes.
A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2021 during World Water Day, notes that more than 1.42 billion people, including 450 million children, are living in areas of extremely high water vulnerability. This means that 1 in 5 children worldwide do not have enough water to meet their everyday needs.
"Sustainable and equitable access to safe drinking water remains a challenge in Nigeria, with over 86 per cent of Nigerians lacking access to a safely managed drinking water source. The problem is compounded by poor drinking water quality and a lack of equity in access. Although, about 70 per cent of Nigerians are reported to have access to basic water services, more than half of these water sources are contaminated," the report stated.
UDEME gathered that these solar-powered boreholes were located in three different areas in Tudun Wada, Nasarawa Federal Constituency of Kano State. Apart from the two located in the Tudun Wada community, the remaining one was found at their community mosque serving the worshippers. The project is under the 2022 Zonal Intervention Project.
The reporter, who visited in April also noticed that the projects in the community were well executed with the provision of big tanks bearing the picture of the facilitator.
Two of the boreholes have four dispensing taps each while the one serving the mosque has three dispensing taps. Other accessories include solar power gadgets that are being used to pump the water and the signpost which contain information about the project.
Nura Jajira said the community decided one of the boreholes be dug in the mosque to provide water for worshippers who initially suffered a lack of water for ablution.
"The mosque's borehole is open all the time, especially during each prayer time for people to perform ablution", Mr Jajira said.
After the completion of the project, around February 2022, it was handed over to the elders of the community, and the elders thereafter handed it over to Yusuf Jumu'ah, a resident of the community.
Mr Jumu'ah spoke briefly about how he runs the borehole on behalf of the community.
"I use to open it every day, either in the morning or afternoon for people to fetch. A few months ago, the wire we used to connect one of the boreholes has been (got) destroyed twice, which the money was contributed by the residents of the community to repair it and since then, it has been working perfectly," Mr Jumu'ah told UDEME.
Abdullahi Muhammed, who manages the second borehole added that whenever the borehole has a fault, the head of each house in the community contributes money according to the amount needed for the repair.
Boreholes serving community
During UDEME's visit to the project, the residents of the Tudun Wada and other nearby communities like Tudun Murtala and Kawo were busy fetching water from the boreholes.
Aminu Sadisu, an old man in the community, said the boreholes have been an instrument of relief to the people of this community. In fact, we are enjoying it, and it has also eased the scarcity of water.
"I can't believe water can be so surplus like this in our community. We are very grateful for the installation of the boreholes. The project is serving the community well," he said.
Like Mr Sadisu, Abubakar Musa, a resident of the Tudun Murtala community, said the project has eased the water scarcity.
Khali Sadiyah, a mother of three children said the solar boreholes have completely made life very easy ‘for us in the community unlike before.’
The majority of residents interviewed said the water is very good and clean. While some drink and use it for all household needs, others seek other sources for drinking.
When contacted, Hon. Nassir's Personal Assistant, Rabiu Ibrahim, said the borehole was constructed with a proper survey to ensure the water is drinkable.
"All the surveys that were carried out came out positive," he said.