Dadu: An Abuja community far from civilisation

By Editor on 04/03/2015

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As the vehicle veered onto the dusty road, the next 30 minutes’ drive seems farther than the over 40 kilometres drive from the city centre, no thanks to the deplorable road that links these four communities in Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Through the three Ijahs including Ijah Pada, Ijah Sarki to Bwolo, the road seems a bit friendly with only a fairly large portion of it washed away. The journey from Bwolo through Daka was no easier with many valley-shaped hollows and hills to overcome before gaining access to Dadu. 

Dadu, obviously far from civilisation, is one of the communities in Kwali Area Council left at the mercy of the residents with only a primary school which residents said is understaffed, the only government presence in the neglected community. 

If not for the truck ahead, no one would have thought a community exists in such planes. After some minutes’ dusty drive, heap of wood signals the presence of humans. While the women in the community trade in firewood, the men farm to make ends meet. 

The residents of Dadu, Yangoji ward of Kwali Area Council might be hard working but their challenges hardly allow them reap sweet dividends from their sweat, according to Samuel Kayeh who spoke on behalf of the community’s head, Mr Dauda Gomna. 

Though their plights are surmountable, they said they have little hope in the government helping them in that regard considering the many years of neglect they have suffered. 

“You are fortunate to reach here, during rainy season no vehicle or motorcycle can reach here,” said Kayeh, who added that the residents are in most cases cut off from other communities. 

While the road worries the men, lack of potable water tops the challenges of the women with the children left to make do with a single primary school while further education involves a long trek to Ijah, which has the nearest junior secondary school or a farther journey to Kwali to acquire senior secondary education. 
For years, they have been battling with these challenges, improvising in ways possible.

They have three streams in the community, with the cleanest water milky in colour instead of being colourless. In place of electricity, they have local lamps to illuminate their rooms at night. 

Health wise, they have only found herbal alternative to stomach ache, complication during child delivery and snake bites, though people still die from them. They said, they only applied the medicines guessing likely causes of illnesses. 

The absence of a health facility in the community has made life difficult for the residents, mostly the women. 

Speaking to Aso Chronicle, a resident, Hauwa Joseph, said they spend about three hours on the way to hospital in Kwali. Their only means of transportation is motorcycle, which they said costs hundreds of naira per trip aside medical bills. 

She added that pregnant women suffer the most because during pregnancy they have to go to Kwali for anti-natal care and any other medications necessary during the pregnancy. 

“During labour or any emergency, we have to go to Kwali as well, sometimes some women give birth on the way,” she said. 

She said the plight of the women do not end at child bearing, rather starts from it as postnatal care, immunisation and other medications for the new born becomes difficult because it all has to be obtained in Kwali, carrying the new baby on a motorcycle along the bad road. 

Safiya Joseph on her part considers lack of potable water the major threat to the health of the residents. The community has three streams with the cleanest not good enough to drink. While during the dry season, they are left with nothing to drink as the streams usually dry off. 

She said drinking from the streams comes with consequences. “We have to go to the stream to fetch water for all our activities. Cattle always mess up the water, but we have no choice than to drink it like that,” she said, adding that it has adverse effect on their health. 

Samuel Kayeh said: “When it is April and March we do not bath again.” He said during this period, water scarcity bites hard on the community with residents left with two options - to drink from the water or bath. So we only wash our hands and legs,” he said. 

He said the community of about 1000 inhabitant could do little to help the situation and called on government to remember them. 

Kayeh said several complaints have been made to the government but nothing has been done about it aside promises. 

Kayeh, who is one of the children of the community head, added that during chairmanship and councillorship elections, promises were reeled out but with nothing to show after the politicians have been voted into power. 

The residents bemoaned their situation, saying one can hardly say they are in the Federal Capital Territory.



Source Daily Trust

Posted on March, 4 2015

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