Gyang Bere, Jos
Two families from Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, have dug a motorized borehole in the Nghar community of Gashis District in Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State where people reportedly drink unsafe water from a stream with animals.
Bayo Balogun and Chisom Ezeocha, sponsors of the project, read a media account of the community which was attacked by herdsmen in June 2018, resulting in the murder of a number of people and the displacing of over 15,000 persons, devastating the community to the point that people have been forced to drink water with animals from the same source.
Commissioning the project on Thursday in Jos, Balogun and Ezeocha, who had never been to Plateau State, said the gesture came out of the desire to help needy.
‘We are deeply touched with the sad story of the devastated Nghar community which drinks water from the same source with animals after they had suffered bloody attacks.
‘To know what the community was facing, even though we do not know where the village is or the people, as Christians, we know the Nghar people are our brothers/sisters in Christ.
‘We have a common humanity and are compelled by our Father’s expectation in Matthew 25: 35 to help brethren in need,’ said the two donors on the project commissioning.
President of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Rev Dachollom Datiri, said the two donors, who are private-sector workers with no links to politics but Christian evangelism, have saved the lives of the women, children and others in the community.
Rev Datiri, who was represented at the commissioning by the COCIN Director of Information Communication Technology, Rev Davou Peter Jakawa, applauded the donors and individuals and groups who have the resources to also act to help the needy.
A little boy from the community had reportedly died on May 2nd due to typhoid believed to have contracted from the contaminated village water source.
Many other children, including two of the deceased boy’s siblings, have been diagnosed with varying water-related diseases, Daily Sun has learnt.
This was said to be what propelled the two donors to provide a motorized borehole in the community.
The village head of Nghar, Mr Mabitin Mallo, said security threats in the community are gradually reducing, but that the community still lack food and, prior to the installation of the borehole, a good source of drinking water.
He noted that before now, women used to compete with animals in the stream for drinking water as the shallow water source in the village usually dries following the raining season.
Mrs Sarah Joshua, a mother of six, narrated how she usually walks long distances to fetch water from the stream for her family, and expressed gratitude to the donors for saving their lives.
Plateau State Commissioner of Water Resources and Energy, Mr Saad Bello, who was represented by General Manager Plateau Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (PRUWASSA), Engr Peter Kassam, said without water, human survival is threatened.
‘A community that lacks access to clean drinking water often experiences less productivity due to time wasted seeking water and increased health challenges.’
He said the government has sunk over 600 boreholes in rural communities in the state but relies mostly on public-private partnership due to scarcity of resources.
The Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Hon Ezekiel Mandyau, said plans are underway to construct roads, bridges and clinics in the community and other surrounding villages.