Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Residents of some rural communities in Osun State rolled out drums recently to celebrate infrastructural development being witnessed through the interventions of the Osun Agency for Community and Social Development Project (CSDP).
The World Bank-assisted agency, whose major preoccupation is rural transformation and development, has completed different projects in several communities. The agency’s interventions inspired provision of infrastructural projects such as transformers for electricity supply, potable water, renovation of schools, road rehabilitation to aid transportation of food produce and goods, and building of civic centres.
The CSDP manager, Mrs. Funmi Abokede, said the agency was established to assist development in rural areas. At Oke-Alfa, Arifa, Oke Odi and Courage communities in Isokan Local Government Area, the chairman, Mr. Oladeji Olaiya, said: “The intervention of the CSDP through electricity supply after installing a 300KVA transformer of over N5 million has saved our communities from 10 years’ blackout. In fact, the light has improved the economy of the villages because we can now engage in small businesses that require power and a live a meaningful life.”
Chairman, Development Project Management, Keke Aboto community, Ede North LGA, Rauf Adedeji, lauded the CSDP for spending N6,533,730 to complete infrastructural projects in the area, while the community people contributed N725,590 as counterpart funding of the projects: “We thank God for the completion of the projects. We appreciate CSDP and the state government.”
The Oribami Vulnerable Group, Awokekere, Iwo Local Government Area, lauded the installation of an oil palm extracting machine as well as the drilling and reticulation of borehole in the village: “These have boosted our oil production. We used to hire labourers to fetch water for us from the Odo-Oba River at a very high charge because the river is very far.
“But now that we have boreholes around, we can save the money for other things. Also, the oil palm extracting machine has boosted our palm kernel production without much stress.”
The borehole provided for the people of Osi Abanla, a village in Ife South Local Government, has brought joy to them as they have overcome the problem of lack of potable water.
Chairman, Osi Abanla Community Development Association, Chief Gabriel Adefisan, said: “In the past, my people used to battle with different kinds of illnesses caused by the drinking of dirty water, but we no longer have such challenge since we got a borehole. We tasked ourselves in the community to raise the sum of 258,738.50 and the Osun CSDP agency assisted us with 2,328,646.50. We were able to construct the borehole by ourselves.”
Residents of Eyingun in Atakunmosa East Local Government Area are currently enjoying electricity supply through the CSDP electrification project. They contributed N565,310,80 while CSDP paid N5,653,100,00 to carry out the project.
Janet Olaleye spoke on behalf of the Community Development Association: “Many of our young men who left the village to other communities to do businesses have returned home and are happily engaging in businesses here in Eyingun.”
“I am Kabiru Adegun. I am 34 years old. I left Eyingun for Ilesa for many years due to lack of electricity. But I am back now that the CSDP has assisted us.
“Government does not even know if a community like ours (Eyingun) exists on the map of Osun State. But through our relentless efforts and the Osun CSDP, things are beginning to turn around better for us. We can now transact business with other traders from neighbouring communities. Our poverty level has started reducing.”
At Oke-Bode, the CSDP Project Committee Chairman and Mayegun of Oke-Bode, Chief Lawal Isiaka, said: “Oke-Bode is now moving towards modernisation which will attract indigenes of the community back home to use the centre wedding, naming ceremonies, religious programmes among others.”
Spinal cord injury patients residing in Edu-Abon in Ife North LGA also joined in the celebration for the Spinal Cord Centre built for them. Olayemi Adeleye spoke on their behalf: “Many spinal cord patients have died of depression because they could not get proper treatment. Many of them were totally abandoned by their families and friends.”
They, however, appealed to Governor Gboyega Oyetola to intensify support programmes for them by providing them employment and empowerment programmes as dividends of democracy.