From Abel Leonard, Lafia
Residents of Gbata community in Wamba Local Government, Nasarawa State, can now heave a sigh of relief from the agony of lack of potable water. Before now, the quest for potable water in the community was been one hell of an experience.
Children, youth and mothers, some of whom are widows, aged and fragile, had had to daily trek very long distance, to fetch water for their domestic needs. On many occasions, the search would take a damning toll on the home front school attendance.
However, all these are over now. Respite has finally come their way for good. All thanks to the creative and enterprising initiative of 75-year-old widow, Zainab Ishaku, also known as “Mama”
How did she do it? Five years of a non-functional borehole, coupled with watching the people suffer from search for potable water was just too much for her to bear and absorb. That got her to wear her thinking cap all over again. The outcome is all smiles.
Mama, who is the leader of the women group in the community, mobilised 20 women y to save a part of their N5,000 Conditional Cash Transfer monthly payment from the Federal Government. The money realised from their savings was put together. Today, the abandoned borehole is back and running.
Mama told Daily Sun that she was inspired to make this difference considering the hardship she suffered searching for water as a young woman. She introduced a local thrift fund and mobilised the women to save N2,000 each from their N5000 to fund the rehabilitation of the borehole.
When Daily Sun visited the community, the women had installed water tanks and taps at strategic locations. The tanks were at the only government primary school in the community, health care centre, Central Mosque as well as other major points.
Village Head of Gbata, Zakari Yahaya, expressed gratitude to the women. He said borehole was anonymously donated during the cholera outbreak in the area about five years ago: “Since the borehole broke down, several appeals were made to government and to the elected representatives of the community. All these efforts were unsuccessful.”
Head of unit, Nasarawa State Conditional Cash Transfer Programne, Rhoda Agbawo, appealed to the Federal Government to sustain and expand the programme to reduce poverty. She implored other beneficiaries of the programme to emulate Gbata women by utilising a part of their monthly stipends to undertake projects that would touch lives.