Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gutsura Residents Need Safe, Clean Water

Mamadou Edrisa Njie reporting from Gusau with Earth Hour Nigeria #WalktoMali Champions

Earth Hour Nigeria team at the village well
Residents of Gutsura village located in Zamfara state Northwest, Nigeria has strongly appealed to the Federal, State and Local government[s] to provide them with safe and clean drinking water for their local community.

Speaker after speaker in the village told Earth Hour trekking champions that in their local community, they are lack safe drinking water and only rely on well water for drinking, cooking and other basic needs.

 “For about forty years now, we only drink from well water. We don’t have taps or boreholes in this community,” said Turku Muhammed.

According to him, residents rely on well water for drinking, bathing and washing their cloths noting that water supplies remain intermittent and far too many people rely on shared unprotected wells adding that this can cause terrible cholera epidemic if preventative measure are taken by the Federal government.

The Earth Hour Nigeria project engaged 12 Earth Hour Champions that are currently embarking on a 3,404km round road trip from Nigeria to Mali between January 18, 2014 to last Saturday, March 15, 2014.

As part of #WalktoMali, earth champions are doing community participatory Live Mapping in local communities in identifying their problems, challenges amongst other basic needs in life.

In the Gutsura village, elder’s raises clean water as their priorities and they took the team around the village showing the team their wells they use as source of drinking and other sources.

The walk hopes to promote the culture of peace and create awareness on environmental sustainability across West Africa. Activities during the walk will include advocacy visits, community vulnerability mapping, community outreach, and capacity building.

The Earth Hour team in Nigeria launches WalktoMali, to promote the culture of peace and environmental sustainability across seven West African countries through road trip Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin.

The village which is prone to yearly flooding has cause a death of six year [boy] and the place ‘is no go area’ during the months of July, August and September- raining season months as the whole village is surrounded by water, lamented Takur.
Yearly flooding has caused the villagers to loss 9 Billion Naira, said a 29 year old Ibrahim Tela a youth farmer.

“We the villagers of Gutsura, needs uninterrupted water supplies and we’re appealing for support from all sundry to emancipate us from ‘water slavery’, every day and night we are thinking of how to get safe and clean water,’ added Tela.

We the residents of the area [Gutsura] are frustrated with the government's failure to provide a reliable supply of piped fresh water says Alh. Omar Nasarawe.
Every day, millions of people across a wide swath of West Africa struggle to get access to clean and safe drinking water.

The World Health Organization, WHO, estimates that more than 1,000 people in the region die each day from illnesses related to unsafe water.

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