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Apyawoyi power project uncompleted after two years

While the area council is battling with the completion of the electricity project, a water project was initiated with an overhead tank installed in the…

While the area council is battling with the completion of the electricity project, a water project was initiated with an overhead tank installed in the community. “I was happy when the water project started because it would do the residents a lot of good, saving us from the well we fetch and the money we spend buying water from water vendors,” a resident said.
However, five months after the tank was installed, with signpost erected signalling, that it is a solar powered water (borehole) scheme with Bwari Area Council as client, residents have been unable to fetch from the borehole leaving them with their water ordeals.
And the electric poles strategically kept in the hub of the community, along the ‘major road’ that links Sabongari and Guto and other neighbouring communities, months after they were delivered still litter the community. The delivery of an electric transformer followed suit, but that is how far the electrification project has gone after about two years.
The Madaki of the community, Mr. Yakubu Fenu, who spoke to Aso Chronicle on behalf of the community’s head, said residents still await the authorities of the area council to complete the electricity project.
Fenu who spoke through an interpreter said the efforts of the residents in calling the attention of the authorities to the abandoned project, have been futile. “We have been going to the area council and they have been telling us that they will do it, even last year we went to them and they repeated same thing,” he told Aso Chronicle.
He said due to repeated unfulfilled promises of the area council the residents decided to facilitate the completion of the project by collaborating with the area council in footing the bill for the electricity project. But the plan of the community members was rejected by the area council, with a promise that it will be addressed. Two years afterwards, they are still hopeful for the completion of the project by the area council.
“We decided to be doing contribution to complete the project, but when we go to them [area council] and explained, they told us that if the community wants to do that, the transport fare used in conveying the poles and transformer to the community should be refunded by the residents,” Fenu said.
While the residents wait for the project to be completed; grasses sprout where the poles are kept; sand gradually fill up the holes dug for the poles while the initial delight of the residents to having electricity wanes.
Fenu who told our reporter that the residents could not hide their disbelief about the response of the area council boss, said they are not happy with the manner with which the project is being handled but could do nothing about it other than what they had done.
Another resident, Joseph Yakubu said the over 1,000 inhabitants of the community comprising Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and other tribes have been using power generating sets, grappling with the exploitation of black marketers in getting fuel for the generators.
However, Madam Comfort Olaniyan who has been milking from the murky electricity condition in the community by charging handset batteries for a fee, said the electric poles have been in the community since her arrival in 2011. She said should the government be able to complete the electricity project, the community would be better for it. Madam Comfort who spoke in Yoruba language said the power project would boost economic activities in the community when completed. She called on authorities of the area council to see to the completion of the long overdue projects in the community.
“If they do [complete the electricity project], I can also change from this business. It is because of the situation that I am still doing this business,” she said.
But the electricity project is not the only government project abandoned in the community, Joseph noted, saying “We do not have water, the government just provided water tank without water, which has been there for about five months now.”
Joseph explained that water project was abandoned after the pumping machine was supplied and an overhead tank erected. Though he could not say if it is solar or electrically powered, but a signpost erected by the overhead tank reads, “Provision of solar powered water (borehole) scheme” with June 2013 as the year.  
Joseph who spoke in Pidgin English said there is no water in the tank as it has not been completed. “We have small wells here that we dig by ourselves, we also fetch water from the river and patronise water vendors.”
Joseph said the water vendors used to fetch from Sabongari, the neighbouring community and sell for between N200 and N250 per truck. Fenu, the community’s Madaki said the water project has also been met with government lip service. “We were told that it will be fixed but we have nothing since,” he said.
When contacted, the Press Secretary to Peter Yohanna, the chairman of Bwari Area Council, Daudu Dashe in a text message to our reporter said, “I will seek clarification but what I know is that the council has faced financial difficulties for some time now even salaries are paid by improvisation which led to capital projects suspension for now.”
He had earlier in a phone conversation said that the council has no money for capital project. “But it [the projects] is only suspended, by the grace of God we are going to continue,” he said.
The residents also called on the authorities of the area council to help with the provision of school in the community. Some of the residents who spoke to Aso Chronicle said they send their children to schools in Sabongari and Guto communities, which does not speak well considering the population of the residents.
The only feasible sign of the government’s effort to provide basic amenities in the community are the uncompleted projects in the community, said Joseph.

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