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Potable water, after decades of epidemic

…respite for Oyo communities where residents defecated, dumped refuse in stream and drank same water   In Idi-Emi, Sepeteri and some other remote areas of…

…respite for Oyo communities where residents defecated, dumped refuse in stream and drank same water


In Idi-Emi, Sepeteri and some other remote areas of Saki in Oyo State, epidemic diseases contacted through water consumption had killed scores of residents.

EkoTrust gathered that residents were constantly hospitalised as a result of contaminated water consumption. Owing to unavailability of potable water in their communities, residents had to be travelling between 20 and 30 kilometres before they could get water for drinking, cooking and washing.

It was understood that it was usually a tougher time for the residents during the dry season as the only stream they relied on for supply would dry off. It was in that same stream that the residents would defecate because of lack of government’s presence in social amenities in the communities.

According to one resident who wouldn’t give his name, the residents believed the stream water flushed the waste away even as they savoured the same water for drinking. Sadly, many dwellers were made to pay for this folly with their lives during occasional epidemic outbreaks as a result of water challenges.

Some of the residents of those communities who spoke with Daily Trust described their experiences as pathetic.

A middle-aged resident of Idi-Eme, Tajudeen Ogunmodede, said many of their children never had the opportunity of drinking good water until recently. “Our job in this settlement is farming. The only problem we are having is social amenities like water and electrification. My children never tasted tap water before now,” Ogunmodede said.

Another resident, Kehinde Ojerinu, spoke of how the community dwellers suffered from lack of potable water for many years. Ojerinu said, “The water we consumed was full of germs due to the dirt and refuse our people dumped in the same stream that was the source of our drinking water.”

A trader, Nofisat Adebola, said governments at all levels seemed to have forgotten the communities, “Water had been our major problem. Our people used to fetch water from a river called Akindi, which was contaminated because it was also there that our people defecated and dumped their refuse. Our people contacted diseases through the contaminated water they consumed and, as a result, many died.”

Succour eventually arrived for the communities when the Oyo State Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA), in conjunction with the World Bank, changed the narrative. The CSDA/World Bank collaboration has been able to provide potable water in many of the communities, as well as deliver some other social projects.

The CSDA General Manager, Mr Adewole Babatunde, described the agency’s intervention in many areas in the communities as timely.

Babatunde explained, “What we do is to provide financial support for the communities. We ask them to provide 10 per cent of the overall cost of a vital project while we raise the remaining 90 per cent to fund the project. It is a counterpart funding by the Oyo State government and the World Bank to bring development to the rural communities. The communities do the construction themselves.”

The projects the initiative had provided include classrooms, electrification, potable water, community halls, bridges, roads, drainages, police post and health centres.

Babatunde said the project was not limited to outside Ibadan as some areas in Ibadan had also benefited from the counterpart funding. According to him, beneficiary areas in Ibadan include Ogbere and Anuoluwapo communities in Ona-ara local government, where he said people were living in blackout for over five years before the intervention of the CSDA.


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