Rafin-Zurfi community in Ibwa ward of Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is just a 15 minutes drive from Gwagwalada town, through Dukpa Army barrack.
The community is one of the several remote villages in the FCT that have been facing challenges of rural infrastructure, especially road networks, healthcare centres, portable drinking water and electricity.
A resident in the community, Usman Yakubu, who spoke to Aso Chronicle said the major challenge facing the Rafin-Zurfi community is the lack of electricity and pipe-borne water.
Yakubu noted that the community is closed to Gwagwalada, the local government headquarters but residents have been in total blackout for over 12 years, despite the installation of a 33KVA transformer in the area.
He said the transformer was part of the contract awarded for the extension of electricity from Gwagwalada main town to the community, which was executed under the administration of a former chairman of the council, late Alhaji Saidu Garba Zuba, in 2015.
According to him, electric poles and cables were installed from Gwagwalada down to the community, while a 33 KVA transformer was installed but said the work was abandoned midway.
“In fact, the community has written several letters to draw the attention of both the past and present area council administration’s on the need to connect the electricity to the community but to no avail, while the transformer has remained like that for over 12 years now,” he said.
Another resident, Danjuma Ishaku, said the abandonment of the electrification projects by successive administrations over the years, resulted in the theft of some cables by vandals.
“The electricity cables have been abandoned on the ground without fixing them on poles for years, as some of the cables have been stolen by vandals, which made the issue of electricity here in this community to be worst,” he said.
He said the absence of electricity has affected both social as well as business activities in the community, saying residents mostly travel to Gwagwalada town to carryout businesses that require electricity.
He also lamented over the lack of access to pipe-borne water in the community, saying some of the boreholes have been grounded for years without any move by the authorities of the council to repair or provide another borehole.
“Residents mostly depend on water from the stream as the boreholes in the community have broken down for years now and the community has also informed the council about it and nothing has been done up till now,” he said.
Reacting, the Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Adamu Mustapha, said the Rafin-Zurfi electrification was an inherited project by his administration.
He said the council had been able to connect electricity through the lifespan of the abandoned Rafin-Zurfi electrification project to neigboring Ibwa village. “In fact, virtually we came and met everything that has been used to connect from Rafin-Zurfi village has been vandalised, which is as good as starting afresh,” he said.
He said the high-tension cables and the 33 KVA transformer has been vandalised, even as he informed that the council was making arrangements to re-award the project, but said there was no cash backing to commence work on the electricity project.
“Therefore, it is our sincere belief that we will be more proud than any other person that Rafin-Zurfi electrification project is completed,” he said.
The chairman, however, expressed his administration’s determination to complete all ongoing and abandoned projects across the council before the end of his second tenure.