Hipcity Hub addresses challenges facing FCT original inhabitants


By Bimbo Adenrele

Hipcity hub in conjunction with Mac Arthur Foundation organised sensitization programmes to address challenges confronting FCT inhabitants in various F.C.T suburbs such as Kwali, Abaji, Kuje, Gwagwalada, Bwari.

At the sentization programme of Hipcity Hub on Thursday at Bwari Area Council Community Town Hall Meeting, the Hipcity innovation programme officer, Dorcas Edet intimated that Hipcity assists in improving basic service delivery such as water, basic education and basic health. Furthermore, she explained that the purpose of the programme is to enable Government representatives in the three areas of focus to dialogue with the original inhabitants of FCT regarding challenges confronting people in Bwari Area Council particularly water, education and health.

Mr. Bolus Sarbo representing the Chairman of Bwari Area Council said in his welcome speech that he appreciated FCT gesture in organising the programme to educate Bwari inhabitants in the aspect of environmental, health and education and also on how to manage these facilities. He disclosed that knowledge is paramount.

In her remarks, the representative of the Director of Education, Bwari Area Council and Head of Section, Community Development, Mrs. Maryam Eso stated that her Ministry is present in order to listen to the plight of members of the community and report back to the Ministry to profer solutions.

Participants comprising the two chiefdoms in Bwari namely Etsu Bwari and Sarakin Bwari kingdoms were allowed to air their challenges.

A participant from Etsu Bwari disclosed that at Bwari General Hospital the health officials demand for hospital card which must be paid for. She lamented that the health officials non challant attitude even in critical sick conditions of patients is very disappointing. She said further that patients are tossed endlessly from one place to another that a child in such a critical condition died. She stated that it is the reason most residents resort to private hospitals which gives speedy treatment. Likewise, she said the Government promised free education from primary schools to J.S.S 3 yet parents seeking their children’s admission to schools are subjected to payment of N15,000 and N5,000 for P.T.A yet most of the students sit down on the floors when taught.

Another participant who resides in Sabon Gari Junction said residents in her area do not have access to water facility. She also narrated her ordeal during pregnancy when she went to Bwari General Hospital. She noted that the nurses did not attend to her and only told her to take paracetamol. She lamented that she lost the pregnancy. A participant representing Tundun Fulani said despite paying N20,000 at Bwari General Hospital for his sick mother she was not given proper medical treatment. He said he had to resort to a hospital in Ushafa for proper treatment.. Furthermore, he said residents in his area lack access to boreholes so they resort to Meruwa who sell Jerry cans of water at N200, N300 and even N500. He complained that prices of Jerry cans of water keeps escalating. He noted that most women in Bwari Area Council are jobless so Government should provide empowerment and vocational training for them so they can assist in the home front.

Participants from Sarakin Bwari said there are unqualified teachers at the LEA Primary School. A participant noted that LEA primary school is confronted with the challenge of insufficient teachers and also in some classes the teachers are not available. Another participant said that in the Government Secondary School J.S.S 1 to S.S.S 3 particularly Junior Secondary School Bwari 1 there are about 140 students in J.S.S 1. She noted that most of the students in the Government Secondary Schools are not learning but only play. She appealed to the Government to provide more schools and better classroom facilities. A participant lamented the fate of youths in Bwari Area Council that to get employment in Government establishment payments of N200,000 are demanded from them.

Responding, Mrs. Maryam Eso representing the Director of Education said her Ministry is already taking measures to place teachers with proper qualification in schools in order to eradicate unqualified teachers. Likewise, she noted that P.T.A teachers should go through Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in order to be employed in the teaching profession.

Mr. David Alana representing F.C.T Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) said the agency created boreholes for the community and residents should maintain the boreholes. He enjoined residents not to deficate outside because it goes to the stream and this results in water borne diseases. Furthermore, he noted that RUWASSA is constructing toilets at the primary health centres. He also noted that his agency is creating awareness among people to construct toilets in their homes.

The Youth President of Bwari Area Council in his remarks enjoined women to use the Primary Health Centres and get referral letter from the Primary Health Centres to General Hospital, Bwari when there are health challenges above the Health Centres. Likewise he encouraged women to attend Ante Natal Centres (ANC) and participate in immunization programmes. Furthermore, he noted that the minimum qualifications for teachers is NCE and anything less is a deviation. In conclusion, he urged the representative of RUWASSA to inform his agency and F.C.T Water Works Management to ensure Bwari Area Council residents have direct access to water.