From Linus Oota, Lafia
Nyiev community is in Kadarko, Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, with an area of about 330km and a population of about 19,000. The dominant language is Tiv and their main occupation is farming.
History has it that their great-grandparents lived in the area since the 17th century. They migrated from Congo through Cameroon and eventually crossed the River Benue to settle in Kadarko.
The area was part of the old Northern Region, later Benue-Plateau State, now Nasarawa State.
In terms of elections, the people of Nyiev community contributed in no small measure to the voting capacity of the local government.
The perennial water problem faced by the people is unimaginable, as they are forced to source for water at a muddy stream.
When Daily Sun visited the area, it was discovered that once the dry season sets in, water becomes scarce in Nyiev. The stream, their only source of water, soon dries up and they are left with no option than to continue digging down the bed of the stream to scoop water, which comes out in muddy trickles.
The situation is the same in most of the villages that constitute the whole Nyiev community, where locals are compelled to drink water from the same source with cattle, reptiles and other animals.
The perennial water problem in the area, which has over 30 villages, even in this modern age, is compounded by fake promises, as successive governments pledge during campaigns to construct boreholes, which has never come to pass. Some women claimed that they carried their babies on their back daily and stayed several hours at the stream before they could get water, adding that lack of access to potable water had brought serious hardship on the community.
Mrs. Terundu Adaa said successive administrations have failed to address the perennial water scarcity in the community despite several complaints: “Our husbands resorted to digging wells but they dried up in the dry season.
Sometimes they go to Fadama farms to dig in the swampy areas to scoop water out.”
She added that the water problem in the community was so acute that women sometimes spent the night at the Fadama farms waiting for water to well up in the basin.
Mr. Aloho Juku, an elder in the community, said: “Our women sometimes have to stay overnight at the Fadama and wait till the water gathers after digging out sand to fetch water for domestic use.”
He expressed concern over the destruction of farms by the herders in the community, noting that apart from their cattle drinking water from the same source as the villagers, they also destroyed their farm produce.
Juku said the lack of drinking water has become a nightmare to residents of the community and their women trekked long distances from as early as 4.00am to fetch water from pits dug at Fadama areas, which was not safe for drinking.
He stressed that the health of his people was at risk from drinking unhygienic water during the dry season.
He called on Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura to come to their aid by providing potable water for the people. (The Sun)