How I ended Ended Water Scarcity in Gbata – 75-Year-Old Widow

Gbata, one the oldest and largest communities in Wamba LGA of Nasarawa State, has for many years battled with non-availability of potable water due to a faulty borehole.


Investigation by Aso Chronicle revealed that the inhabitants of Gbata, particularly women, trekked long miles in search of water daily.


However, last week, succour came their way following effort by a 75-year-old widow, Mama Zainab Ishaku, who mobilised and encouraged women in the community to save part of their N5,000 Conditional Cash Transfer money monthly to fix the borehole.

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When Aso Chronicle visited the community, it observed that the women had installed water tanks and taps at strategic places such as the only government primary school, the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), the central mosque, as well as major settlements.

Speaking, the Village Head of Gbata, Alhaji Zakari Yahaya, said the borehole was donated by an anonymous person five years ago during the outbreak of cholera in the area which claimed many lives.


According to him, since the borehole broke down, several calls put to government and elected representatives of the area to repair it failed until the women who were beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer came to their aid.

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Also speaking, the leader of the women’s group, Zainab Ishaku, told DailyTrust that she was emotional to make a difference in the community putting into cognizance the persistent hardship that women went through to get water.


She said since they were enrolled in the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in 2016, she introduced a local thrift fund and mobilised the women to be saving N2,000 from their monthly N5,000 each to fund the water project.


An octogenarian, Mrs Mary Isa, who was seen fetching water from one of the taps in the community, expressed happiness that she could access clean water in her village without any hiccup after many years of suffering.

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The Head Teacher of the LEA Primary School, Mr Musa Ogye, and an officer in the PHC, Mrs Hauwa Musa, maintained that life had been so tough for people in the area as a result of water scarcity until the intervention of the women.


The Head of Unit, Nasarawa State Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Mrs Rhoda Agbawo, called for sustainability of the programme to reduce poverty to the barest minimum.


She admonished other beneficiaries of the programme to copy the Gbata women by utilising part of their monthly stipend to engage in sustainable livelihood projects.

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