Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Inside Kano community where bad road leads to pregnant women death, increases number of out-of-school children

By Abdulrahman Isah

Though Kano State has over the years boasted of a fair road network linking most of the Local Government Areas, it seems that the majority of the remote roads going in and out of its villages have not been receiving similar attention. 

This sad reality has continued to widen the existing gap between the urban, semi-urban centers and the rural areas, as well as making the lives of the inhabitants of such neglected areas difficult through poor infrastructures.

After a dangerous, exhausting journey, we echoed the voices of residents of Joda Village of Gabasawa Local Government Area, as they struggled with a shabby road that ruined their agricultural potential, made access to health services difficult and in addition forced pupils to drop out of school midway.

The eight-kilometer-long impassable road from Zugaci to the Joda Village has been in a comatose condition over a period exceeding 8 years, despite several promises by politicians, especially those that sought the people’s support in their quest to become Federal and State lawmakers.

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Speaking with Arewa Radio on the poor condition of the road, a mother, Aina’u Joda narrates how the dangerous road had complicated a lot of pregnancy cases before reaching the hospital, which is a few kilometres from the village, noting that while some were forced to deliver on the road, others never made it out alive.

“Our hospital is small and does not support child delivery services, which is why women in this village have to travel all the way to Zakirai Primary Health Care Centre to access such services.

“Because of the nature of the road, some die before getting to the hospital, while others give birth on the road,” she said.

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The threat associated with the dilapidated road gets worse during the rainy season making it almost completely inhabitable and extremely difficult to go in or out of the Joda Village using whatever means of transportation.

Having to travel to a neighbouring Zugaci Village to attend senior secondary school, most of the youth in the village were left with no choice than to drop out of school before graduating from secondary school, as they were left with no choice than to abandon all academic activities during the rainy season.

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Abuzarrin Abdulmumin, one of the villagers, who dropped out of school, narrated his experience.

“We have been forced to abandon school during the rainy season as a result of the bad road. Myself and my siblings had to drop out of school after completing junior secondary school.”

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“The distance between the village and the nearest secondary school is about eight kilometres, and because of the bad road, most of us can’t afford to continue.”

With arable land at their disposal, dropouts usually turn to either farmers or miners as an alternative to earning a living, but the poor road also makes it difficult for such economic activities to thrive.

Kawu Gambo, another resident spoke about the colossal loses of the villagers due to the bad road.

“All economic activities in this village are forced to a standstill during the rainy season because of the bad road.

“Because of this problem, we have been recording losses year in and year out in our agricultural production. The authorities are now threatening to arrest us over our failure to pay off the agricultural support loans we collected.

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“If a bag of rice costs N50,000, that price automatically comes down in this village during rainy seasons because of the unfavourable cost of transporting farm produce outside the village. You will end up getting less than N30,000.”

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Even the sand mining site at the bank of the Joda River, which in its glory days engaged close to an estimated one thousand artisans and businesses has been decimated to nothing.

Magaji Aliyu, is one of the local miners, who spoke with Arewa Radio

“Before, about 100 to 150 tippers of sand came in and out of this village, but today the business is limited to not more than 5 tippers a day, and all the workers are still in the village, rendered jobless with nothing to fall back on.

“I alone sell about 50 tippers daily, but look at me now; till this very time, I haven’t sold even one. Sand mining has been the backbone of our economy for years, and it affects every source of our livelihoods,” he said.

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A youth leader in the community, Baffa Abdulwahab Joda, decried the neglect being suffered by the village despite its huge potential in agriculture as well as its contribution to the internally generated revenue to the coffers of the state government through sand mining.

“We have been blessed with abundant natural resources in this village. Being located at the bank of the river Joda, we sell an average of 10 million naira of sand daily, and the state and local governments get revenue from these activities.

“We also engage in both the rainy season and irrigation farming. I can boast that in the whole of Kano North, no town produces the kind of revenue that comes out of Joda.”

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However, it seems the struggle of the residents may soon be over as the member representing Gabasawa in the State House of Assembly, Honorable Zakariyya Abdullahi Nuhu confirmed that a bill was passed for the rehabilitation of the Zugaci/Joda Road and has been following up to get the approval of the state government before the commencement of the project.

“By God’s grace, the governor had already given approval for the rehabilitation of one of the road projects I sponsored a bill on, and we are hoping that the governor will also give approval for the complete rehabilitation of the Zugaci Joda road.”

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Residents of the Joda community are appealing to their representatives at the State Assembly, the House of Representatives and the Senate to salvage what is left of the community by fulfilling their campaign promises to rehabilitate the road and return the community back to its glory days as soon as possible.


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