Two communities in Kubau Local Government Area of Kaduna State, cut off by over flowing water from Galmo river, have urged the state government to construct a bridge to link them with other communities in the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that some of the residents of Gagarekutare and Gajagaja said they had been cut off for over three years since the river was expanded to provide water to Galma dam.
The dam was constructed to supply potable water to Zaria and eight other local government areas of the state.
The residents said that since the dredging, the river had overflowed its banks and took over farmlands and access roads in the area.
NAN reports that the water had covered about two kilometres of the road linking the two communities with Anchau, by Yadi Junction along Jos road.
The residents said it now takes them two hours to get to Anchau, the main town in the area, for a journey which of about 10 minutes across the river.
A resident, Adamu Audu, said the villagers now use ferry and canoes to access other communities.
“Before the arrival of the ferry and canoes, it used to take us hours to get to Anchau.
“This is because we have to go to Pambegua, from there to Dutsenwai before we get to Anchau, about two hours journey.
“But now, once we cross the river using the ferry, we can get there in just some few minutes.”
Mrs Mary Elisha, a widow and mother of five, said farmers, whose land was overtaken by the water, have been left to seek for alternative means to feed their families.
She said government intervention was needed to cushion their hardship, especially in sourcing for food.
Another resident, Muhammadu Usman, said they have not cultivated their land for three years because it was submerged.
“The only farmland we had was taken over by the river, thereby, making life very difficult for us, especially when we have to buy food, since we can no longer produce the food we need.
“Government should please look into our plight and come to our aid,” Mr. Usman said.
Meanwhile, ferry and canoe operators, have taken advantage of the situation to make brisk business.
A ferry operator, Aminu Aliwasi, said he makes an average of N11, 000 daily, and as much as N60,000 every Tuesday during Anchau market day.
“It takes 10 to 15 minutes to cross the river on the ferry depending on the weight of the load, and is even faster by canoe.
“Alternatively, it takes those who avoid the river about two hours to get to Anchau, because they would have to go round through Pambegua to Dutsenwai before getting to Anchau,” Mr. Aliwasi said.
He also urged the state government to construct a bridge to ease the problem of transportation faced by residents.
Ibrahim Zaria, Coordinator, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in the local government, said the problem of the communities started in 2013 when the government dredged the river to enhance outflow of water to Galma dam.
“It used to be a small river which usually overflows its banks, destroy houses and wash away farmlands during rainy season.
“The state government expanded it in 2013 to provide water to Galma dam which was constructed to address the challenge of access to clean water in parts of the state.
“As far as I can remember, the people living close to the river have been compensated and asked to relocate,” he said.