The Ninte community in Jema’a Local Government Area, Kaduna State, has rejected a renovated Primary Healthcare Centre located in the community because of what they described as “a shoddy job”.
The community rejected the facility during a Town Hall Meeting organised by an NGO, Connected Development (CODE), on Thursday to discuss issues surrounding the status of the health centre.
The Village Head of the community, Mr Hassan Jatau, said that the centre, renovated by Seramon-T Concept Ltd., was of low standard befitting a healthcare centre.
Jatau explained that the quality of paint used was poor while the electrical cables and the wiring were bad.
“And the doors were made with ceiling board that we had to stop the contractor from installing them.
“The toilets were also in bad shape and the soakaway was dug and left open, including the staff quarters left with no doors and toilet facility uncompleted,” the traditional ruler.
According to him, the facility, if accepted will not last long before it will require another renovation which will not be good for the community having suffered for about two years without health centre.
He explained that the health facility was burnt in May 2016 during an attacked on the community by gunmen that left seven people death and several persons injured.
He said that after the incident, the community of over 7,000 people was left without a health facility and were forced to travel about 37 kilometres to nearby facility in Godogodo.
“It was to reduce our suffering that the Jema’a Local Government Council in December 2017 awarded the contract for the renovation of the facility and staff quarters and expected to be completed by Feb. 9, 2018.
“To our surprised, we saw on the news that the project has been completed. This is unacceptable,’’ he said.
Jatau also said that the health centre was renovated with no water facility, adding that only one borehole serves the entire community, forcing women to queue as early as 2 a.m just to get clean water.
“Most of our people, particularly women and children are down with typhoid fever and other waterborne related diseases due to lack of access to clean water.
“Besides, most health centres are built along with water facility, but our case is different. How would a health facility function with no water?’’ he asked rhetorically.
He called on the local government council and the state government to intervene and put an end to their misery.
On his part, the community Youth Leader, Mr Adamu Habu, who also noted the shoddy job, said: “The renovation of the health centre was badly done because we are villagers and as such, don’t deserve the best.
“But we know our rights, thanks to Connected Development and other NGOs and civil society organisations who consistently enlighten us on the need to monitor government projects sited in our area.
“We are the beneficiaries of this project and we will be the ones to suffer if we accept a badly done job like this,’’ Habu said.
Also, Mrs Ladi Kagoma, who spoke on behalf of women, also called on the state government to intervene to save women and children from avoidable death to lack of a health facility.
Earlier, Mr Kinsley Agu, the CODE Project Assistant, explained that the NGO was committed to giving voice to the voiceless, particularly on access to health services, education and sanitation.
Agu said that CODE focus was to improve access to information and empowers local communities through advocacy in education, health and environmental issues for quality service delivery and poverty eradication.
Agu said that although Kaduna State Government has signed on to Open Governance Partnership (OGP) that would ensure access to information, local government officials are frustrating the effort.
“This is because all effort to get the Bill of Quantity of the project from the Jema’a council was unsuccessful.
“I have written to the council’s Sole Administrator, Alhaji Mu’azu Usman, since Feb. 8, 2018, with no response.
“We equally invited the administrator and the contractor for this town hall meeting to clear the air on issues surrounding the facility but and none of them showed up,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the council chairman and the contractor, Mr Mike Paulinus, have refused to respond to and text messages to get their reaction to the development.
The local council had on Feb. 9 claimed to had spent N119 million to complete infrastructural projects in the area.
Among the projects listed by the administrator was renovation of the Ninte PHC with staff quarters.