By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—CROSS River State government has given fresh vista to over 69 rural communities through the intervention of the state’s Community and Social Development Project, a World Bank-assisted programme, from 2015 to 2019.
Acting General Manager, Cross River Community and Social Development Agency, Mr. Fidel Udie, told NDV during a media tour of some projects in beneficiary communities across the state, that the agency uses the Community Driven Development, CDD, model to assist the poor and vulnerable communities in the rural areas to execute micro projects.
More than 11,500 households and vulnerable groups benefited from the intervention.
Teachers, pupils no longer afraid of snakes—Monarch
At Arkwa community, Yala Local Government Area, where the agency supported the community with a school block and solar powered borehole, the Village Head, Ogamode Inaku Wonah, said: “Parents were reluctant to send their wards to school because of lack of good accommodation, leading to reduction in pupil attendance and enrolment.
“The existing mud building became a haven for reptiles, especially snakes and rodents. Snakes had, several times, bitten teachers and few pupils.
“My people are now very happy with the school. As you can see enrolment have increased. Teachers and pupils are no longer scared of snakes that used to attack people in the building.”
No more learning under tree— Mrs. Monday
A resident and teacher, Mrs Regina Monday, asserted: “We used to teach the children under the tree, which made learning difficult, as sun and rain will disrupt while teaching was going on.
“It was very difficult to get kids to go to school, because the environment was not conducive for teaching or learning. It was unimaginable.”
At Ijua community in Obanliku Local Government Area, an elder, Thomas Akwaji, said it was almost impossible for some of the villagers to go to their farms until government intervened with a bridge.
His words: “Before this bridge was constructed, many aged women and children drowned in this stream during the heavy rains.
“Access to our farmlands was extremely difficult, making it challenging to move our farm produce to the market. We are very happy with the state government because access to and fro our farmlands is guaranteed with this bridge.”
Health services have improved—Mrs. Eneji
The nurse in charge of the health centre at Afrike community in Bekwarra council, Mrs. Martha Eneji, said: “Attending to patients in the night used to be very difficult without the staff quarters, as nurses live very far from the facility.
“It exposed patients, especially pregnant women to quacks. But with the assistance of CSDP in the construction of the staff quarters, health workers are readily available to provide services.”