By Ugochukwu Alaribe
The people of Amato Ukwu autonomous community in Osisioma Ngwa council area of Abia state, has cried out to the state government over the dilapidated state of its health centre and school buildings in the community.
South East Voice gathered that whenever it rains, health workers pack their drugs and equipment to safer places due to leaking roofs and broken walls of the health centre.
In an interview with South East Voice, traditional ruler of the community, Eze Okwuchi Jim, stated that due to inadequate classrooms, the community primary school and the secondary school section share classrooms.
The monarch explained that the situation is no longer conducive for learning as a result of the increasing population of the primary and post primary schools.
In his words, “We don’t have health centre, no market, no electricity. There is a building we gave the health people to serve as health centre for the community. But whenever it rains, the health workers pack their drugs and equipment and leave because the roofs are leaking while the walls are falling off. That place is unfit to be called a health centre. No sick person will go there for medical attention because of the environment.
‘We have made several appeals to the government. And I asked the nurses at the health centre if they have informed the health authorities at Osisioma Ngwa Local Government about the dilapidated state of the Amato Ukwu community health centre. Primary health care is the most basic health care facility in every community, but we lack it. Many people are suffering.
“Our community secondary school has no classroom ; they are managing same classroom block with the primary school pupils. The community secondary school is over populated from the junior secondary section to the senior secondary arm, yet no classroom. The secondary school shares same classroom with the primary school section. We have also made several appeals to the government.
“Since last year, I have been asking the Principal of the school if he has informed the state ministry of Education about the huge population of students and lack of classrooms. I wonder the kind of learning that can take place in such overcrowded environment such as the schools in my community. The problems of lack of classrooms even started before I became a traditional ruler. The government should come to our aid. In terms of electricity, we have been in darkness.”
He also lamented that the lack of market in the community has made the people who are mostly farmers unable to sell their produce to fend for themselves.
“Amato Ukwu is an agrarian community, but we don’t have a single market in my community where my people could sell their produce to make money. What they did was to site a market at an obscure place at Okpu Umuobo area where no person goes to buy or sell. As at today, the market isn’t working.
To check crime and youth restiveness, Eze Jim told South East Voice that he had advised youths of the community to engage themselves with schooling or acquisition of skills for a better future.
According to him, “I don’t want any youth in Amato Ukwu community to be idle because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. The challenges confronting Amato Ukwu community are too many. This is even why I’m appealing to the government to assist us with infrastructure to make life better for my people.”