Giving Oyo Communities a Facelift

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Abiola Ajimobi

The Oyo State Community and Social Development Agency in conjunction with the World Bank is extending succour to many helpless communities in Oyo, Ugo Aliogo writes

For many rural communities in Oyo State hitherto deprived of many social amenities such as electricity supply, medical centres, bridges, motorable roads, classrooms, potable water, among others, better times are here as the state Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA) in conjunction with the World Bank has been extending developmental projects to their areas.

The agency in the current phase offered by the World Bank in its additional financing extended to Oyo and it is billed to cover 2015-2020, dotted rural communities in Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomoso and Oke Ogun upper areas of the state.

A recent visit to Ogbere, Anuoluwapo, in Ona Ara Local Government, in Oyo Alaafin; Sakilap and Wewe in Saki areas revealed that people have started feeling the impacts of the water, electricity and roads projects undertaken in the area by the agency.

Power supply particularly exited many communities when light was either restored or newly brought to those who for decades were in darkness. In most of the communities, dwellers, even the house owners were massively moving out because of decades without light, high level of insecurity and lack of basic amenities.

The General Manager of the Agency, Mr. Adewole Babatunde, who led journalists to the numerous projects implemented by the communities through the support of the Agency of the Oyo State Government, CSDA with the World Bank assisted fund across the state, described the intervention as timely for the people of the affected areas.

Babatunde said many communities across the state have benefited from the gesture and the agency wish to do more for development of the rural communities in the state. He said the communities set up a committee called CSDP, headed by an elder in the community and appointed a chairman, secretary and treasurer to oversee the project.

“What we did was to provide financial support for the communities. We asked them to provide 10 percent of the overall cost of the project and we raised the balance to fund the project. It is a counterpart funding by the Oyo state government and the World Bank to bring development to the rural communities,” Babatunde noted.

Among the areas people benefited included: classrooms, electrification, water, community halls, bridges, roads, drainages and health centres.

Babatunde said: “As you can see in Isale Odo and Kishi in Irepo local government area, the community installed 500KVA Transformer and Extended Electricitrification, coupled with Completion of Community Hall, and Drilling of two Motorised Borehole.

“The people of Surulere Community, Sakilap, Weewe Local Council Development Area (LCDA) also benefited from electrification after many years of neglect with two unit motorised borehole and health center in their community.

“In Ajaawa, and Oosu, Ayigbiri communities of the state, CSDA also funded construction of examination hall, implemented by Omo Obate Community Project Management Committee (CPMC) at Baptist Grammar School, Ajaawa and a block of science laboratory at Community High School, Oosu, Ayigbiri, all in Ogbomoso axis of the state. In Saki West Local Government area of the state, we supported construction of health centre and bridges for Elegbo community for betterment of livelihood.”

He further noted that some areas in Ibadan, the residents also benefited from the projects because there are areas where people were living in darkness before the intervention.

According to him, the areas in Ibadan include; Ogbere and Anuoluwapo communities in Ona-ara local government of Ibadan the Oyo state capital where people were living in black out for over five years before intervention of the CSDA.

Residents in those communities appreciated the gesture and promised to maintain the projects for future generations to benefit from it. A resident of Isale-Odo in Saki area, Jimoh Tiyamiyu, said: “The commitment of the community towards electrification of the community was just 10 percent of the total amount spent on the whole projects. We choose electricity as a result of the necessity of power to us, we also demanded for water and completion of our ongoing community hall project.

“These projects will boost the economic and livelihood of this community because some business has already been folding up as a result of the low current of light and non-availability of water in the community, but we are able to overcome this problems through this intervention.”

Another resident of Saki, Pastor Lawrence Bamgbopa, who said the community was in black out for many years noted that they converged at a community meeting and they resolved that they needed health center which was constructed for them.

“Before now, we had a problem of Health facility. The one we are using before was not adequate enough, and its location is very far and that is why the community requested for another one. We rented an apartment which serve as our health center before, and there is no enough space to admit patient because the place was not convenient.”

For the residents of Ajaawa, it was a classroom for their children, a Pastor Thomas Adunole said the intervention has eased a lot of stress in the community in terms of the academic welfare of their children.

“The one our children were using before was a death trap to our students. We have been trying all our best to resolve this issue and luckily, CSDP came to our aids and relieved us of this challenges which was a great relief. CSDP also built a science laboratory for us at Community Grammar School, to allow our students to have access to quality and practically science learning and hopefully, a motorized bore hole will also be giving to us at the completion of these two projects.

“This projects has been denying our students to write their exam in this school as a result of inadequate examination hall, we used to dispatched our students to a neighbouring schools to sit for their WAEC exam, we were told unless we have a good examination hall, our students will not be allow to do their WAEC examination here in this school because of the bad condition of our exam hall and rain that use to disturb our students while writing their exam,” Adunole.

The Chairman of CSDP Kajola Local Government, Mr. Tajudeen Ogummodede, said over 30 houses are benefiting from the water project constructed in the area.

Another resident, Kehinde Ojerinu said they have had water supply challenge in the community before now, adding that the water they consumed before CSDP came to their aids was full of germs due to dirty because people dumped refuse into it.
He said: “But today, we now have quality water supply at our door step through the intervention of CSDP. Everything has changed because our people now have access to quality water as a result of the water project put in place by CSDP.”

In Sepeteri, Nofisat Adebola, the Secretary of Community Project Monitoring Committee told journalists that water has been a major problem in the area. He said the issue of water before this project was put in place was their major problem. He also stated that people used to fetch water from a river called Akindi, and the river was contaminated because people dump their refuse and defecate in it.
He added: But since the intervention of CSDP, our problem has been resolved. The water project has resolved the issue of diseases contacted by the people through the contaminated water they consumed from the stream and they are now living a healthy life.”

In Isale-Odo Community, Irepodun Local Government, Kishi a resident, Alhaji Busari Agorobogunbolu, told journalists that everybody has benefited immensely from all these projects, “it has been a while we have been suffering from quality water, light and the completion of our ongoing town hall project but the intervention of CSDP has ease our suffering.”

Speaking of the maintenance of the project, Salaudeen Sikiru Elemesi said: “we charged, N20 per keg for the maintenance of the motorised boreholes so that we could use it for many years.”