Road Construction: Gombe Residents Suffer Water Shortage
The dualisation of Gombe, Bauchi road which is intended to make life easier for the populace has become a source of misery for the people of Shongo Hamma community of Akko local government area of Gombe state.
The situation has made life difficult for the dwellers living without portable water in the area and left them with no choice than going back to an ancient way of sourcing drinking water from shallow wells which they had to dig on the bed of seasonal streams crisscrossing their villages.
The community located around 8 kilometers away from Gombe metropolis has, for several decades, witnessed water shortage.
Bounce News findings revealed that Shongo Hamma has been looking and searching for stable source of portable water for over 90 years.
All effort made by past governments, donor organizations and individuals to construct boreholes in the community of over one thousand households proved unsuccessful because the area is said to be located around the keri-keri formations that are characterized with shallow aquifers that dry out as soon as the raining season ends.
In an interview with Bounce News, the village head Mallam Maikudi Bappah said community members fetch their drinking water from wells dug on the dry bed of the seasonal stream. However he said the Gombe water reticulation project done by Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo has brought a new dawn to their lives.
"We enjoyed the water for two years but the supply has been cut off for over one year", he said.
When asked what cuts off the supply, Malam Maikudi said "we were told it is because of the ongoing road construction that led to the removal of the water pipes that transmits water to our community"
The community is now left with no choice than to go back to their old ways of fetching water from the community wells or buying from water vendors who hardly come around because of the poor condition of the road, and also sell mostly contaminated water from unknown sources at exorbitant prices to the community.
When contacted, the general manager of Gombe state water board Engineer Isah Muhammed, said the water board is aware of what is happening to the community which is as result of construction and dualisation of a federal highway around the area.
“We have since contacted the road construction company who gave assurance that they will be done the road construction by end of month” said the general manager.
"We are now waiting for the construction company to finish their job so we can lay back the water pipes affected by the construction work, because we in the recent time try to lay back the pipes but the company dug them out again", Engr. Isah said.
The general manager said the construction company digs the water pipes so as to allow the expansion of the road, he however assured that the pipes would be replaced as soon as the construction work is done.