Residents of Idama community in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rivers State now face public health crisis as the entire community relies on a wooden toilet for defecation.
The feces from the wooden toilet is discharged directly into the river which serves as a source of water supply to the community and further exposes them to a public health crisis.
Idama community is an exception, there exist communities in Rivers State the inhabitants suffer a huge infrastructural deficit. In some of the communities, there are no roads, hospitals, safe drinking water, school, electricity, etc with many of the inhabitants being peasant farmers.
Some of the locals who spoke to MAWA-Foundation painted a gory picture of the poverty and deprivation that is obtainable in many communities in Rivers state.
Mr. Timieri, who lives in Port Harcourt the Rivers State capital, and claims to hail from Idama, told MAWA-Foundation that the community has been in pitiable conditions for years without the government making any tangible effort to provide infrastructure to the inhabitants.
“Rivers State is one of the states in Nigeria with a high level of infrastructural deficit and poverty, and this is even as she is an oil producing state with huge revenue allocation from the centre”, Timieri, told MAWA.
Abiddekari, one of the locals, who spoke to MAWA, described the situation as unfortunate, pointing out that it is a public health crisis that must be addressed as quickly as possible.
Abiddekari, who spoke in a very disturbing tone, narrated how some community members excrete directly into the river which many of them depend on as a source of drinking water.
He also, narrated how the inhabitants are dying of typhoid and other diseases traceable to the dirty water they drink. And, this is even as he said the community has no hospital where those who fell ill can be treated.
“People die in this community over an illness that is been contracted from terrible hygiene crisis, we have been trying to educate them on safe hygiene, we are glad some of them are listening to our advocacies”, Abiddekari.
Follow The Money, a social accountability organization that exposed the wooden toilet and the hygiene crisis in the community, has since appealed to the Rivers State government to intervene over the issue.