Residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Nigerian capital city have continued to lament how poor infrastructure is worsening their living conditions and making their lives miserable.
At Dutse Alhaji, Dutse Bokuma, Sokale, and Dawaki communities located at Bwari Area Council of FCT, residents in different accounts narrated a similar experience of how deplorable roads in their respective areas are having a huge negative impact on their lives and businesses.
From Dutse Alhaji Primary School located about one and a half kilometres from the First Gate-Bwari Express road to Dawaki, residents drive on a muddy deplorable road that is nearly inaccessible.
Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians in the communities continue to vent their frustration as a result of poor infrastructure with the lack of access roads being the most prominent.
The residents who spoke in their different communities, affirming how poor infrastructure is worsening the living conditions of the urban poor, appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Mr. Nyesom Wike, the FCT Minister to provide basic infrastructure to improve their living conditions.
Roads found in the communities are poorly constructed without a good drainage system, making it to be flooded anytime it rains. A situation that complicates suffering of the urban poor residents during the rainy season.
Community residents who spoke to MAWA-Foundation described roads in their area as terrible. In different narratives, they recounted how the deplorable road is making their life miserable, affecting businesses, and destroying the local economy.
Mr. Alpha Shaibu who lives in the Zone 7 area of Dutse Alhaji close to the Redeem Christian Church of God, who spoke to MAWA in his residence, narrated how his tenants packed out of his house to different locations as a result of the deplorable road that worsened their living condition.
Shaibu narrated how his tenant almost lost his wife due to the bad road. In his account, the man ran into a ditch when rushing her to the Dutse General Hospital around 2:00 am when she was in childbirth labour.
The incident led to the damage to his car, making it impossible for him to get to the hospital. The wife was saved by his landlord who conveyed her to the hospital in his car.
According to Shaibu, three months after the incident happened, his tenant packed out of his house to the Kubwa area of FCT. He added that six of his tenants packed out within a year. A development he attributed to the deplorable condition of roads in the area.
This is even as Shaibu told MAWA that he is a retired civil servant who relies on the rent from his tenants for survival, pointing out that life has become difficult since all his tenants left because they can no longer bear the hardship of using the bad road.
“As a retired civil servant who relies on rent from my tenants for survival, six of them have packed out as a result of the deplorable roads in our area, How do I survive?,” Shaibu told MAWA.
Miss. Halima Josephine who owns and operates a small shop at the Zone 7 junction area along Dawaki Road, who spoke to MAWA in her place of business narrated how the deplorable road is affecting her business and making her lose income.
According to Josephine, Elim Sachet Water company has since stopped supplying her with their product as a result of the deplorable road that leads to her shop which they claim destroys their truck.
This is as Josephine says Elim water is a popular product that is in high demand compared to others.
” I rely on Elim water for my business but they have stopped supplying their product to me because the road leading to my shop is very bad and destroys their truck,” Josephine told MAWA.
The road connecting the Zone 7 area of Dutse Alhaji and Dawaki has continued to be this deplorable even as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in the past 10 years has distributed a huge amount of revenue allocation to the six Area Councils that make up FCT.
It is unclear how Bwari Area Council deploys allocations it gets from FCTA, many communities including Dutse Alhaji that are under it suffer huge infrastructural deficits.
MAWA Foundation could not immediately reach out to the Bwari Area Council authority for an official response.
However, an official in the Area Council who spoke to MAWA and wants his identity concealed, accused the Area Council of not properly deploying allocations it got from FCTA.
He also challenged the Area Council to come up with strategies to generate and deploy revenues in a transparent manner that will allow for the provision of basic amenities across communities under the Area Council.