Rural residents of Kanzo community in the Kuje Area Council of Abuja, the Nigerian capital city have commenced building their healthcare hospital after they were trained on the importance of healthcare, healthy living, community organizing, and advocacy.
The community had no hospital since its existence decades ago. This is even as residents say many women in the community have died during childbirth because there is no hospital in the area to help them for a successful delivery.
Worse still, community residents told MAWA Foundation, during elections, politicians go to the community for their votes promising them a good road, hospital, and schools if they vote for them.
But, as soon as the community votes them into office, they disappear and never came back until after four years when they will be seeking election into office, they return to the community and deceive them with more promising and convincing lies.
In the training, the residents were educated on human rights exposing them to the understanding that access to healthcare delivery is their fundamental right and they have the responsibility to demand healthcare from the government and hold them accountable to it.
Part of the training for the community is advocacy, lobby, and organizing. However, the residents having been trained in community organizing started building a community hospital using manual labour and contributing money without the help of the government.
For the success of the project, they elected community representatives who liaised with the local council authority to support the hospital building and help equip it.
Apart from none existence of a hospital, the community has no road, water, electricity, and school.
While they drink water from the same pond with animals, their children trek over eight kilometres to attend primary school.
Some of the community residents have since lost their kids to kidnapping on their way to long-distance school, forcing many of the parents to withdraw their children from school and stopping their education. Action parents told MAWA Foundation, they undertook for the safety of their children.