About 2,500 inhabitants of Ogbalise-Okpe, a deserted sleepy and farming village near Ayegunle, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, shockingly fetch water to drink and cook their meals, wash and bathe in the same stream that herdsmen marshal their cows to drink and pollute. The Edo hamlet with homes built with mud and roofed with thatched leaves is completely lacking in basic amenities of life, including electricity, water and school. Farmers from bordering Ondo and Kogi states and far-flung Taraba State take advantage of the arable land to come to the village to farm both food and cash crops. NDV trekked to the only stream in the community and confirmed the claim by villagers that their major source of water for drinking and bathing is also frequently used by herdsmen, who usually take their cows there to drink and once cattle stop over, the entire stream is messed up.
Our children have no school to attend- Usman, resident A resident, Jeremiah Usman, who appealed for government’s intervention said: “The government has not done anything for us, neither the state nor the local government. In this place, we do not have school, no light, no water, we are just abandoned. I call on the government of Edo State to help us so that we can access the needed amenities. “A borehole can give us clean water, we have many children but we do not have school for them to attend, they just stay and play at home. We drink from same stream with cows,”he lamented.
Another lady in the village said: “We need water because water is life. We have only one stream here, it is from there we fetch water to bathe, to wash our clothes, it is from there we fetch our drinking water and sometimes, herdsmen bring their cows to drink water from the same stream so we need government’s intervention.” Activist appeals to govt., others An activist, Festus Symperr Ray of Afemai Development and Transformation Initiative, ADTI, who also bemoaned the sufferings of the people, asserted: “We, in ADTI, wish to add our voice to that of the residents to our kind-hearted member representing Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency and also deputy majority leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Peter Akpatason, leadership of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, Edo State Government and other well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of this community. “They should remember that this community also have eligible voters who cast their votes during elections and, therefore, entitled to enjoy democratic dividends like others,” he added.