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Two Kwara Communities Benefited From Borehole Project, But They Have Since Stopped Working

For many years now, water scarcity has been a challenge in the Ode Opele community in Kwara State. To get water for their household use, most residents trek long distances and sometimes fetch from the stream.


“We know the river is not good for health, but we fetch it for our household use because we don’t have an option,” 35-year-old Grace Isaac, a fish seller in Ode Opele, said.


The residents were delighted in 2020 when the lawmaker representing Ilorin East and South in the House of Representatives, Abdulganiyu Olododo, facilitated a water project in the community. They thought this borehole would save them from the hassle of searching for water.


Their hope was dashed when the borehole stopped working adequately almost immediately after it was commissioned in 2020.


On the day of the commissioning, residents say they saw water run from the taps, then it started running slowly a few weeks after and finally stopped.


“The solar panel is not powerful. Out of the four tanks of this borehole, the water has never filled one tank before the engine was carted away by thieves,” 40-year-old Laide Patako, a resident, said.


“The community vigilante was able to recover the pumping machine. Since then, they have reported it to the lawmaker’s office and they promised to do it. Every time we go to their office, they always promise us to come and repair it but until now, they haven’t repaired it,” she added.

Why borehole is not working

Mr Olododo, in 2020, facilitated N50 million project for the provision and installation of solar-powered boreholes in Ilorin East and South Local Government.


UDEME traced two of these three solar boreholes to Ode Opele and Isale Koko.


The projects were completed in June 2020, and, in each location, the boreholes comprised four tanks, six taps, solar power that is being used to pump the water, a signpost that includes the information about the project, and a billboard that contains the picture of the facilitator.


In Ode Opele, the solar panel that was supposed to pump the water is not there anymore, all the six taps have been removed and the pumping engine has been removed by burglars.


Abdulganiyu Abdulkareem, a resident, said the borehole was not sunk well and that it didn’t reach the water point. He noted that only small amount of water comes out after pumping.


“This borehole is not useful for anything since they have done it. We didn’t even understand it because we were unable to fetch from it. It stopped working well a week after it was executed,” he said.


He added that the lawmaker brought a generator, pumping machine and five litres of petrol in February this year when he visited with some engineers and promised to come back in the next three days. “Three days is getting to more than five months now and we haven’t seen them. We want them to help us do it,” he urged.


A contact belonging to Adedayo Adesanya was found on the website of Tajkam Global Services Limited, the contractor. Mr Adesanya said he knew nothing about the company.


UDEME could not reach the supervising agency, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), as the number found on their website is non-existing and mail sent to the ministry was not replied to.


Same story in Isale Koko

Isale Koko, Ojagboro in Ilorin East Local Government of Kwara State is another community that benefited from the N50 million water project facilitated by Mr Olododo. When UDEME first visited this project in March, it had stopped working and was not serving the community.


Before this project was brought to the community, the residents fetch water from the well to bath and buy water from tankers for their household use. Residents paid N70 to fetch a 25 litres container.


A few weeks after it was installed, the solar panel burnt and Muhammad Kamaja, a resident of the community, bought new solar panels twice from his pocket, for N50,000.


Exactly six months after its installation, thieves carted away the submersible pumping machine at midnight which left the community to languish over water scarcity.


When the community complained to the lawmaker, they were given a small pumping machine, and a month after, the small engine burnt. The lawmaker promised the community to buy another after he told them to remove the burnt engine. One and half years down the line, the lawmaker hasn’t fulfilled his promise.


“I even want them to come and carry it from here so as not to collapse over my house since it is not useful. If I have someone that can help me carry it from here, I would have told the person to remove it from my land,” Mr Kamaja said.


The contractor, Subanga Investment Limited could not be reached for comments as calls to the number attached to the signpost are not going through.


Dr Omoniyi Ige, an Associate Professor in the Geology Department, University of Ilorin, said there are many factors responsible for borehole failure, noting that there are four stages of borehole drilling: survey, drilling, installation, and development.


He explained that the four stages are interwoven as the failure of one leads to the failure of the other.


“If they drill it and it doesn’t reach the water point, there will be a problem. There is high water and low water. If they stop at high water, it may likely be what happened to the first borehole. Because during the dry season, the high water will dry. The sand they drilled into also has importance to the borehole drilling. If the sand is clay, it will affect the borehole,” he explained.

Lawmaker reacts

Mr Olododo’s project manager, Abiodun Yitta, who spoke on his behalf, said they are aware of the non-functioning of the boreholes, noting that it is not their fault that the community vandalised the pumping machine.


He stated that when the lawmaker’s team went to Ode Opele in January for inspection, the borehole was working; this is against what the residents claimed that the pumping machine had been carted away since February 2021.


“Only these two boreholes are giving us problems out of over 42 boreholes to our credit. We have to tell the community it seems something is wrong with them, it is not that there is no effort. If he deems it fit to do it as part of his own self-project, we are not ruling that out,” he added.

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1 Comment

  1. Abdullateef Otuyiga

    What a piece!
    In this country, the governed always have their say on the irresponsibility of the government while the government ensures its ways to defend the accusation. Hmm!

    Well done, Abdulrasheed Hammad.

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