Thursday, December 8

Acute water shortage hits Upper Niumi villages

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By Mafugi Ceesay

Some villages in Upper Niumi have lamented the water and food insecurity currently besetting the communities.

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Residents of Kerr Alhagie Karu, Kuntaya and the surroundings are experiencing an acute water shortage compounded by fear of food shortage.

“We have long been suffering from water shortages. Thanks to the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) who came to our aid by providing us with a local hand pumping machine. We believe this was helpful; but the materials attached to this pumping machine are also not good. They did not bring good materials, all the materials they supplied us for the borehole were not good and they left it in our hands like that without further assistance. There is nothing that we could do about the materials. We do not even know how to complete it simply because we have no money,” said Mamadou Bah, alkalo Kerr Alagie Karu.

According to him, the local pump was just 12 meters deep.

He added that the borehole only supplies water for only two days and stops.

“We have since been doing all that we could to see the pump is completed and working effectively; but to no avail. We have been following NaNA for over 5 years now asking for assistance, but nothing,” he asserted.

He added: “We were in that situation until our children in Kombo and Senegal had to contribute D250,000 to complete the borehole. Until now the borehole is still not completed. It is only a water tank out of the lot materials which is currently working effectively. The tank alone cannot supply the entire village. We continue to seek for help but to no avail,” he remarked.

Bah further called on philanthropists, stakeholders and the government to come to their aid to complete the borehole.

Bah also said the communities are also battling food shortage.

“We were the first district to welcome the rain within the North Bank Region. The first maize we grew died because the rains suddenly stopped. We tried again and the same happened, so by the time the rains stabilised, we tried again but the maize did not reach maturity stage and the rains stopped. Maize is our only staple food in this region, so losing everything is terrible and we don’t have any food left with us. Some of us who used to harvest and eat from season to season, cannot even have a bag. It is sad,” he said.

Muctarr Bah, Kerr Alagie Karu said he also did not harvest anything from his farm.

“Our only hope remains in god and the good people to help us.”

Binta Bah, a native of Kerr Alagie Karu also said her family did not harvest anything sufficient from their maize farm.

“We are calling on government to rescue us. Our husbands are now living on loans taken from the shops. Now our only hope is in the groundnut farms but we don’t know what will happen. The government needs to help us with food and water.”

In Kuntaya village, Alkalo Alhagie Khan narrated a similar ordeal.

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