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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Niumi village hit by serious water shortage

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By Saidou Baldeh

Kerr Galo village, the birth place of the Gambia government spokesperson, Ebrima G Sankareh, is confronting with serious water shortage.
Villagers of the Lower Niumi settlement in North Bank Region said they are appealing for government to urgently come to their aid.

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Buba Sowe, the village alkalo, said the villagers are living in hell on earth and demand government to, as a matter of urgency help them with running water because “we are Gambians too and we deserve better”.

“The only local pump we have in the village has broken down and two wells we were all relying on have dried. It is about a month now we have been battling with serious water crisis. Our wives, daughters and animals are suffering,” he told journalists.

He said what is even more worrying is that his villagers don’t have enough water to properly follow WHO guidelines on how they could protect themselves from Covid-19.
“They asked us to regularly wash our hands but how can we do that when we don’t even have water to drink or take bath? May God forbid but if we should have a Covid-19 case we will all die,” he warned.

He challenged the government to either help them with running water or maintenance the only local pump in the village for the over 40 village households.
The VDC chairman, Mudiru Penn said the only local village hand pump has been there since 1985 as the only project the village ever benefitted from government.
“We are not treated fairly because all our surrounded settlements are enjoying water and electricity. We pay our taxes just like they do.

Why are we discriminated? We thought this government would be different but misery continues. This is why we are compelled to speak out,” he said.
He warned that if government fails to address their water challenges, they will stop paying taxes because “we are not benefiting from the state.
We cannot continue helping others get more developed.”

Amie Sowe, who spoke on behalf of the village women said: “It is only God who knows the level of suffering we go through to get water to cook for our families and launder our cloths. We sometimes trek close to a kilometre to fetch water. This is really frustrating for us. We call on the government to help us.”
The village Imam, Sheikh Penn decried the suffering the villagers are going through to just get water.

“We have even told the government spokesperson, who is a native of this village to help with a water project but we are yet to hear from him,” he said.

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