- •..Primary schools in rickety conditions;
- …Teachers contribute money to mend roofs with holes
- …Uwheru residents lament abandonment
By Perez Brisibe
UWHERU – THE people of Uwheru community, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State have cried out over alleged abandonment of the town, citing the wretched condition of state- owned primary schools and community healthcare centre in the area, which have been taken over by hundreds of bats.
A classroom block at Izeze Primary School..
A visit to some schools in the community by NDV revealed that pupils learn in an environment without lavatory, while patients at the community’s healthcare centre are forced to share bed space with bats that have taken over the roof of the medical facility.
Patients battle with excreta from bats
Villagers, who spoke to our reporter said it was shameful that bats were all over the place in a health facility, saying it was not a good omen.
One health worker, who spoke anonymously, disclosed: “The delivery bed is too small to accommodate patients during delivery while in-patients battle with excreta from bats that have turned the ceiling of the medical centre to their home.”
Teachers donate money to repair leaking roofs
At some of the schools, our reporter found out the head teachers and teachers had resorted to tasking themselves to raise funds to embark on repair of leaking roofs, some of which had already started caving in to the detriment of the pupils.
In Onidjor Primary School founded in 1955, two buildings built in 2013 by the Delta State Oil-Producing Area Development Commission, DESOPADC, and another six- classroom block built as part of constituency project by a former member representing the area in the state House of Assembly, were under lock and key, while the only building built by the Shell Petroleum Development Commission, SPDC is in tatters.
To cushion the pangs of underdevelopment in the community, members of the Uwheru community resident in the United Kingdom, had on several occasions, embarked on provision of amenities such as mattresses for the healthcare centre.
Nothing to write home about
Unfortunately, efforts to provide same assistance to some of the schools met a brick wall owing to what a representative of the residents, Chief Simpson Obruche, described as the “woeful state” of the schools.
He said: “I was prompted by the leadership of Uwheru community in London to go and assess the state of schools in Uwheru so that we can contribute our widow’s might to the school, but unfortunately, when I got there, what I saw was an eyesore as there is nothing to be improved upon.”
Excuses from elected officials
Speaking on efforts to reach the community’s representatives at the State House of Assembly and National Assembly, Chief Obruche alongside the secretary of Uwheru kingdom, Chief Leader Owh, said, “When you get the representatives involved, they give excuses which are not satisfactory to us.
“Though we met the member representing us in the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Eric Oharisi, who promised to come to our assistance, we are yet to hear from him while we are yet to hear from the members representing us at the National Assembly,” he said.
Nobody contacted me, but … Hon Ahwinahwi
Contacted, the member representing Udu, Ughelli North and Ughelli South in the House of Representative, Hon Solomon Ahwinahwi , who denied attempts by the community to reach him, said: “They did not communicate with me and cannot just say they are trying to reach me.”
Promising the community to expect something from him in next year’s budget, the lawmaker said, “The budget for 2018 has already been signed, how we can put it in the budget now? The things needed in the budget for every other community were put in the budget. We cannot just put their needs in the budget immediately, they made demands, but we would input their needs in the 2019 budget when the time comes.”