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Gima: 200-year-old village with two classroom school, two teachers

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GIMAATTAHIRU AHMED, writes that a 200-year-old community in Zamfara State called Gima is in dire need of social amenities, its long history notwithstanding. However, respite is slowly coming with the visit of a non-Governmental organization interested in making an impact in the community.

GIMA village in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State has been in existence for over 200 years. But while residents of the village are proud of the historical heritage it harbours, they cannot boast of other good stories they can tell, as Gima is still far removed from modernity.

Located about 10 kilometres from Anka town, headquarters of Anka Local Government Area, the road to Gima is a complete nightmare. For instance, during the rainy season, motorists could spend more than one and a half hours to get to Gima, a journey that should not take longer than 10 minutes if the road is good. During the dry season, when the road is partially motor-able, commuters, however, spend between 25 and 30 minutes to get to Gima from Anka.

For residents of the village, who are mostly subsistence farmers, the absence of government intervention has caused them a lot of hardship. They have not enjoyed the often-mouthed dividend of democracy. However,  like many other rural communities across the  country, Gima with a population of about 200,000 is a stop-over for politicians canvassing for votes during electioneering. According to some of the residents, “many of the politicians often come to seek their support, which they freely give.”

However, as soon as the campaigns are over and the politicians are in their various positions, the thought of a village called Gima don›t cross their minds again, not until another election when they would flood the community in search of votes with fresh promises to provide them with good road, electricity and the sorely needed treated water.

The village head, Mallam Muhammadu Zakariya, who spoke with Arewa Live, which was with a team of media practitioners during a community outreach to the community by  Save the Children International, Zamfara office, confirmed that the community is indeed over 200 years old, adding that farming has remained the mainstay of the residents but practised at subsistence level because of institutional support.

Mallam Salisu Sani Gima, spokesperson of the community, told Arewa Live that residents passed through hardship because of neglect. Apart from a primary school that  was established about 50 years ago and which has only just classrooms and two teachers, there was no other school in the community. Even the two blocks of classrooms today are dilapidated.

Mallam Gima explained further that after a series of complaints and protests to both the state and local governments without positive responses, residents of the community had decided to contribute money from their own pockets to repair the two dilapidated blocks classrooms.

GIMAWhile appealing to the state and local governments to come to their aid in the area of education, Gima, who was speaking on behalf of residents, maintained that they deserved a better bargain from the local and state governments in the area of basic social amenities, particularly access roads, schools, water and electricity.

Save the Children International, which took their Life Step Project campaign to some select communities including Gima was able to educate residents on how tackle some challenges. The programme was aimed at enhancing the knowledge of community members on the issue of how to reduce the risk of child abuse in their community.

In the course of the NGO’s visit, 40 households were selected and trained on skills acquisition and after their training the beneficiaries were assisted to make themselves self-reliant.

During the programme, residents of Gima community were also enlightened on the importance of education in the society and how they could fight illiteracy for the benefit of their children particularly the female children who are more disadvantaged educationally, since many of them marry early, and sometimes many of them are withdrawn from school for marriage.

The NGO therefore used the occasion to emphasise on the issue of withdrawing their female children from school for the purpose of marriage, thus advising them that it is a negative practise that could keep the girl-child permanently disadvantaged.

The women of the village, particularly pregnant mothers were also advised to visit hospitals for antenatal care and should stop the habit of sending their female children to the streets for hawking, in order to support the economic standing of the families.

Though the intervention of the NGO may not have addressed the developmental challenges of people of the community, the problems are likely to get more amplification as more attention of other organisations, including government, will be drawn to the pathetic state of infrastructure at Gima.

The post Gima: 200-year-old village with two classroom school, two teachers appeared first on Tribune.

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