Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Juji community is located in Chikun local government area of Kaduna State, partly in Kaduna South.
About 100 years of existence and a total population of 6,000 inhabitants, Juji community is yet to have a presence of Primary Health Care Centre, PHC. The absence of the PHC has become a nightmare for expectant mothers, as these have led to the deaths of many women during delivery as a lot were involved in miscarriage in the process of seeking antenatal care.
“In some instances, women removed their clothes to cover delivering women by roadside on ways to maternity center in far away nearby communities of Ugwar Gimbia,” said Mrs. Easter Husea, the only nurse residing in the community.
Findings also revealed that the community is also not fortunate to have a public secondary school till date. The only public primary school in the area has no toilet and water for the large population of the pupils.
In fact, two of its six classrooms were built by government, while the remaining four were built through community efforts. Funny enough, too, is that a classroom is shared by two teachers, two classes of pupils.
For instance, while class 5 and 6 are sharing a classroom, 3 and 4 share another classroom down the ladder, such that teaching process affect each other in terms of noise. Although, the inhabitants are predominantly Gbagyi, the community is mixed with many other tribes, including Hausa, Fulani, among others.
Village Head of Juji West, Daniel Musa, who spoke to the visiting journalists, said “We have challenges in this community that we even think we have been abandoned by the government.
“This is a community that has been in existence for almost 100 years with population of over 6,000. But we don’t have Primary Health Care PHC to take care of our sick or pregnant women.
“Our road, as you can see, is in a very bad state. Our women suffer greatly during childbirth. Many lives have been lost in this community, particularly that of women.
“The Romi River Bridge linking Juji to our Ungwar Gimbia neighbourhood, every year gets flooded in rainy season, making it more difficult to get through it to town.
“We are appealing to the government to come to our aid. Presently, it’s our youth that carry out community work to repair the bridge and the road. We are hoping, by your visit to this community, there would be intervention in this community of ours. We are very close to town but far from development.
“We have a single primary school with 6 blocks of classrooms. The local government only constructed two classrooms and the community added four classrooms because the two were not enough.
“Presently, as we speak, the school lacks toilets, no water, no doors in the classes, chairs are not enough; the population of the pupils is increasing day-by-day,” the village head revealed.
He also disclosed that “The road from Juji community to Eastern bypass is 15 kilometers, while from Juji to Sabon Tasha road is four kilometers. In 2017 alone, about 7 women died during child birth; in 2018, two miscarriages occurred.”
A female classroom teacher, Dankade Kumasi, who opened up to journalists at the school premises on behalf of the head masters, who was away on a workshop, said “school is without doors, enough chairs, toilet, water and light.”
According to her, the teachers approached neighbouring residents for place of convenience when pressed, while the pupils (both male and female) take solace in the nearby bushes and uncompleted buildings to ease themselves.
Kumasi said when transferred to the school in 2015, there was no toilet and water provided by government, and several efforts to build some by community were futile due to lack of money by the poor parents of the pupils.
She said the pupils enjoyed the “free feeding” program introduced under Governor el-Rufai administration but without water to drink. Accordingly, they were sitting on bare floor, in 2016, before the community provided efforts to floor the classrooms and provide mats, after which the state government provided chairs.