OKAKU – Inhabitants of some villages in the Okaku constituency said they are still hoping for basic services such as water, electricity and quality public healthcare. The residents of Egundjilo and Olushika, amongst others, expressed that with the exception of those who have private taps in their homesteads, some still trek distances to access water. Alternatively, they pay privileged neighbours to collect water from their taps.
Some residents of Olushika do not have access to potable water, so they rely on earthen dams, which they describe unfit for human consumption.
“We cannot afford the fees that are being charged; hence, we drink what is available,” said Aina Johannes. The community further charged that the situation mainly affects the elderly, and it is pleading with government through their constituency councillor, Gerson Hannu Kapenda, to provide them with basic services. Clean water is currently only available at the nearby school.
Kapenda, however, refuted the claims that the community drinks water from earthen dams. “We do not have children drinking from earth dams in the constituency. Those are probably people who do not want their water bill to go up or who use it for livestock purposes,” Kapenda exclaimed. In terms of electricity, Kapenda stated that the government is doing its best; in fact, Olushika will soon be electrified. He elaborated that government and the community have a joint project to electrify Olushika, and the community has already paid its part. “We are only waiting for the government to pay its part before the area can be electrified,” said Kapenda. Another pressing issue is the availability of a clinic. The community claims the clinic at Okaku is too far especially for the ailing elderly. The Ministry of Health and Social Services allegedly visits Egundjilo once a month, which, according to the local community, is not enough. “By the time they return, some people, especially the elderly, will have been sick multiple times before they could access treatment again,” refuted another resident.
Meanwhile, the community members also demand public ablution facilities to promote good hygiene. Currently, some people have put up makeshift ablution to avoid people from relieving themselves anywhere.
Apart from the absence of public ablution facilities, the elderly from the various homesteads that were visited have been provided with such facilities by government.