It is disheartening to see that of some of the multi-million Naira projects executed by the MDG to alleviate/better the lives of the rural dwellers are languishing simply for mismanagement and under-utilization.
In Ishielu L.G.A., some motorized bore-holes in Umuhuali have collapsed and due to the inability of the villagers to maintain them. The one at Azuedengwu was said to have collapsed when two out of the 4 overhead tanks were filled with water and so could no longer be utilized since 2014 to date so also that of the Central School Umuhuali.
Also, the modern 4 toilets constructed at Nkalagu Market and Nwankwo Umuhuali market have not been in use since it has been under lock and key.
At Nkalagu Market when the reporter visited the facility, it was surrounded by weeds and wasting away due to the inability to use it adequately as was the purpose of constructing it for public use.
In an interview, a butcher at the Nkalagu Market, who identified himself as Mr. Ikechukwu Ali, said that nobody was appointed to manage the facility, still, people defecate around it.
Mr. Ali rather urged that MDG direct and sensitize the various town union leadership to maintain it by providing water to enhance its usage by the public.
He commended the government for such arrangements but wondered why people defecate around the toilet facility without arranging for the use of the toilet, even if; according to him, it entails collecting N10 or N20 each for the services of the facility.
Also at Umuhuali, the 4 toilets have been swallowed up by overgrown weeds. One could barely notice the building containing the facilities, yet the entire surroundings were filled with excreta, defecated by the public and the residents around the area.
In an interview, a stakeholder and a PDP image maker in the area, Mr. Jeremiah Okafor Nwangiri described the situation as terrible.
Mr. Jerry lamented the huge amount expended on the project only to be abandoned for the bush method.
He attributed the under-utilization of the facility to lack of direction since no one has been entrusted with the management of the toilets.
He praised the state government for such stringent measures to curb or eradicate epidemics in the area and as such appealed for re-invigorating the town unions and or market controllers to take care of the facilities and collect a token, ranging from N10 – N20 each to run it.
Also, the chairman of the caretaker committee, Hon. Mwanga Godwin was of the opinion that the intention of the government to construct such facilities in rural areas was the right step in the right direction since it would help curb airborne and water-borne diseases and avoid indiscriminate defecation around environments.
Hon. Mwanga remarked that the arrangements were the brainchild of the immediate past administration in the state but regretted that the projects (toilets) were not commissioned and so no direction on the method of services to the public, especially where there was perennial water scarcity.
He also said that there were no directives as to who could be eligible to manage it and who to be accountable to.
He said that the Onunwankwo toilets were cleared during clean up exercises in the area but was forgotten since months ago, hence the ugly situation, where the toilet is all covered in weeds, adding that the market men and women and the public are eager to use the facility but the doors were under lock and keys.
The reporter noted that the case should be the same in various other communities in a rural setting, where those projects will be used maximally and utilized appropriately.