By Lola Seriki- Idahosa, Kaduna, NorthWest, Nigeria
Juji community is less than thirty minutes drive from sabon tasha in chukun local government area of Kaduna state but lacks all the social amenities being enjoyed by its labouring community.
A community is more than a group of living side by side. Juji community happens to a community where people care for each other and support the growth of families and children. Community development projects seek to advance communities by influencing employment, health and homelessness, community development is important for securing, the future of the city and its residents.
Challenges to meet growing needs:
Juji community has been in existence for the pass twenty-seven years with thousands of population and over one thousand one hundred houses, the kaduna state government is yet to provide essential services to meet the diverse needs of their residents and to drive progress on many development measures.
A visit to the community by trace reporter shows that the community urgently needs government attention for development to take place.
Most community mobilisers in the community are not fully empowered to carry out their work. Few are supported by the scarce pool of qualified professionals who can plan and implement essential services. Management systems are typically strong, and broad-based, community participation and decision making has been strengthen.
This was achieved through Voice to the People (V2P) and Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI), non governmental agencies saddle with the responsibilities of improving the choices of adolescent girls and making governance work for the poor and marginalised people.
These NGO has been educating and sensitising twelve communities in kaduna state, mostly communities that are still very backward in terms of development and the provision of social amenities since last year.
In an interview with the Juji Community ward head Dauda Maitamari, told Trace Reporter, that the community has not felt the impact of the present government except the school feeding.
Also in an interview with some community mobiliser, they all pleaded with the state government to include the community in its 2018 budget, by providing the community the social amenities that other community enjoy.
On Education, Mr. Nuhu Hephrem is the education mobiliser of the community, his duty in the community is to go to the government and private schools and check the performance of students. We compel parents in our community to take their children to school.
According to him, “there are a lot of challenges, students still sit on the floor and while others are standing, we have only two classrooms in the community and six hundred pupils and seven teachers,
“Non payment of salary to teachers, we need more classrooms, books, chairs, security personnel”
On Infrastructure, Mr. Steven Lazarus is the community mobiliser on infrastructure, he said the area is developing rapidly and that the major challenges are no good road, no proper drainage, mouldy and no electricity.
According to him, “each year we experience flooding. Our major occupation is farming and we produce large scale of cereal, we also have government workers among us”
On health, Mrs. Bulus Elizabeth is the community mobiliser on health, she commended the V2P for bringing awareness to the women in the community to enable them know their rights in the community.
She said that the community is urgently in need of hospital adding that no single hospital in the community, not even a private hospital.
Said her, “the women in this community are really suffering and we are appealing to the state government to look into our problems. Most girls in this community are into trade, they are being raped and involved in early marriage”.
Also speaking is the youth leader of Juji community, Mr. Hosea Bawa, said that the community does not have a single police station and that what they make do of is self policing, defend themselves, vigilantly group.
“To attend secondary school here, it takes an hour to trek to school and our girls are also rape by Fulani herdsmen on their way back from school”
“No single package from government, our representatives, our senator for the youths in our community”.
Solutions – Strengthening Juji community:
The state government is the biggest supporter of Juji community and has closely aligned its efforts with the Government’s four-Year Development Plan to strengthen them.
The problems and challenges posed by the rapid urban growth in Nigeria are immense. More easily observable and perhaps very frightening are the general human and environmental poverty, the declining quality of life and the underutilized as well as the untapped wealth of human resources.
Housing and associated facilities (such as water, electricity, waste disposal) are not available.Thousands live in this substandard environments called slums, plagued by squalor and grossly inadequate social amenities, such as, a shortage of schools, no health facilities and lack of opportunities for recreation among others. Juvenile delinquency and crime have become endemic in community areas as a result of the gradual decline of traditional social values and the breakdown of family cohesiveness and community spirit. Moreover, the capacity of law enforcement institutions to prevent crime is not available.
Lack of infrastructure is one of the most pressing problems in community, Significant proportions of the houses in major community have no access to electricity, pipe-borne water or hygienic toilet facilities.
With reference to education, the average number of pupils per teacher, which has also been used as a proxy for education quality, was high and ranged between 35 and 45 in many Nigerian cities. Research has revealed that there has been a decline in the quality of education and educational services in Nigeria. The same was observed for health services. The quality of health services was generally poor, in spite of the fact that the best that the Kaduna state had to offer was concentrated in cities. The number of people per hospital bed in 1986 was 256 in Kaduna. Of course, the figures were higher in the rural areas where the average was over 200,000 per doctor.
Many research findings show that cities in Nigeria, as in other developing countries, have been growing at a very rapid rate, there has been no commensurable growth in the rate at which social services and infrastructural amenities are provided in community. The result has been a gradual decline in the quality of the environment and in the quality of life. Educational facilities such as primary and secondary schools, have not been able to accommodate the sharp increase in the number of pupils ; the ratio of population to health facilities such as dispensaries, maternity homes and hospitals is unfavourable, health facilities are neither well staffed nor adequately equipped. The same findings apply to housing, employment opportunities and crime prevention facilities.
The pattern, trend and characteristics of community in Nigeria call for measures aimed at : stemming the growth of the cities , controlling the rate of rural-urban migration ; and improving the quality of life in both urban and rural areas.
Taking appropriate measures calls for a thorough understanding of the rural community setting. We call on major stakeholders in the community, like the state government, councillors, house of assembly member representing the community, the house of representative and the senator representating the zone to urgently assist the Juji community.