Karako: The abandoned FCT community
Although the notion is that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is a place where milk and honey flow, members of the Karako community in Bwari Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have however discovered differently.
With a population of 500, consisting mainly women and children, members of the community have lived in the hope that one day they might get a better deal from the government, or attract the attension of philanthropic Non Governmental Organisation (NGOs) and or individuals to come to their aid.
For now, as it awaits redemption, the community appeared to be cut off not only from civilization but also from the developmental efforts of the government. They are slum dwellers living in poor sanitary conditions thereby susceptible to many diseases such as malaria and typhoid. With no pipe born water, their only source of water for drinking and other domestic uses is the nearby stream. No medical facility either,and they could only access medical facilities at the neighbouring Kuje village. Waterborne diseases and eye problems are some of the common ailments ravaging the area.
With no secondary schoo and only, one primary school which boats of just three teachers, and attracts N250 as school fees, Illiteracy is, not unexpectedly, high. No police station and motorable roads, with the ubiquitous motorcyle as the form of transportation. And as far as the people are concerned, electricity is an alien culture that many of them have no idea what it is.
Gbagi and Hausa are the two commonly spoken languages in the community. The standard of living is low as they mainly survive on their farm produce: Yam, Corn and Guinea Corn. The people also engage in rearing canimals, palm wine tapping and hunting of wild animals. The closest market is Mpape market which is one hour ride on motorbike. The level of sensitization about their personal health and other positive life issues is low.
However, the Group ‘A’ NYSC Corps members serving under the platform of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) offered free medical treatment, drugs and insecticidal treated nets to the community. The gesture was done in line of the Goal 6 of the MDGs, which aims to combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases.
Coordinators of the group Mr. Kefas Steven Garba and Mr. Udaga Monday Inyila said that the project was undertaken with a view to assisting the the communities.
The Medical Director, Kute Health Post, Aboki Mohammed, who received the drugs on behalf of the two communities in Kute, assured that he would ensure that the drugs are equitably distributed between the two communities.
He lamented low government attention in the communities, aqsserting that the only support the people receive from government is during IPDs and immunizations. Unlike Kute Community, which has a manageable health post, Karako has no such facility where they could receive treatment. They depend on Kute Community for medical treatment.
Nevertheless, the Chief of Karako Community expressed satisfaction with the MDGs Corps Members for their show of love towards the community.
Like he provervial Oliver Twist, the leader of the community requested for an encore of the gesture so that every household is touched by the blessings of the corps members.
A resident of the community, Useni Daji who lamented the total neglect of the community by the government said that boreholes, clinic and good roads would go a long way in making Karako a better place for the people to live.
In his reaction to the development, another member of the community Danladi Musa canvassed for the appointment of “somebody from our community to represent us in government” asserting that the neglect suffered by the community is as a result of not having a representative in government “to speak on our behalf”. According to him, “there are capable hands here that can represent the community well in government”.
To be sure, government at all levels must be responsive to the people, even if government may not have the capacity to share money or distribute food stuffs to every household in Nigeria. Still, it is government’s responsibility to ensure that basic necessities of life are accessible to as many people as possible.
For now, for all the dividends of democracy it is getting, the Karako Community may as well living on planet Mars as the FCT administration, nay the Federal Government, has completely consigned it onto the backwaters of its priorities.