Central Nigerian Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, 83, says he never imagined strangers from the country’s South sinking the first ever borehole in his village, Nghar, 30niles southwest of Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
Nigeria is divided into three main regions – North predominantly Muslim Hausa Fulani, South West predominantly Yoruba and South East predominantly Igbo.
These three regions have for years battled one another over economic and political power.
A group of two friends – Bayo Balogun from Southwest, and Chisom Ezeocha from southeast therefore coming to donate a borehole in faraway Plateau, a Northern Nigerian State, Imam Abubakar says “feels like a dream.”
“They say I saved people from killers, but it was only few people and God himself did it. These strangers giving us clean drinking water are saving an entire village,” said the hero cleric who shielded over 200 Christians in his mosque when herdsmen attacked Nghar village in June 2018.
Imam Abubakar lives 1000mtrs away from the location of the borehole, but he walked to watch the giant drilling rig at work on site, Monday.
“Thank you, thank you and God bless you richly,” he said, excitedly to Dr. Balogun in a mobile phone call.
It was the first time a borehole drilling rig was deployed to the village, said the Village Head of Nghar, Mr. Mabitin Mallo.
“We never expected such a thing in our village. We never thought anyone would ever come to rescue us from this miserable life of drinking water from the same sources with animals,” said Mallo.
Workers on the site faced difficulties navigating the rough and risky terrain in the area. This added to an unexpected mechanical fault, led to the completion of a 2hr drilling in 48hrs.
However, the workers were thrilled almost throughout their stay in the village by the jubilant villagers.
The borehole project is currently at about 60% completion, but the joy of the villagers is already swollen beyond measure.
A boy in the village had on May 2, 2020 died from chronic typhoid. Same day, two other kids collapsed from typhoid and malaria infection. This is aside from several other water-related diseases previously treated among women and children in the village.
The current main source of drinking water in the village is a distant, wide shallow river, wherein animals drink, miners wash their minerals, launderers wash and sometimes people bath and excrete.
Based on geophysical survey results, sustainable water level in the village is at least 40mtrs deep, an equivalence of 131.234ft.
The deepest well therein is about 25ft deep, an unusual depth for a hand-dug well, but produces barely up to 100ltrs of water everyday, for the over 1000 population.
The villagers now having a nearly unlimited source of clean drinking water would rarely forget the kind donors who may have never been to the North, but have committed their hearts and resources to preventing further complications from poor drinking water in the village.