EntertainmentHIC ED Calls On Govt. to Pay Attention to Challenges of People at Grassroots

ABUJA —  Mr. Bassey Bassey, Executive Director, HipCity Innovation Centre (HIC) has called on government at all level to pay serious attention to the challenges confronting their citizens at the grassroots.

Bassey made this call at the premiere of the video documentary: ‘Echoes of the People’ and the role of local governance in sustainable development in Abuja.

According to him, the reason for this video documentary, is to make the government at all level to know what the people are going through, as regard to good education, access to good health care, road, electricity among other.

HIC boss further said that his innovative centre came to beach the grab, by given power to the people in making sure for them to understand that they have the voice to demand for elected representative.

” Women and children suffered to trek for distance to access education and Health Care Centre.

” People do not have access to portable water, they drink contaminated water that can cause sickness and disease.

” This is the main reason why we have decided to have the documentary, in order for people to speak their mind, what they need and the challenges they are facing.

” Our aim is to gather citizens’ voices and let the government know their plight and what they are passing through.

” The local government and area council are supposed to drive the grassroots development but failed to an extend.

” Why we recognised all of the challenges, we also feel they are great disconnection between the government and the people, in term of how they communicate and engage with the community.

” Echoes of the People is that platform design for citizen and government to dialogue, in order for them to come to the aid of their people,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Jochen Luckschelter, Country Director, Heinrich Boell Stiftung Abuja, in his remarks, commended the effort of HIC in bringing transparency in governance.

According to him, they have been in partnership with the HIC since 2018, working hard with communities, in looking at people’s issues, challenges and finding the desired solutions to all.

He urged HIC to continue their go good work by presenting community plight and challenges to the government.

Dr Mohammed Dan-Hassan, Executive Director, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), said one of the way of making our projects and development sustainable was by employing local governance at the grassroots level.

Dan-Hassan, who was represented by its agency Deputy Director/ Head of Department Water Supply, added that project and development had been executed for people and it was unknown to them.

He further said that management of those project and development was highly sustainable.

“For RUWASSA projects, we employ community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). Village Level Operational Maintainence (VLOM) among bothers at the community level for projects to be sustainable.

“We all know that almost all our everyday activities either at home or at work place revolve around WASH( Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), yet in Nigeria, we cannot boast of having water supply and Sanitation facilities to the reach of all.

” The short supply of water and adequate sanitation has a ripple effect and has crippled productivity and also exposed us to the risk of water-related diseases,” he said.

He added that Nigeria has ranked number one in ‘Open Defeacation’ as such president Mohammdu Bihari has declared a state of emergency on Open Defecation.

” The sanitation target consider access to safe toilets and latrines , but does not assess whether waste water, sewage and excreta are disposed properly.

” There is also no provision for hygiene promotion and education, which is a crucial aspect of the water and sanitation services, which should be basic and affordable.

” It will not be an exaggeration to state that we have serious challenges to overcome. Radio programmes is the major platform that can help to achieve this.

” It is however hoped that the progressive implementation of the right to water and sanitation will contribute to a much greater and equitable coverage in providing these essential services,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that HIC is a Non- Governmental Organisation, that has been working with grassroots communities and urban slum settlements in the six Area Council of Abuja.

They aim is to support communities to document their needs, tell their stories and also engage with their Area Councils on their identified challenges, while seeking partnership with Area Councils to provide the desired solution.

NAN also reports that communities visited in the six Area Councils were Athena Rice mill at Kuje, Rije community, Leyeyi Gwari community at Kwali Area Council, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Zuba spare parts market among others.

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