…as pregnant women die helplessly
Ochumode, a rural community in Yehe ward, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State, have cried for help over poor infrastructure and alleged negligence by the government in the state.
Making this known was the Youth leader of the community, Mr Sylvanus Ogbor, while speaking with journalists over the situation members of his community find themselves despite their contribution to the development of the state.
According to Ogbor, they have been in this precarious situation for long and nobody seems to care about his people, and they have made several effort to reach the government but nothing yet done to ameliorate their plight, which is now in a dangerous state, especially under this period of lockdown as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
It was also gathered that the community has no good water and no school, where children from the community can attend and gain formal education. The youth leader recalled the promise of the the state governor, Sir Ben Ayade during the 2019 campaigns, adding that he asked the chairman of SUBEB in the state to address the lack of school in the community and that nothing has been done to address the situation.
He said: “This very community, Ochumode in Yehe,Yala LGA of Cross River State, is not recognized by the government at all levels in all facets of life. In fact, we are abandoned as if we never exist.
“On the area of education infrastructure our community is terribly in bad shape before COVID-19 pandemic. The school structures are all dilapidated, and where to stand to teach and where to sit to learn are no more. I tell you there are no structures standing again.
“We don’t have any form of road or bridge to transport ourselves and goods. Right from time it has been only canoe we are depending on. Canoe is the only means of transportation to and fro in the community of Ochumode.
“As I speak with you my people have being cut off from the outside world. The river they pass before gradually submerging our community due to rainfall and flood and now harvested crops cannot be sold any longer since we don’t have bridge to transport farm produce to the market for business and other transactions.
“In no distant time our crops planted would be ravaged by flood, which we record huge losses annually. We only manage to salvage handful of our harvest for storage, consumption and sale ahead.
Meanwhile, he (Ogbor) narrated the ordeal of pregnant women and children who die helplessly due to lack of primary health care facility in Ochumode.
According to him pregnant women do not have any clinic to go for antenatal or child birth, and this has led to incessant loss of lives and high infant and maternal mortality rates in the community over the years.
“Our pregnant women and children die helplessly in our community because there is no primary health care facility to attend to them. We have been calling, writing and pleading with government to come to our rescue but to no avail. It is very disheartening to see few of them trekking to Yehe fopr medical check-up.
“We have also lost lives of members of our community due to various illnesses because we lack this important amenity in our community.
“We have only resorted to self-help medications like boiling of herbs and drinking fermented roots of medicinal trees to suppress typhoid, malaria, diarrhea and others, but is is not too good for our health sometime because we need to carry out some basic medical test before treating any sickness”, he said.
However, the youth leader and community members appealed to the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, and National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to come to their rescue as things continue to get bad and frustrating.
“Right now we are appealing to Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, and National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to assist Ochumode community in the area of flooding, medications and other relief materials this year.
“On road and bridge infrastructure we are calling on the Yala and State Governments to act fast and do the needful to help reduce the suffering of our people and also build a befitting primary health care centre for us in order to stop premature death of our pregnant women and child including other members of the community”, he added.