Residents of Orita community, a densely populated area in Eruwa, Ibarapa East Local Government Area of Oyo State cannot hold back their joy following the community’s reconnection to the national grid after 30 years without electricity.
According to the residents, the transformer in the area shut down sometime in 1989 amd all efforts to fix or replace it proved abortive, crippling businesses and making life difficult.
Succur finally came on Wednesday when the community got a new 500kva transformer following a World Bank intervention through the Oyo State Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA).
The project according to the chairman of the the Community Project Management Committee (CPMC), Hon. Olusiji Oyinlola gulped over N8 million. He said the community contributed 10 percent of the total cost before the intervention of the Oyo State Government and the World Bank.
According to him, apart from the electricity transformer and extension, the community also got a unit motorized borehole, a block of six unit toilet and refurbished dinning-hall in the community school.
While expressing gratitude to the government and the World Bank, Oyinlola revealed that the power situation drove out artisans and other businesses from the community, in addition to making domestic life difficult.
Recalling the difficulties they faced, he said: “Water was a serious problem for our people before now. Our people travel for more than two kilometers before they could get drinking water, but now that we have our community water, we can fetch water at will.
“The projects also has created employment opportunities for our people because there are now people employed to manage the new facilities”.
Chairman of the landlords association in the community, Mr. Adewole Emmanuel said: “We started planning of getting good water and transformer in our community since 1994. We talked to many politicians and associations without a positive solution. In fact, many people have sick while many have died because of poor water consumption but when we heard about CSDA, we applied and its management invited us to a meeting where we sealed the deal.
“Today, our people are now enjoying good water and a constant power supply. Many people are now coming back to our community. Thanks to the management of world bank and CSDA for their support.”
According to Mrs Funmilayo Oladiran, a resident of the community, women used to endanger their lives while lookng for water as they have to pass through the bushes even at night.
“Before now, we traveled for over two kilometers to get water but today, as you can see, I am fetching water in front of my house,” she said excitedly.
Mrs Adebisi Deborah, Acting Principal of the school for the deaf and blind, Eruwa, where the toilet was built, said before the intervention, the school had no chairs for pupils to study and they defecated in the bushes.
“But all that have changed now, thanks to the World Bank and the Oyo State Government”, she said.