27.11.2021 Regional News

Wa West District: Togmaa Community drinks from polluted and reptile infested dugout

By Tahiru Lukman
Wa West District: Togmaa Community drinks from polluted and reptile infested dugout
27.11.2021 LISTEN

Togmaa is a small farming community located in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region. The community which has an estimated population of about 314 is challenged with the lack of social amenities.

The lack of access to roads, electricity, health facility and most pressing potable water sources has subjected residents to a more critical and undignified life for decades.

The frustration of residents of Togmaa community in search of water is dreadful. In the rainy seasons, residents’ resorts to dugouts that are engulfed with overgrowth of weeds harbouring reptiles making it unsafe for women and children to wade through to fetch water. The harsh water condition in the dry season also makes these dugouts easily run out of water compelling residents to dig dipper or travel over two kilometres before they could fetch water in the next community.

Considering the polluted nature of the water residents of Togmaa drinks, the community must be put on red alert by the health authorities in the Wa West District in terms of vulnerability to disease outbreak. This is because, worm infestation, bacillary dysentery, cholera, typhoid and other water-borne and water-related disease could break out in Togmaa community.

In the ere where government and development partners quest to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), initiatives such as water for all must not only be appreciated at the policy level, rather a commitment from government and local authorities to ensure that rural communities such as Togmaa who need Potable drinking water source will have a water facility (borehole) to drink from.

Until the government, Wa District Assembly and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and philanthropists come to the aid of the community, the situation in Togmaa will continue to linger on.

The sorry state of water situation in Togmaa makes one ponder with the following questions: Is it a matter of neglect from authorities? Is it a case of leadership failure? Is it a matter of deliberate sabotage? It is a lack of foresight from leadership?

Togmaa's water situation exposes us to the issue of water accessibility and utilization among the rural periphery. Togmaa is one of such communities with the need for Potable water source as their main priority. It is time for all hands to be on deck and the government must lead the way to ensure Togmaa decades of drinking unwholesome water is over. The need for Togmaa to get a water system cannot be overemphasis, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic where handwashing is encouraged to reduce the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus.

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