A health centre commissioned by the European Union in 2017 to serve the people of Onopa, Bayelsa State has remained shut and unused, FIJ gathered from a report by Tracka.
The fishing community, which battles water hyacinth, is less than 50 metres away from the Bayelsa State government but lacks basic amenities.
“This community is only divided by a fence from the government, yet its residents are suffering. If communities very close to the government are neglected, what is the fate of communities situated far from them?” Tracka reported.
Tracka, a project by BudgIT, monitors public projects and gives feedback to the communities.
Residents depend on a chemist when they have health issues. The health centre donated by the European Union since 2017 has remained locked and left residents with nowhere else to receive treatment.
The location of the community to Onopa River makes the residents more susceptible to diseases. But asides this, residents who depend on fishing as their source of income have their woes doubled due to water hyacinth that’s affected them from sourcing for food and income.
A community member said about ten kilometres of the river was blocked by water hyacinth, affecting both fishing and farming activities.
“Primary health care centres are a crucial solution to localized healthcare. Their proximity to citizens and ambience encourages citizens who will otherwise use unregulated traditional options, to seek modern healthcare,” Tracka said.
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