There was exhilaration in several Itsekiri communities in Warri area of Delta state as a board member of the State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Mr. Victor Oritsetimeyin Woods resuscitates moribund amenities in the communities.
The benefiting communities include Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri), the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people, Orugbo, Ajigba and Inorin among others, some of which have been in darkness for over eight years when the power plants broke down.
Ode-Itsekiri and others have been without portable water due to the failure of the water plants in the communities and breakdown of three power generating plants in other communities due to lack of maintenance.
Specifically, it was gathered that Orugbo and Ode-Itsekiri were grappling with lack of portable water due to the breakdown of the water facilities, until the intervention of Woods, who is the Executive Director in charge of Planning and Research at DESOPADEC.
Speaking with our reporter on his intervention, the DESOPADEC ED explained that her personal financed the project as his contribution to the rebirth of the communities. He said his individual effort is aimed at facilitating the return of indigenes of the areas who left in search of better living condition.
He particularly lamented that enrolment at the Ode-Itsekiri schools could be better if there are better social amenities and facilities to make inhabitants of the areas feel like their counterparts in the upland areas.
He expressed surprise at the low cost required to fix some of the facilities, which failure had led to untold suffering for the inhabitants of the Itsekiri communities.
“My experience with these projects showed that sometimes you do not need to break the bank to bring some of these facilities back to life. For instance, there was a water project that required just N25,000 to bring it back to life because it was just the water pump that was faulty.
“In Big Warri (Ode-Itsekiri) and some adjoining towns, we restore water supply, fixed three power generating sets and did some other things. All these we achieved with just a this little money and the relief it has brought to our people is priceless.”
He blamed the deplorable state of some of the facilities on apathy of some community leaders towards government’s property, stressing that some of the faults with the amenities were things that they could easily have done.
While conceding that it was not possible for him to personally fix the problem of amenities in all Itsekiri communities, Woods expressed hope that when the 2016 budget of the commission is passed, there would be funds for such intervention.
“There are very few communities that don’t already have water or power (generator). But they packed up because of one small problem or the other and because it is provided by government, if government doesn’t come, people complain we don’t have light.”
A very impressed Itsekiri indigene, Mr Godwin Adanoritsewo, described Wood’s gesture as worthy of emulation.
Adanoritsewo said: “We can agree that yielding to the call and fixing of some basic needs of community can lay the foundations of Itsekiri development.” The Nation