|children fetching water from dam|
Residents of Guunayili, a farming community in the Tamale South Constituency of the Northern Region have for over a decade now been competing with animals for ‘potable water’.
The community which is about four miles away from the Tamale township can only boast of a small dam serving a population of five thousand people. Apart from the lack of save drinking water, Guunayili has no electricity and sanitary (toilet) facilities.
The current Presiding Officer of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly Alhaji Abubari Moahmmed is the Assemblyman for Guunayili. He has been serving Guunayili, Kambonayili and Chanshegu among others since 1992. His long term service as Assemblyman has earned him a name “Senior Minister”.
He was elected Presiding Officer of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly in June 2013 with 48 votes out of 52 Assembly Members present. But for the people of Guunayili, it has no relevance because the communities under his jurisdiction still lack basic social amenities.
Pupils of Guunayili/Kambonayili A.M.E. Zion Primary and Junior High Schools told Savannahnews that, the water problem in particular is affecting their education. According to them, they attend school late because of their long hours in search of water to bath.
Some residents say the Member of Parliament for Tamale South Constituency, Haruna Iddrisu and the Mayor of Tamale Hanaan Gundaadoo Abdul-Rahaman are both aware of their predicaments but are yet to come to their aid despite incessant appeals.
Following the continuous neglect by successive governments, the legislator and the Assembly, the Chief of Guunayili Naa Zakaria Nasagri with the support of community members initiated a self-help water project for the community to get potable water.
Unlike many communities in Tamale where communal labour is no longer practiced, Guunayili residents have found solace in the old practice. They have started digging a pipeline along the Tamale-Buipe road where a bigger pipeline was laid by the Ghana Water Company Limited during an expansion programme.
|Pix by Mohammed Dikunyalala|
The community is also liaising with a non-governmental organisation, NewEnergy– that is into the provision of potable water and sanitary facilities. Officials of this organisation after visiting Guunayili upon Naa Nasagri’s invitation estimated that, about fourteen coiled pipes would be required to extend water to the community. The community has so far managed to buy only five coiled pipes.
Alhaji Alidu Zakaria Nasagri, a son of the Chief, said with or without the support of their legislator and the Assembly, Guunayili residents will do all they can within their power to get potable water.
Naa Nasagri according to his son, has asked people who have acquired plots of land for development to show serious commitment by contributing to the extension of the pipelines or have themselves to blame in future.