By: Fabakary B. Ceesay
Amid frequent usage of water to wash hands in preventing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, people in a remote Gambian border village are struggling day and night to get water for family consumption and for their domestic animals.
Renerou Village is situated in Sami District, Central River Region North, the entire 72 compounds and 77 households are currently worried about the spread of Coronavirus, they have even more worrying issue at hand than COVID-19, to wit “Enough drinking water”.
According to a native of the said village, their only borehole is not effective at all, and therefore, cannot supply the community’s water needs and that of their domestic animals. They share the water with their domestic animals by turn.
The concerned villager reported that they will allow the animals to drink first, in the morning, and then they (people) will wait for long hours to allow the borehole to get some water again before they could use it. At times, he went on, they will wait for hours without water and they have no choice but to cross to the Senegalese end of the border, to get buy water for drinking, cooling and other errands. He explained that every time they are crossing the border, they have to go with their Identity Cards (ID cards) to show to the Senegalese in order to be allowed to buy water.
At this moment, he lamented, “we are very worried about the Coronavirus, but we have no choice at all. We are thinking of how to get drinking water, and they are telling us to wash hands frequently”.
The apparently desperate villager rhetorically quizzed: “How can someone without water to drink be frequently washing hands? We cannot afford to buy water for drinking, cooking and for frequent hand washing.”
The villagers have called on the government of President Adama Barrow to immediately intervene to bail the community out of their current predicament, for them to have water