In Dagbaja, a predominantly farming community with a population of over 5,000 people in Oriade Local Government Area of Osun state, a healthcare facility in need of urgent rehabilitation has been left in ruins and can only offer first-aid services despite a N20 million allocation in the 2017 budget for constituency projects.
Akinyemi Olusina, BudgIT’s Project Tracking Officer, paid a visit to Dagbaja community to notify the rural dwellers about the supposed rehabilitation of the clinic by Oluwole Oke, who represents Obokun/ Oriade Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives.
Olusina observed that the rehabilitation of the said health centre was yet to kick off, forcing community members to make do with antiquated beds, bad toilets and obsolete equipment.
Sariyu Omilana, a community member, said that although Oke visited the community to announce the rehabilitation of the clinic, the amount budgeted for the project was not made public.
Lamenting the decaying state of the clinic, Omilana said: “The Federal Government stopped equipping the medical health centre long ago. The clinic does not have anti-malarial drugs, neither is there immunisation for children. There is also the absence of medical personnel and this has led to loss of lives in emergency cases.”
She added that no trace of reconstruction had been seen around the clinic since Oke’s visit in 2017 to announce the commencement of the rehabilitation. She, however, promised that the community would reach out to the lawmaker to remind him of his promise.
When Tracka visited the community in December for sensitization, printed copies of the 2017 budget were distributed to indigenes in order to enlighten them on how democracy ought to promote good governance and accountability from lawmakers.
Records also showed that the Dagbaja health centre, which serves other communities in Oriade Local Government and some suburbs in Dagbaja, ought to cater to about 6,000 patients. At the moment, patients do not have access to adequate treatment as a result of the lack of drugs and modern medical facilities.
As of the time of the visit, the health centre only distributed mosquito nets and offered first-aid treatment to patients. The only toilet in the facility had fallen into disrepair while the roof of the building was almost falling apart.
The paintings on the clinic walls had worn off, while the springs of the bed had broken, casting the image of a clinic with a sordid case of neglect and abandonment. No hospital equipment or drugs were found within the dispensary of the clinic.
The neglect of budgeted government projects is now the norm for most federal lawmakers. The attitude is not only jeopardizing the expectations of citizens but also truncating the benefits that should accrue to citizens participating in the local democratic process.
During the course of Tracka’s advocacy in the community, indigenes also lamented a seven-year absence of electricity, good roads, potable water and good schools.