Vanguard (Lagos)

24 February 2013

Nigeria: Cholera Outbreak Kills Seven in Kula Kingdom

Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State have been thrown into mourning following an outbreak of cholera that lhas claimed the lives of at least seven children.

The development which has been recurrent in the oil-rich kingdom is due to lack of potable water and paucity of decent sanitary system. Kula Kingdom is dotted with oil wells and flow stations and is host community to five multi-national oil companies.

Oni, a resident of the affected community alleged in Port Harcourt that series of logistics challenges was inhibiting the general welfare of the inhabitants who now believe they may have been abandoned to their fate.

"Government has forgotten us in developmental matters. This is not the first time there would be an outbreak of this ailment and other diseases in the vicinity and each time it happens, we report to the relevant authorities to come to our aid, but it has been to no avail," he asserted.

Yet another resident named Pauline, noted that the multi-national companies exploring oil in the community are doing nothing to improve lives of the indigents. She lamented the horrors pregnant women and the sick undergo to obtain healthcare.

"Big as Kula is, there is no hospital, no potable water, or good roads. Expectant mothers have to travel to the local government headquarters at Abonnema or Port Harcourt before they can access health care services.

"In most cases, women in labour die in the process of going to the LGA headquarters and question the rationale behind the exclusion of building a primary health centre in the Kingdom since the Rivers State government embarked on building health centres in the communities," the source lamented.

The aggrieved residents are urging government at all levels as well as multi-national companies operating in the area to come to their rescue by providing potable water, good sanitation and other basic amenities of life.

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