Residents of Aladua, a village in Ayedaade Local Government, Osun State, who are predominantly cocoa farmers, have volunteered their services on the rehabilitation of the only access road to their village.
Last week, the farmers, including women, trooped out to participate in direct labour in the rehabilitation work on the road. The villagers said they had been disconnected from other communities in the state for several years as a result of the deplorable state of the road.
They expressed hope that Aladua village would be accessible by produce buyers when the road becomes motorable, as that would also enable them take their farm produce to the market without the needless stress they said they had been experiencing.
The Secretary of the Aladua Village Road Construction Committee, Mr Surajudeen Odediran said that the Osun State Agency for Community and Social Development (CSDP), which was funding the rehabilitation at a cost of N8,764,800 had asked the villagers to bear only 10 per cent of the amount.
The CSDP is a World Bank-assisted project with counterpart funding from government.
But the village, according to Odediran, was unable to bear the sum of N876,480 that was the 10 per cent and its farmers volunteered to work on the site in lieu of the village’s counterpart contribution.
The Secretary said, “When we could no longer bear the hardship as a result of the lack of access road to the village, we sought the help of the CSDP and were asked to contribute 10 per cent to the cost of the project.
“The CSDP eventually provided N7,888,320, which is the 90 per cent of the cost of the road rehabilitation. We procured the needed materials for the work ourselves to save cost and began working at site as direct labour. Our farmers are working here as labourers to cover the cost of labour.”
The farmers have vowed they would not go back to their farms until the road rehabilitation job was completed. They were enthusiastic that when the road was completed, they would be able to transport their produce like cocoa, banana and orange to the market with less stress and earn better income.
They commended the CSDP for coming to their aid and liberating them from many years of suffering. One of the female cocoa farmers, Mrs. Hanna Olanrewaju, said the access road would enhance economic and social life in Aladua village.
Another farmer, Evangelist Moses Adesiyan, also expressed joy over the road rehabilitation and expressed gratitude to the CSDP for providing money for the project.
Credit: Daily Trust