The villagers residing at Aladua village in Ayedaade Local Government Area of Osun State who are predominantly cocoa farmers have volunteered their services on the construction of the access road to the village so as to save cost and make good use of the fund provided for the project by the Osun State Agency for Community and Social Development.
The villagers said prior to the CSDP intervention, they had been suffering for decades as a result of the deplorable condition of the road leading to the village.
The construction has now reached appreciable level as CSDP provided the 90 per cent of the total cost of the project.
The road is now being constructed through direct labour by villagers to meet up with the provision of their 10 per cent counterpart funding for the project.
The 10 per cent contribution of the total cost of the project by the community is one of the conditions for accessing the CSDP interventions and such contribution could be in cash or kind or both.
The cocoa farmers, including women, trooped out and participated in the direct labour work during the construction of the road.
The villagers said they were cut-off and disconnected from the state for several years as a result of the deplorable state of the road that leads to the community.
The villagers expressed the hope that the village would be accessible by the produce buyers when the road becomes drivable and that it would enable them to take their farm produce to the market without the needless stress they are encountering at the moment.
The Secretary of the Aladua Village Road Construction Committee, Surajudeen Odediran, said the cost of the construction is N8,764,800.
Odediran said the community was asked to contribute 10 per cent and that 90 per cent of the cost would be provided by CSDP.
Out of N876,480, which is the 10 per cent, the farmers volunteered themselves to work as labours on the site in lieu of their counterpart fund.
Odediran 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 we were asked to contribute 10 percent of the cost of the project. The CSDP is a World Bank Assisted project with counterpart fund from government.
“The CSDP eventually provided N7,888,320 which is the 90 percent of the cost of the road construction. We procured the needed materials for the work by ourselves to safe cost and that the work was being done as direct labour and we the farmers are working here as labours to cover the cost of labour.”
They vowed to face the construction work on the road before they would go back to their farms.
The farmers said when the road is completed, they would be able to transport their cocoa, banana, orange and other farm produce to the market with less stress and make more gains.
They commended the CSDP for coming to their aid and liberating them from decades of suffering.
One of the female cocoa farmers, Hanna Olanrewaju, said the access road will enhance the economic and social life in the village.
Another farmer, Evangelist Moses Adesiyan, also expressed joy over the road construction and expressed gratitude to CSDP for providing money for the project.
Adesiyan said: “This road is important to us like blood to the body.
“Before now, cars cannot enter this village. Even motorcycles will struggle to pass this road.
“When we harvest our cocoa and other farm produce, we have to use our heads to carry the produce from here for over one kilometer where vehicle can access and wait for us.
“But when we complete this road, vehicles can come here and load our produce and go straight to the market.”
The General Manager of Osun-CSDP, Aderonke Oluwafunmilayo Abokede, said CSDP is a World Bank Assisted Project through a tripartite agreements amongst the Federal Government of Nigeria, the State Government (through expression of interest) and the World Bank.
Abokede said: “For CSDP to be able to run and achieve its objectives, a yearly counterpart contribution is expected to be paid by benefiting state government. It is worthy of note, that, the State Government of Osun has never failed in this responsibilities. In fact, up to N700 million has been paid by the State Government of Osun as Counterpart Contribution.”
Abokede said the purpose of CSDP intervention is to increase the access of poor people to social and natural infrastructure services in a sustainable manner.