Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), has built and handed over a one-room modernised traditional house to Madam Tungboere Pondie, a 95-year-old woman in Amassoma community, Bayelsa state.
The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the Nonagenarian, who has three children, was living in a dilapidated mud house apartment without roof, door or window.
The three children of the nonagenarian, two males and one female, are also said to be aged and poor, barely managing to take care of their own homes.
Mr Ere Efeke, who initiated the project, said during the handing over ceremony on Wednesday in Amassoma, Southern-Ijaw Local government area, that the building was made possible with the support of the Institute.
Efeke, Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry for Transport, noted that the initiative was to give the helpless and homeless woman a shelter over her head.
“I visited here in April, because I decided to use my salary for the month as support for the COVID-19 palliatives to the poorest of the poor in my Community, Amassoma.
“I saw the woman because her name was on my list. On that day, I was moved to pity.
“Her dilapidated mud house was not so different from living outside as it was riddled with gaping holes which could not prevent cold, mosquitoes, or even snake attacks.
“Each time it rains, she suffer severe cold as major parts of the zinc covering the house were leaking, coupled with the fact that some parts of the mud house were already falling,” he narrated.
NAN reports that the one room apartment with modern roofing is furnished with chairs, table, a flat-screen LED TV and pay-TV decoder with one-year full subscription.
On the nature of the house, Efeke explained that the modernised traditional mud house is called “Wattle and Daub” and is special to the people’s culture.
“This house will revive the dying Ijaw culture in architecture and civil engineering. This is a traditional architecture, it’s well planned and very strong because it’s different from other mud buildings
“I am happy, today, Mama will sleep in her furnished house,” he said.
Mr Doubra Kumokuo, the Youth Leader of Kolokumo/Opokumo local government area, commended the Institute and Efeke for their support and urged them to keep the flag flying.
“The rich men and women in the country should always look back to the society and attend to the poor and the needy. It’s a war against poverty,” Kumokuo advised.
Mr Collins Pondie, one of the children of the woman, expresses their gratitude to the initiator and the Nigeria Institute of Architects for providing shelter for their mother.
“It has been long she has been sleeping in the open space with a two inch flat matress. We thank everyone involved in giving our mother a meaningful home and prayed that God will continue to bless them,” he said.