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Anambra govt, help us to repair Isaac Okeke Street, Nnewi!

94

The government of Anambra State cannot fold its hands and watch its residents relapse into destitution while something can be done to ameliorate the situation.

Isaac Okeke Street is located in Edoji, Uruagu village of Nnewi town in Anambra State of Nigeria. It is a slopy road linking Ugedo road and Atuchukwu Street, both in Edoji. 

The road has been used for many years. But it is now in a deplorable state of disrepair due to the menace of erosion, especially during the rainy season.

The importance of the Isaac Okeke Street cannot be over-emphasized. It is used by pedestrians and motorists living in Akwuata-Edoji, Nnozu and Mbanaedoji and Akabo of Nnewichi. Several markets are located in this area including the Orie market of Ndiakwu and Nwankwo of Edoji. 

Hence, it is the road generally used by the people to go around their daily business in order to fend for themselves and their dependents. Also, this road leads to some important places like the general market, Nkwo market, and the Old Road leading to Onitsha.

During recent years, erosion has reduced the level of the road and has made potholes. Because of lack of enough drainage facility, water erosion often runs along the road. 

During the last rainy season, several sections along the Street were severed from others because of gully caused by erosion, making it impossible for motor vehicles to go along the Street.

The residents in this area have been spending time working on the Street, but lack the money and expertise needed to reconstruct the road. Hence, they use straw and vegetation to fill potholes created after erosion and scrape soil collected and dumped by erosion along the gutters. 

Following such reconstruction methods, automobiles find it difficult to move along the road for a short while and further erosion causes more removal of soil from the gutters and more water erosion move along the road and the cycle continues.

Commendably, the Edoji community, under its chairman, Mr. Emeka Ifedioha brought several tipper loads of soil to this Street which were dumped in portions worse hit by erosion. But there were no erosion check provided. 

Hence the efforts, though much money is involved, while not enough now, will be much less so during the next rainy season. Although there are still many potholes, the road is motorable now. But much still needs to be done.

If possible, the road should be tarred. Or, if not tarred, enough soil should be brought to raise the level of the road and close up all potholes. The side gutters need to be reconstructed so that erosion can flow freely along them. 

Then, erosion breaks should be constructed along the Street. The Street is about 1 kilometre long and all this will be estimated to cost several million Naira which the residents cannot afford. These are difficult economic times and the residents are finding it difficult to earn a living.

The bad state of Isaac Okeke Street has increased the suffering of people living in this area of Edoji village inside Uruagu village of Nnewi town. During the rainy season, many motorcyclists, or Okada, refuse to take passengers to this area and those who agree to go raise their fares. 

This makes it difficult for residents to carry materials into and out of their homes, even goods meant to be sold in the markets. Sick people are especially at risk as it becomes difficult to take them to or from their homes to the hospital to receive treatment. 

Those with motor vehicles sometimes need to pack somewhere and reach their homes on foot. There are many incidents when a motor vehicle will hitch somewhere and will not be able to come out until it is pushed out with hands.

Big lorries find it difficult to move along the Street during the rainy season. Residents pay for water tankers to bring drinking water to them, but they are told that the bad state of the road will not allow the tanker to bring water to them. They may also be asked to pay higher prices. Those who need to construct buildings will need lorries to bring blocks to them apart from water. 

Sometimes, the lorry will be found into a place from which it is difficult to come out because of the deplorable state of the road. The blocks may be off-loaded at the wrong place or if a water tanker, it may have to poor away the water in order to come out and go away.

The Works Department of Nnewi North Local Government, where Uruagu Nnewi is located, needs to take a look at Isaac Okeke Street to know how to bring up the road to a motorable condition. 

The Anambra State government led by Governor Willie Obiano needs to come to the help of residents living in Isaac Okeke Street. The Street needs to be reconstructed but the efforts of residents of this Street, instead of making things better, have made conditions worse. 

Ugedo Road was constructed and tarred when Virgy Etiaba assumed the mantle of leadership of the State. During that time, many residents of Isaac Okeke Street expected that their Street would also be joined in during construction because measurements were seen to be extended to the Street. 

Unfortunately, when Etiaba left the office of governor, only those roads said to be awarded the construction of by her were constructed and tarred, with side gutters provided both sides of the roads.

Governor Willie Obiano should recognise the plight of residents of Isaac Okeke Street and come to their rescue. They are part of Anambra State of Nigeria and they share in economic activities with the generality of Nigerians.

The residents of Akwuata estate and others who make use of Isaac Okeke Street are hard-working people. They attend markets, schools etc. They contribute to the economic growth of Anambra State in particular and Nigeria at large. 

The government of Anambra State cannot fold its hands and watch its residents relapse into destitution while something can be done to ameliorate the situation.

Ephraim Elombah

elombahe@yahoo.com, Tel. +2348055516177


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