If there is one thing that has troubled seriously the inhabitants of the South East, it is the challenge of road infrastructure. The state of roads virtually everywhere in the South is heart breaking. It calls for a declaration of a state of emergency. It also puts to question what the various governments are doing in terms of the people’s welfare.
From year to year we have grappled with the challenges of bad roads and it takes a heavy toll on businesses and human lives. There is no end to the lamentations of the pains caused by bad roads. Part of the effect of erosion menace is the dislocation of families, submerging of families, roads severing into two and becoming impassable.
It is more painful if it is realized that part of the cause of the erosion problem is human actions. Experiences abound where people block the drainages with solid wastes obstructing the flow of water. The wrong channel of water provides a destructive impact on the roads.
There is also the impact of building structures on water ways as well as excavation activities. These are human actions which are controllable but appear to overwhelm the government in its control measures. The consequences are that some of the effects have gone beyond what some of the communities can handle. Government actions on the other hand remain quite ineffective.
Anambra state is adjudged the worst hit with erosion sites numbering over a thousand yet it plays significant roles in the country’s economic development. Communities with the worst erosion sites include Agulu, Nanka, Adazi-Nnukwu, Oko, Ozubulu, Nnewi Ichi, Onitsha, among others
Abia state is another city of tremendous economic value yet ravaged by erosion. Worst affected are the Agueze Amaogudu Abiriba section of the Umuahia-Ohafia federal highway, Umunwanwa, Oguduasaa, Ndiegoro and Ohuhu clan, as well as the Umuezekwu and Umuakwu Nsulu communities.
Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi have their tales of woe. They are as bad as the earlier ones highlighted. The recovery actions of the government are more or less mere palliative in nature. Erosion destroying farmlands, properties in Ebonyi State, cases of flooding had over the years led to loss of lives, destruction of farmlands and properties worth millions of naira in the state.
Experience has shown that the roads get worse during the rains but in the dry weather when opportunities abound to fix them we do little or pay mere lip service only by barely scratching the surface in the name of grading. These palliative measures hardly provide any support for the rains on arrival remind us that we have only wasted effort in the interim measure. The consequences of bad roads are quite numerous to recount.
Bad roads delay movement of goods and people and results in losses to profits. Aside. Some trucks conveying goods fall on the roads and create terrible losses to traders. There have been situations where resulting from bad roads trucks and other vehicles fall on the roads spilling their contents with economic consequences to business operators. The resulting traffic jams from such incidents also have implications for business and human health.
The federal government has not demonstrated sufficient interest in alleviating the erosion challenge in the South East. The governors must rise to the challenge and take their destiny into their hands. Precise decisive actions that should be adopted reposition the state away from the dangers in order to give the people relief.
Value of human lives cannot be quantified by anybody. No human can create life. We have continually expose our lives to the dangers of bad roads and precious lives have been lost in good numbers through various road accidents. It is time our governments stopped being insensitive.
We are presently enjoying fair weather, a period the governors promised to do wonders in recovering the road. But investigations reveal that no serious action is going on anywhere. After the second rain in Owerri some roads have collapsed making it impassable for the inhabitants. Worst hit is the abandoned Federal Poly-Nekede-Ihiagwa road, Chukwuma Nwaoha street area.
News Echo calls on the various governments to wheel back into action if they are sincerely committed to the welfare of their citizens. It would not be fair if this dry weather is wasted again without seriously fixing the roads. The politicians should cease from toying with the destiny of the people.