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Stats: 1,282 members, 11,454 Topics. Date: June 23, 2018, 10:21 pm

When The Rain God Visited Owerri With Fury

BiafraSay Forum | BiafraSay General | #Politics* | When The Rain God Visited Owerri With Fury (97 Views)

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By Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri
When Governor Rochas Okorocha came up with his “Urban Renewal Programme”, it looked like no other thing mattered for the administration. Those who kicked against it based on the absence of the needed Environmental Impact Assessment, were dubbed “enemies of government and progress.”

Others queried the capability of those handling the project and whether there was any engineering design. They repeatedly told whoever cared to listen that no harm was intended.
Their knowledgeable and sincere opinions never counted. Construction work commenced in the municipality. Public and private homes were destroyed. Even structures built by the Rochas Okorocha administration, including but not limited to the pedestrian bridge at Imo State University junction, were equally destroyed. Communication cables were excavated and indeed, damaged, to make way for road expansion.
Water pipelines installed by the Sam Mbakwe administration, now runs under the expanded roads in some areas of the municipality, particularly Okigwe, Wetheral and Orlu roads.
The solid underground drainage system built by Monier Construction Company, MCC, from where water is channelled to the two rivers in Owerri – Otamiri and Nwaorie, did not survive the state government’s urban renewal onslaught!
This was the situation when Owerri witnessed the torrential downpour of Monday, April 9, 2018. Signs that it was going to rain was very clear. Dark clouds started gathering from about 9.15am. Before 12.15pm, darkness completely enveloped Imo State, and the rain started pouring with fury.
Not long after, telephone calls started crisscrossing the state. It was all tales of woe. From Umuejechi-Nekede axis,
South-East Voice was told that flood had taken over the stretch from the Agricultural Developmental Project, ADP, to Umumbazu Nekede. Added to this was a report that the roof of Chiaka Obijuru’s house was blown off.
The Owerri North Local Government Area Customary Court, Ebikoro, Uratta, whose building equally houses the Education Department of the council area, suffered considerable damage to official documents and property.
The roof of this former political party building, which had been begging for maintenance, could not withstand the force of the torrential rain. The staff covered files and computers with lengths of waterproof.

The situation was, however, worse in Owerri municipality. Getting back to Owerri from Uratta became problematic for motorists as flood had taken over a good portion of the road.
Attempts to avoid the MCC/Uratta Road opened another horrible axis in the Egbu Road Federal Housing Estate, as flood had taken over the area.
Within the municipality also, traffic came to an abrupt halt. Flood took over Wetheral Road, parts of Tetlow Road, Christ Church Road, School Road and a number of other internal roads. Another problem area was the Okigwe Road roundabout to Imo State University Junction. Several vehicles simply got ‘drowned’ in the huge flood that took over the road.
Traumatised car owners and commuters started posting pictures of situations where they were. These pictures went viral.
Reacting to what she saw, Joi John said; “I am disturbed by these photos because I know that a few years ago, the Imo State Government began working on the drainage system along major roads.”
She then put a sound poser: “Is it that the contractors did not carry out the job efficiently or do we blame occupants of those areas for clogging up the gutters with refuse?”
In his own reaction, Ifeanyi Charisma Ezeji said: “(Governor Rochas) Okorocha has destroyed all drainage systems in the name of road expansion, not minding possible hazards. The welfare of the people seems not to be his priority, but dummy jobs to score cheap political goals.”
Roosevelt Mbamara opined that “we are in dire need of a government that observes best practices in its dealings because in the long run, it counts a great deal.”
He advised that “every contract must go through due process, so that at the end of the day, this type of stuff will be avoided.”
Whether the administration will accept this advice remains anybody’s guess. However, residents of Owerri may start thinking of changing their vehicles to amphibious cars, if nothing is done to redress the situation before the rains come in full force.

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