By Lawrence Nwimo
Residents of Isuaniocha community in Awka north local government area, Anambra state, over the weekend, commenced palliative work on Mpiri Bridge and access road following death of three persons due to successive overflow of the bridge in recent times.
The community said they decided to carry out the palliative work on the bridge as pleas to the state government to fix the access roads fell on deaf ears.
“The situation prompted youths and other residents of the area to take the challenge upon themselves to embark on road rehabilitation and distilling of waterways and bridges in the area”, disclosed the President General of the community, Chief Vincent Nwokolo.
Nwokolo regretted that despite several attempts to get government attention to construct the Isuaniocha – Enugwu Agidi road, the road has continued to be a nightmare. According to him, the Mpiri river which usually overflows during rainy seasons had carried more than three school children who made attempt to cross the road from school.
Another resident, Chief Michael Okeke disclosed that due to the deplorable state of the road, he takes the risk of plying a bush path after close of work every evening.
Mr Onyekachukwu Okafor who confirmed that three children had been washed away by the overflowing Mpiri stream, said a middle-aged girl was still missing since she was carried away by the river.
The Chairman of Youths in Isuaniocha, Ozor Onyemazu Ngini who regretted the leave of neglect by successive administrations in the state said if the roads were not repaired before the rains set in, human and vehicular movement may be very difficult for the residents.
Ngini explained that the youths having waited for government without any response, decided to embark on palliative works on Obibia bridge, Mpiri bridge and other major roads in the area.
Mr Chukwujekwu Okoye, a community leader also noted that several developers who wanted to site factories and industries in the area left because of the dilapidated Isuaniocha-Enugwu Agidi road which is a short cut to get out of Awka North local government to other parts of the state. “The situation has also denied the youths many job opportunities and also retard the wheel of development of the area which is fast becoming an alternative location for middle- and low-income earners”, he said.
An indigene of the area and supervisor for the ongoing dredging of the Mpiri river, Mr Uchenna Onyi, explained that all the water flowing from neighboring communities comes down to Isuaniocha causing the river to always overflow the road and causing nightmare to the people.
They appealed to the Anambra state government to urgently construct the road to encourage more people to go into farming business in the area to boost food security of the state and country at large.