v Govt pledges lasting solution
Owerri, the capital of Imo State and its environ on Sunday July 4, witnessed an unprecedented two hour heavy down pour that left most of the areas submerged under heavy flood that rendered most people homeless and made most roads, especially those under construction impassable thus leaving most commuters stranded with the only alternative being the use of tippers and bigger trucks as passenger vehicles, for those who couldn’t trek.
The heavy rain which began few minutes past two o’clock in the afternoon and lasted up to 4pm flooded areas like the World Bank axis of New Owerri, Egbeada Housing area, Aladinma and Ikenegbu Northern extension including Chukwuma Nwoha Street and MCC/Ekemegbuoha Road under construction where owners of smaller cars were forced to abandon their cars and swim ashore for safety, whereas a brave or courageous jeep owners or drivers were put in a dilemma of locating the roads from the waterways.
Many houses along these areas were flooded forcing occupants to abandon their homes for safety.
In the World Bank area big trucks and tippers were forcefully applied as vehicles or canoes to ferry people from the World Bank road at the dream land junction to the neigbouring villages of Umuguma Housing and Avu communities.
As at the time of this report residents of Aladinma northern extension, Akwakuma and Amakohia areas including the New Egbeada market are lamenting and counting their loses in terms of household wares and commercial commodities.
It would be recalled that officials of the country’s meteorological agencies had earlier predicted heavy flooding in some parts of the country, though the situation of Owerri capital city has been worsened by the bad and poorly constructed drainages which began during the Rescue Mission urban renewal project with a brief intervention by Emeka Ihedioha.
Following last Sunday’s flooding in Owerri, the state government in its reaction pledged to promptly proffer lasting solution to the perennial flooding of Owerri capital lying along the valley or lowlands of surrounding hilltops and rivers.
In a statement issued on Monday July 5 through Oguike Nwachukw, Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to the governor, government said, “the flood noticed on World Bank axis of Owerri, Imo State at the weekend following heavy downpour is only temporary as permanent solution to it is very much on course.
“Governor Hope Uzodimma has assured that work is currently ongoing in the area and other places, to deal with the situation once and for all and appealed to the residents to see the development as temporary.
The Governor said that he was aware that both casting and desilting processes needed to channel the flood to the river had been done, noting that with the weekend heavy downpour, the contractor will have the benefit of identifying all spots that would have posed a challenge to perfect work and deal with them appropriately.
He reminded residents once more that his administration is not just on course as regards rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery of Imo, but determined to improving the infrastructure of the state.
He maintained that there is no going back on quality projects which Imolites would be proud of.
Governor Uzodimma appealed to the people to take their patience as their own sacrifice while efforts are in top gear to fix the problem once and for all in line with what had been done in other parts of the state capital”.
In his reaction to the ugly trend of flooding and disaster occasioned by the undue delay and poor drainages system and road construction the Imo State Commissioner for Works, Ralph Nwosu has this to say,”flooding: Okigwe road, Bank road, World Bank/Umuguma road Chukwuma Nwoha and Federal Housing axis, We already have in place control measures, Ralph Nwosu.
The attention of the Commissioner for Works, Ralph Nwosu has been drawn over the flooding of some major streets in Owerri metropolis as occasioned by the heavy downpour of yesterday being the 4th day of July 2021.
While we sympathize with residents and road users of these areas over the unpleasant experience, the Works Commissioner states that Government has put in place flood control measures that will permanently solve the ugly scenario going forward.
He maintained that the World Bank/Umuguma road is under construction at Umuguma axis with the desilting of storm water gateways in other to tackle the problems of flooding in Umuguma and building up the road to formation level and also super-elevate the sections to discharge into hydraulic structures.
It is worthy of note that at the inception of the present administration, Government commissioned an International desilting outfit named MAZEN which desilted Lake Nwaebere, manholes and all hydraulic structures within the watershed. Also of note is the ongoing tunneling to Otamiri River which will solve the storm water flooding permanently when completed. It is on a happy note that we wish to inform the general public that the Contractor is within (40) meters to the river being the final discharge point.
The case of Okigwe road and Bank road are underway to ascertain the cause and will be permanently given a lasting solution as the Shared Prosperity Government of His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma is firmly committed to the fulfillment of yearnings and aspirations of Imo People.
The Works Commissioner therefore wishes to use this medium to once again sympathize with residents and road users over yesterday’s flood cases in the aforementioned areas and other areas that are flood prone while reiterating State Government resolved in tackling the flood issues once and for all within the shortest possible time”.