· villagers send SOS to Uzodinma, FG
-How contractor abandoned project after mobilization
The deplorable condition of roads in Imo state which has been on the front burner of public discourse since the inception of Rochas Okorocha and present administration without any tangible solution has started taking its fatal toll on individuals and rural communities in the state as flood wrecked havoc at Ndiewere,Orlu community in Orlu LGA of Imo State on Monday.
Information available to our news desk indicates that sequel to the torrential downpour on Monday October, 26, 2021, the entire village was ravaged by flood making all the link roads that had become death traps impassable, as people’s homes were flooded making movement in and out of their homes a herculean task. A woman who owns a shop in the area lost her male child with whom she fell into the flood as she attempted to go home after the day’s business.
According to the Youth Leader of the community, Mazi Onwukwe the problem was aggravated when the contractor who was engaged to rehabilitate the road which runs from Umudioka,Orlu through Morning Star Secondary School to Ama Ezie in Umuna,Orlu a neighbouring community graded the entire road, and abandoned it, thereby exposing it to degradation by flood and erosion menace. Hence it collapsed completely and became a death trap.’
“The contract for the rehabilitation of the road was awarded during former governor Okorocha’s tenure. The contractor handling the project after grading the entire road, tarred it up to Morning Star Secondary School and abandoned it, hence the deplorable condition which has eventually become a death trap that has claimed the life of an innocent baby and would claim more lives if nothing tangible is done urgently to address the situation.”
He further said, “On that fateful day the woman, a member of Oham family, after the close of business was going home with two of her children, holding one with her hand while the little baby was strapped on her back.
“As she attempted to cross over, to the road she mistakenly stepped on a plank which caved in. She fell into the flood with her children and the one on her back was carried away by the flood. When finally rescued, he was already dead, while she and the one she held with her survived.”
A community Leader who pleaded anonymity narrated how they had through communal effort periodically tried to fix some parts of the road but it didn’t work because they could not do much because of cash constraints.
He called on the state and federal governments to come to their recue by compelling the contractor to mobilize to site because if nothing concrete is done urgently to address the situation more lives would be lost and unmitigated havoc wrecked on the community as the ravaging flood has already started affecting the foundation of most of the houses, in addition to the socio-economic welfare of the residents and indigenes who can no longer move about freely to transact their lawful businesses.
When contacted, Mr Oham Chigozie Augustine, father of the deceased said his son, late Emmanuel was barely a year when the sad incident occurred.He later became highly emotional and couldn’t speak any further.