By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA — THE old spare parts market at Nkpor, near the commercial city of Onitsha, has virtually turned into a Mecca of sort following the completion of a dredging machine which cost about N10 million by a motor mechanic in the area, Mr. David Ezenwa. The equipment, which took five months to complete has been transported to Aguleri water-front in Anambra East local government area where it is expected to be put to use soon, Ezenwa’s workshop at No 5 Awgbu street, Nkpor was the cynosure of all eyes as people gathered to admire the equipment because of its size and sophistication.
Materials that formed the major components of the equipment include a 12mm metallic pan, 10 inch sand sorting pump, 10 cylinders Mercedes Benz engine, self loader sand sucking pump, blaster pump which helps to soften the sand, a sand cutter, another four cylinders 608 Mercedez Benz engine for the pump, a dashboard for electrical indication and pipes that carry the sand from the water to its place of deposit.
On completion, the equipment is almost the size of a small bridge. Ezenwa, who is from Abatete in Idemili Local Government Area of Anambra State, said his interest in fabrication started when he was young which was why he became a motor mechanic after leaving school.
He said: “I have a friend who is an engineer and is into machine fabrication and he advised me to go into equipment construction because he discovered that I am talented in the area.
On my own, I started assembling the materials after designing it. I developed interest in the dredging machine after seeing one in operation and determined that I would build it. “Despite the high cost, I picked up courage and started it in December, 2014 and completed it in May, 2015. The machine has been tested and proved to be in perfect working condition and arrangement has been completed for it to be mounted on the bank of Omambala River in Aguleri where it will be used for sand dredging.”
The dredging machine, Ezenwa said, has a pumping capacity of 300 trips of sand per day and has a discharging capacity of over 800 meters from the river bank where trucks can load the sands to various destinations. Though Ezenwa said he did not borrow money to complete the equipment, he explained that he could mass produce it if he was able to get financial assistance from government or financial institutions.
According to him, financing the project was very difficult, adding that although some people had made inquiries about the cost for me to build the machine for them, they were discouraged by the enormous cost. “All these while, many people who came to this workshop were wondering what I was doing, but I am happy that despite the initial hiccups, we have been able to complete it to the glory of God,” he said.