…orders massive intervention to save houses, roads from imminent collapse
By Tom Moses
UYO—AGONIZED by the devastating effects of flooding on residential buildings and roads in Uyo, capital of Akwa-Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel has made a volte face on his recent resolve not to intervene again in the erosion challenges across the state.
The reason for his earlier decision was paucity of funds occasioned by the prevailing economic down turn, but because of intense flooding of major roads and the dangers posed to residential quarters each time it rains, the governor has directed the state’s Ministry of Works to immediately commence massive drainage construction and erosion control devices.
NDV observed that many streets in Uyo, are usually submerged at the slightest downpour which subsequently results in the flooding of homes. Accordingly, the Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang, has appealed to residents of Uyo, especially those with buildings on natural ways to vacate the structures, as construction of drainages for erosion control would commence within one week.
The commissioner also appealed to residents to stop dumping refuse in drains to prevent over-flooding. He observed that the roads in Uyo were up to standard but the drainage system was not, making the streets water logged as there are no natural channels for water to flow into.
“We are going to undertake the intervention in phases because there are a lot of works and the funding is quite heavy. The funding required doing about 13 -kilometres of underground drains and constructing at least 40 kilometres of road. “Because of funding, we are going to commence work by providing stone slabs on the sides of the roads because water affects asphalt before we zero in on a permanent solution.
“Importantly, our communities should stop dumping refuse into the drainages because right now, most of the drainages are blocked while some people have taken parts of the roads to do their frontage and even taking the space that is supposed to occupy gutters,” he said.
To ensure that residents comply with the directive on no refuse dumping in gutters, Inyang said government would set up a task force to arrest and prosecute offenders.