By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA– In a bid to end the perennial flooding of the Ariaria International Market and environs , the Abia State government has begun the construction of an underground water channel to connect the areas to the Ifeobara Basin along the Faulks Road in Aba.
The flood channel and the rehabilitation of Faulks Road projects, being handled by the Setraco Construction Ltd, is meant to take storm water from Faulks road and adjoining streets as well as the Ukwa-Mango area to the Ifeobara Basin.
Successive administrations in the state had made efforts to check the perennial flooding on Faulks road, the Ukwa Mango area and the Ariaria International Market, but the problems became worse with each rainy season.
During the rainy season, traders at the Ariaria Market usually lament low patronage as customers stay away due to heavy flooding of the market and the Ukwa Mngo area.
While flagging off the project, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, said, “I know that previous administrations in state made several attempts to reconstruct Faulks Road, and the Ukwu Mango area but they failed because proper attention was never given to the Ifeobara Basin. But this time, we have given the work to a competent company like Setraco. This road is important to us because of Ariaria International Market.
“Setraco will do a 5.6 kilometres underground water channel that will take the storm water from Ifeobara Basin to Aba River.
This is a permanent solution to the problem of Ukwa-Mango and the flood water along Faulks Road. Those who built houses and other structures at Ifeobara basin should remove them or have the government demolish them.”
When South East Voice visited the area, construction workers from the Setraco Company were on site building the channel to link the Ifeobara Basin.
Some residents of the area who spoke to South East Voice commended the state government for the projects, stressing that if completed as designed, the problem of flooding on Faulks Road, Ukwu Mango and the Ariara International Market would be over, even as it was also observed that the state government had commenced efforts to expand the Ifeobara Basin by demolishing structures built around the area.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Setraco Construction Company, proved abortive as some workers on site directed the South East Voice to the Manager, Mr. Charbel Eid, who could not be reached on the telephone at the time of filing this report.