By Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI
THE rains have come again with it’s multiple problems, especially in the rural communities of Imo State. The bad network of roads have worsened by flood water and gully erosion.
A typical example of what most rural communities in Imo State are passing through can be found in Ibeoma Ekwe autonomous community in Isu local government area of the state.
Having suffered for decades, a group of young lads in the community decided to come together under the umbrella union of the Movement for the Actualization of Democratic Dividends, MAODD.
After taking South East Voice on a tour of the erosion ravaged areas of the community, the group’s President, Mr. Patrick Mbanaso, lamented that they were being treated like orphans by the state government.
“We are crying bitterly because the rescue mission government of Governor Rochas Okorocha has completely abandoned our community and allowed erosion to destroy our roads,farmlands, as well as rendered many people homeless”, Mbanaso said.
Making particular reference to the road leading to Okwudor in Njaba local government area, Mbanaso lamented that it had become a source of burden to indigenes of Ibeoma Ekwe and Isu in general.
While alleging that his community is being treated like an outcast in the scheme of things, Mbanaso however lamented that communication by road was getting extremely difficult.
“The poor nature of the road network, especially now the rain is here with us, has made movement near impossible. Farm produce can’t reach the market and this has sadly led to avoidable wastes”, Mbanaso reasoned.
He was not particularly happy that politicians visit his community only when scouting for votes.
Speaking also, the group’s Vice President, Mr. Chidera Nnah, complained that the community has been in total darkness since he was born 29 years ago.
“I usually have a good laugh when I hear people talk about epileptic public power seizures. Our community has not had electricity since it’s history”, Nnah recalled with grief.
The youth leader recalled that their hope was raised when a contracting firm started erecting concrete electricity poles to the community, but stopped soon after and abandoned the life changing project.
He added that Umuaka-Ebenano-Umundugba road is in a very bad shape, pointing out that if Ebenano-Ibeoma Ekwe-Okwudor road is reconstructed, it will greatly ease human and vehicular movement.
Nnah recalled that many families have been rendered homeless, adding that in early 2000, two children almost drowned after being swept into a deep erosion site.
All attempts to get the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Hyacinth Ibegbulam Okorojo, to speak on the issue failed, as he was said to have travelled to Owerri for a meeting with the Governor.
No staff of the Ministry of Works was ready to speak on the issue because they claimed to be civil servants and not authorized to speak to the press.