By Ikechukwu Odu
The heavy rains in the last few weeks have further exposed the bad state of some major roads in Nsukka metropolis and beyond.
As the residents gnash their teeth, the authorities seem to be looking the other way. This is even as the people decry what they called ‘shoddy construction works’ on some roads awarded for reconstruction in the area.
From the road that courses through Japan Road to Umuida Junction, in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state, and Ibagwa Road in Nsukka metropolis, the stories remain the same as people pass through near-hell situations to access their homes whenever it rained.
The Alor Uno Road, linking the MCC Road to the Beach Junction and Odenigbo Roundabout is also in a bad state and provides a good example of gully erosion site to primary school pupils.
What had prompted the outcry of the residents recently is the seemingly shoddy construction work on the New Anglican Road in Nsukka metropolis which the people alleged is a deliberate attempt by the contractor to reduce the width of the road.
In the ensuing outcry, the contractor of the said road, Ferotex Nigeria Limited, had come out to explain that the adjustment was as a result of the topography of the landscape.
“The truth is that the topography of the New Anglican Road is flat. This makes water drain impossible without engineering adjustment to reasonable road elevation enabling free flow of water.
“ If this elevation is not done , the road will remain water logged and defeat the purpose for which Enugu State Government is determined to achieve .
“To do the elevation is the best professional solution and this we MUST employ in the interest of the general good.
“We understand the concern of persons who live along the road that the elevation of the height of the road may make discharge of rain water from their homes more difficult.
“However, when we are faced with a situation where the public good outweighs few individual good, public good must prevail, especially where there is remedy for the inconvenience to the private few.
“The solution for those whose buildings are affected is to do embankment that channels water back to the drain through a culvert we are constructing,” the company said.
While the outcry rages on, rain fall brings heartache to those using Umuida Junction-Japan Road and Alor Unor road as the volume of water submerge and destroy goods, especially of those whose houses and shops are located along the pothole-ridden roads.
Unlike the rivers of Babylon, the people cannot even find a place to sit and weep, in fact, they have no place to stand and tell their stories of woe and neglect.
While the Umuida-Japan Road, which is the only access road to Igbo-Eze North Council through Nsukka metropolis, was done without drainage system, that of Ibagwa Road traps road users in potholes whenever it rains and the drainage system is already blocked just as the Alor Uno Road.
ThankGod King, who spoke to South East Voice on the state of Alor Uno Road said that the locals have on several occasions, graded the road to a manageable extent, but each time it rains, the condition comes back being worse and more severe than they left it.
He added that yearly grading and sand-filling without proper drainage and channels for the flood will only be a go-home-and-I-will-spoil-again situation.
Emeka Onu, among others who also spoke to South East Voice is asking when their tales of woe will come to an end. The residents want something positive to be done to alleviate their suffering.