By Dennis Agbo
Chimaroke Nnami governed Enugu State for eight years but never looked the way of Trans Ekulu, one of the landmark areas in Enugu.
His successor, Sullivan Chime did same except that his government did the road leading into the estate. Inside the estate remained dilapidated, rusty and many roads unpassable at the time Chime left office after eight years.
Residents banked on Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to change their story. After first term and almost two years into second term, their story is worse for the place has badly deteriorated.
There appears to be no government plan for this huge area that used to be one of the prides of the coal city. It means no government presence in the area for almost 22 years. Ordinarily, no area would suffer such neglect and still identify with the party in government.
It is against this background that the resident of Trans-Ekulu in Enugu metropolis are pleading with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to change their narrative and retain the area as one of the legacies of constructed more than fourty years ago.
One of the foremost residents, Mr.Callistus Ebua said that Trans-Ekulu phase one layout was among the federal government housing initiatives in 1977 for low income earners with 250 housing units. He said the estate had underground central sewage and drains, pipe borne water supply and was a beauty before its descent to the mess it has become. He noted that after the initial stage, the estate later expanded into many phases including the New GRA.
Mrs. Ngozi Anozie who said she started living on Road 9 since 1982 said: “You can see our roads are impassable, this year’s rain worsened the whole thing. In the whole of phase one you cannot enter any road there, otherwise it would have been an easy way for somebody to bypass Dhamija to the flyover but the roads are all gully sites. We don’t even talk about water here because once the rainy season is over; we go back to square one. There is no water around here. There used to be taps here but that was in the 80s.”
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Mr. Nobel Ike of West Road 8 said that “the road from the Trans Ekulu flyover to Dhamija is good but within here, inside the streets are bad. If you talk about upper north, their roads are bad; upper phase six, their roads are bad but the road that leads to phase six on itself is okay. Water is zero percent here. It tried rushing yesterday (Tuesday) but that was for about 3 minutes and it stopped. Other ones were like 3 to 5 months ago. Light is epileptic. That one is a national problem.”
A youth, Mr. Kelvin Orji who leaves on Road 20 upper North Trans-Ekulu said “You can see the road is not tarred, potholes everywhere, only road 23 that is tarred among the whole streets in upper north. There is no water, many people buy water down there and tankers bring water here. The government connected water few years back but it didn’t work out. I heard they said here is hilly and water can’t come up; so no water, no stable electricity. Government should particularly work on water in Trans-Ekulu and then the roads.”
Another resident of the estate, George Onu, pleaded with Governor Ugwuanyi to restore facilities to the layout, noting that they were being treated as if they are not part of the Enugu metropolis. ”The Ugwuanyi administration has done done road on Ojoto crescent and some patches on the very bad junctions but we are asking him to do roads, rehabilitation and water supply,” Onu said.
Many places are no longer passable, many families cannot drive cars into their compoinds around Road 4. Pipe born water ended some years after the administration of Jim Nwobodo who built the estate, Trans Ekulu is one of the most neglected areas in Enugu by successive governments of PDP.
Residents of the New GRA arm of Trans-Ekulu asked for intervention in fixing some of the roads and water. Mr. Emeka Udeh commended Governor Ugwuanyi for embarking on numerous road projects in the state, and said he was hopeful that Ugwuanyi will remember roads in Trans Ekulu New GRA.