By Femi Bolaji
COMMUNITY members and commuters on the vital Takum-Kahimbilla Road in Taraba State, a major link road between the northern states and Cameroun, are finding it extremely difficult to connect with the rest of the state following the collapse of the road, which was constructed by the Shehu Shagari administration over 42 years ago.
The increased rainfall in recent months has not only washed away portions of the road by has also cut off most of the users due to the emergence of deep ponds, potholes and gully erosion, thereby preventing heavy trucks and cars that covey farm produce from the mainly agricultural belt to the state capital and other parts of the country.
Arewa Voice gathered that aside the damage done by gully erosion, activities of heavy duty trucks that convey construction materials to the Kashimbilla Power Plant site also contributed to the deplorable state of the road.
As a result of the poor state of the vital road, commuters are now forced to manoeuvre through swathes of bush paths to access their farms and businesses in order to avoid being stuck in the muddy road, which has lost virtually all the asphalted coat to erosion, for hours.
A community leader in the area, Solomon Bawuru, described the current state of the road as a death trap. He wondered why government was yet to mount a warning sign for vehicles plying the route so as to prevent major disasters.
He expressed concern that first time users of the road, especially at night, might be the first casualties to be consumed by the deplorable road and called on the Federal Government to take steps to repair the road before any calamity strikes.
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Bawuru said as a major artery to the food basket of Taraba State and Nigeria, no effort and money should be spared in rebuilding the vital road. He also disclosed that the Chairman of Takum local government area, Shiban Tikari, had earlier mobilised workers from the LGA’s ministry of works to render some emergency works, which he described as mere palliatives.
The over 100 communities lying on that axis of the state appear to be boxed in as the Takum-Katsina-Ala Road, which is supposed to serve as alternative for commuters and famers there, has since been taken over by armed robbers, kidnappers, terrorists and other criminals and has become a no-go-area for anyone.
As the condition of the road plummets, the hope for a better life dims while the potential for economic development of the adjourning communities along the troubled route fizzles the air.