Delta government speaks on flooding challenge amidst condemnation on continuous closure of major roads in Asaba

The Delta state commissioner for works, James Augoye, has called on motorists and residents of Asaba, Okpanam and environs to show more understanding with the state government on the recurring flood during heavy rainfall.

Chief Augoye said the functionality of the drains were in good order as the flood usually receded after the rainfall, saying that if at present the flood could be drained 30 minutes after the rains, the situation would improve when the roads and drains were eventually completed.

He also said the ongoing construction works in Asaba, though causing some level of inconvenience, would be completed before the 21st African athletics competition slated for August 1 to 5, 2018.

This is even as residents of the state capital have expressed utmost unhappiness over the general appearance of the state capital following the construction work and the continuous closure of major roads in Asaba ahead of the competition.

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Many of the residents, especially the tricycle riders, civil servants, students and others have decried the inconvenience the continuous closure of major roads has caused them, saying the state government needed to make good arrangements before embarking on projects which though will be of benefit to the people at the end of the day.

An activist, Comrade Jude Onochie, said that the government ought to have fixed DLA feeder roads as alternative route to only major road (Nnebisi Road) in Asaba.

He said: “They are not good planners, by now, DLA road is supposed to have been fixed so that people going to Summit road, Awai and other places could easily access the road as they have banned people from Nnebisi road which is the only major road in Asaba.

“In fact my brother, for us in Asaba, especially for those that have no cars of their own, I don’t know how this will work for keke drivers, those that their offices and businesses are along the said road, certainly it will bring hardship to them. This competition athletic competition has been fixed over a year ago, proper planning ought to have been made since instead of this fire brigade approach.

“Other countries and states have been hosting competitions, they just don’t close only major roads but alternative routes will be provided not like this Delta state,” he explained.

The commissioner who addressed journalists at the conference room of the ministry of information on Wednesday, observed that the flood situation was not peculiar to Delta state, gave an assurance that the state government would leave no stone unturned to provide a lasting solution to the problem.

Explaining further, Augoye stated that the implication of the rains in the past two days was that the ongoing construction works would be affected, mentioning specifically that of Okpanam road, where he said the flood pulled off parts of the tarred roads with gaps bordering the sandy portion.

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According to the commissioner who was accompanied by the commissioner for information, Mr Patrick Ukah, represented by the functioning permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr Paul Osahor, such cases were not unusual particularly when the final overlay had not been placed on the tarred portions to make the asphalt work bind properly.

He said that the contractor, Tratrix construction was on ground to remedy every defect caused by the rains, assuring that he had been following up on the job because of the seriousness attached to it.

Giving a brief on the history of the contract, the works commissioner said that the 6.25 kilometre Okpanam road and drain project was awarded on 25th September, 2013, saying as at the time the present administration came in, the drains were not properly connected.

The commissioner also noted that the road aspect did not indicate whether it was going to be single lane or dual carriage, adding that Tratrix took over from the former handler, Modis Construction, to carry out corrective measure, emphasizing that the state government was keen on seeing the job done to specification and completed.

Present at the briefing were the Director General of Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency, Chief Clement Ofuani and representatives from the major contractors handling road and drain projects in Asaba, Okpanam and environs.

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