By Christian ABURIME
In the heart of Anambra State lies a once functional artery, a major federal road, now reduced to a dilapidated ghost of its former self. The Onitsha-Owerri Road, located by Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area of the state, today lies prostrate as a stark reminder of neglect and a spectre of existential danger crying for urgent rescue!
With insatiable appetite, the gully erosion affecting the endangered road continues to devour it, cutting it off in half and leaving in its wake a trail of growing public lamentations and disrupted socio-economic activities.Yet, this is a road that is vital for facilitating inter-state movements, trade, commerce, and social fluidity as it connects Anambra’s commercial city of Onitsha to other Southeast and South-South states.
For decades, it facilitated the movement of goods and services, linking cities and villages, fostering economic growth, and enhancing social cohesion. But today, this lifeline has been crippled by the relentless onslaught of erosion, reducing it to a treacherous path filled with monster craters and hazards.
Transportation, which is the lifeblood of any thriving economy, now suffers on the Onitsha-Owerri Road. What should be a seamless journey has turned into a nightmare of congestions, traffic delays and fatal accidents.
However, to its credit, the ever hardworking Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, is making commendable efforts to address this pressing issue, despite the irrefutable fact that the road remains a federal road.
In order to help relieve the commuting pains and other inconveniences members of the public suffer on the deteriorating road, palliative measures are being implemented by the state government with a contractor, with temporary repairs and makeshift interventions to stem the encroaching erosion.
While these efforts remain noble and highly commendable, the magnitude of the problem demands an urgent comprehensive and sustainable solution, one that can only be spearheaded by the Federal Government.
In general, the menace of gully erosion in Anambra is so massive, with over 1000 erosion sites across the state that arguably makes it the erosion capital of the world. That is an unenviable and alarming environmental liability the state alone cannot cope with without urgent FG intervention.
Thus, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, as the father of the nation, should please use his good offices to accord urgent attention to Anambra State’s existential threats. The ecological fund, established precisely for such calamities, should be released promptly to address the gully erosions ravaging the state, while the remedial interventions of the Federal Ministry of Works and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) are needed most desperately on the critical infrastructure of Onitsha-Owerri Road.
These agencies can help seek for emergency funds, if funds are not immediately available, to urgently nip in the bud the looming catastrophe waiting to happen in the Onitsha-Owerri road
An intervention on time will not only save the road, but will also save lives and the socio-economic productivity of Nigerians plying the road every day.