By Alfred Agudiebube, Aba

Obuda community and the residents of Uratta axis in Aba South LGA of Abia State have cried out over what they described as plans by the SETRACO / HEARTLAND construction company handling Aba-Port Harcourt road  project to turn submerge their homes with storm water. 

The Obuda community lamented that the area which is usually submerged by flood from Omuma and Cemetery road is about to be swept away should Setraco Construction company succeed in the alleged plan to empty all the storm water from Port Harcourt to the artificial pond along Uratta road that is already overwhelmed by flood.

The big tunnel at Uratta junction heading towards Uratta pond barricaded by Protesting residents

When Naijawatchdog visited the site of the underground tunnel, palm fronds were used to barricade it, which vividly indicates that there is a disagreement about the place and as gathered, led to stoppage of work going on at the tunnel.

The community leaders however denied rumours making round that they were demanding money from the government or the construction company before works could continue, stressing that they only asked that their community should not be turned to disaster zone by the company.

They appealed to the Abia State government to keep to the master plan brought by the colonial masters of which the government assured them will be followed by channeling storm water to the big drainage at Ngwa road where it will be emptied at the Aba River.

Speaking through its spokesman, Akoma Nwaogwugwu, the residents said that the plan to empty the underground tunnel at Uratta junction that collect all storm water along Port Harcourt road and its environs to the Obuda Community is unfair and unjust.

“We’ve already put up a letter on this matter which we are sending to the government on this matter. We want to peacefully protest against the plan of channeling more flood waters to this Uratta flood disaster area that by contractor handling the Port Harcourt road reconstruction project. 

“We’ve observed that there’s a big underground tunnel that’s being done to transverse Port Harcourt road by Uratta junction. When we asked the contractors we met at site, they revealed that they are collecting waters from Chigbu Street, Ozumba street, Obohia road, Ohazu road and other neighbouring communities around us to the same artificial pond within us. 

“This is very unfair and unjust because the community has been suffering for over 40 years from flood disaster. It’s necessary to recall that the community was met sometime last year by the immediate past Commissioner for Work, Hon. Eziuche Ubani, the Abia NEWMAP and the World Bank with aim of rechanneling the flood to Aba waterside through the big gutter at Ngwa road, but which is yet to see the light of the day. 

“We condemn this plan in its entirety. We condemn this ill motivated plan of bringing more flood to the area already saturated by flood. We once more appeal to the Abia State government to find a permanent solution to this flood. 

“We believe that the channeling of the flood to the Aba River  from the big gutter at Ngwa road as  constructed by the by the colonial masters will bring a perfect solution to this problem.”

The community leaders took newsmen to the site where the construction company has already placed pegs of the alleged drainage aimed at moving storm water to the already overwhelmed artificial pond as solution to controlling flood at Port Harcourt as against the much talked about channeling into the Aba River.

“Their pegs are here for you to see and we don’t want this. The whole drainage they’re building in this Port Harcourt will be emptied at this Uratta road. 

“They want to sack us all. You’ve seen how many buildings have been eaten up here. The Uratta road drainage was channeled to nowhere and adding Port Harcourt road drainage to us again means that they want to turn this area to swamp,” one of the leaders said.



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