Rebuilding Aba Infrastructure: Unveiling Ikpeazu’s Plan for Ngwa Road Area
In a previous note I stated that Abia’s infrastructure deficit has never been the result of previous administrations not attempting to construct roads but more because those road projects were rushed for momentary applause and they didn’t last, hence, instead of adding to the road infrastructure capital of the state, subsequent administrations have had to return to exactly same roads to reconstruct them. This is particularly true of roads done at low lying areas like Aba city that receives very high annual rainfall which washes off roads done without adequate plan to channel storm water to the natural collection point in Aba: Waterside River.
Worse affected has been the Uratta-PH-Ngwa Road axis of the city that sits at the lowest lying point east of Aba with houses constructed randomly over the years without plans to allow water flow freely. Indeed, since the creation of Abia State, most of our people have become used to road projects executed within one month without drains and actually imagine that to be the standard for road construction.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has worked hard to change that narrative to the discomfort of many who believe that his approach is slow and not worth of any applause. Aside from constraints imposed by cash flow and orchestrated attempts by his political opponents to distract him from focusing on the task of rebuilding Abia State, Governor Ikpeazu has remained focused on delivering projects that last, hence, his mantra of “building to last”.
To meet the storm water management challenge around the Uratta-PH-Ngwa Road axis, Governor Ikpeazu undertook a careful study of the area as well as hired experts to review the situation before arriving at the solution that is set to kick in next month.
The Project which is tagged:
“Aba Emergency Flood Mitigation Works for Uratta and Umuagbai Flood Plains” is a world bank funded project managed by Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) with needed counterpart funds of seven hundred and fifty million Naira (N750,000,000.00) already paid by the Ikpeazu-led Abia State Government.
Scope of the work include:
1. Constructing an underground tunnel along Uratta and Obohia roads to move storm water from Uratta and Umuagbai PONDS to Aba River. The Uratta tunnel will traverse Port Harcourt Road and meet the Obohia tunnel at Obohia by Ngwa Road and merge into a single tunnel along Ngwa Road into Aba River.
2. Full reconstruction of Obohia and Ngwa roads
3. Reconstruction of parts of Uratta and Port Harcourt roads within the project area.
The reconstruction of Ngwa, Obohia and Port Harcourt roads were hitherto delayed to enable this key project that will ensure those roads last for many years take off. As part of the work, Ngwa Road will be excavated in the middle to establish the underground tunnel leading to waterside.
Abia State Government has further undertaken to further dredge waterside to enable it take more storm water and flow freely. According to Dr Solomon Ogunji who is the state Commissioner for Environment, “the project is fully integrated into the urban renewal plan for Aba and will effectively solve all the flooding challenge within the Aba na Ohazu area”.
In simple terms, Governor Ikpeazu is set to decisively solve the problem that made Late Chief Sam Mbakwe weep at Ndiegoro and more.
To reduce the impact of the expected disruptions along Ngwa Road, palliative works will be done along and around the area to enable reasonable traffic flow while the work continues. The work which will commence next month, April 2020, is scheduled to be executed within 30 months and a Grade A contractor with experience in managing such projects has been hired to deliver the project.
If you have seen what Governor Ikpeazu did with the massive gully at Umuagu Isingwu in Umuahia along with the new top quality Ossah-Umuagu Road in the mix, you should have at least a 10% idea of what is about to happen around Ngwa Road area.
It is HUGE!
Aba is about to witness the biggest and most profound flood mediation efforts in decades. It is my personal prediction that with what Governor Ikpeazu is doing at Aba, future Governors of Abia State might end up being pelted with all kinds of things if they try to rush road projects in the city without good water management plans.
Written by Abia State Commissioner for Information – Chief John Okiyi kalu