By Olaoluwakitan Babatunde
Residents of communities in Nkanu East, one of the 17 local government areas in Enugu State, have described the construction of a bridge across the Inyaba River as a testament to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s visionary leadership.
Describing the project as a “rescue mission”, the chairman of Nkanu East Local Government Area, Mr. Ikechukwu Ubagu, noted that the bridge would create an easier access route for residents of the many villages often cut off from their kith and kin whenever there is resultant flood from rainfall.
While speaking to journalists who visited the project site at Amagunze, Mr. Ubagu said each time the river overflows it washes away crops and destroys farms.
“Since the visit of Governor Ugwuanyi to this community, things have changed because without being here, he couldn’t have seen what our people are going through. He walked on this wooden makeshift bridge and since then, he decided to rescue us. This is like a rescue mission for Amagunze and Amechi Idodo communities.
“I cannot explain what our people go through during the rainy season here. They find it very difficult to cross over because of the terrain and students couldn’t go to school on rainy days. But by the grace of God, when this bridge is completed, they would be able to cross over and farm with ease because this road leads to many places in our community.
Even during farming season, our people couldn’t bring out what they cultivated during the rainy season, but with the governor’s intervention, the ugly stories will be a thing of the past. So we thank our governor for coming to our rescue and we will continue to pray for him. What our people owe him is to give him our full support,” he said.
The council’s vice-chairperson, Mrs. Ngozi Ogbonna, was similarly excited, noting that the bridge would add value to the area’s economy because transporting their farm produce to the city would no longer be a huge burden for the farmers.
All the community members interviewed recounted series of horrendous experiences they had on trying to access the council headquarters using the makeshift wooden bridge.
“I am so happy over this bridge the state government is constructing for us. When I was a student, it was always difficult for us to go to school because of flooding, especially when it rains,” said Chukwuebuka Nnamchi, a resident of a community usually isolated by the floods.
He also recalled how the lack of access way when it rained usually affected his performance at school.
The resident engineer from the state’s works ministry, Engr. Christian Ovute, and representative of the firm handling the contract, Engr. Kenechukwu Ozor, were both optimistic that the project would be delivered before the onset of the rains.