Boosting Community Infrastructure through Self-help

0

Through the help of patriotic indigenes, Mgbuji autonomous community, Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, Enugu State, is shedding its old robes and embracing new vista of development, writes David-Chyddy Eleke

Going by the enormous mineral deposits and agricultural produce domiciled in the area, Mgbuji community can be described as Enugu State’s untapped goldmine.

With a vast arable land running into hectares and about 25 farms settlements, the people produce large quantities of palm oil, yam, rice, garri, cassava enough to feed the entire Enugu State and beyond.

They also have a sprawling timber business which serves the wood needs for all house construction and building project while their vast land mass are endowed with large deposits of lead, iron ore, limestone and refractive laterite which the government can also exploit.

But the community has been battling with the problem of lack of access roads from time immemorial. Agricultural produce from the area sells at peanut because there is no easy route to evacuate them to the urban areas.

But respite came recently in the area when the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration completed and commissioned the first phase of the Ikem- Eha-Amufu road.

Desirous of making a difference in Mgbuji autonomous community, some progressive minded people in the area also decided to complement Ugwuanyi’s efforts in opening up the rural communities.

THISDAY gathered that the people of Mgbuji have been striving on their own over the years to address the challenge of bad roads. To underscore this, the community ploughed N5million seed money from the Enugu State government choose- your- project- initiative into the road project.

The Enugu State seed money became a boost that gingered good spirited individuals from the area to contribute further funds into the project. Today, what used to be like a like a footpath and track road plied only with bicycles has been developed into a major road, with earthwork and laterite at an advanced stage awaiting asphalting. The road measuring about 50 kilometers length links Enugu with Benue State.

Chijikoke Edeoga, former member of House of Representatives and presently commissioner for environment, Enugu State said the project is very dear to the hearts of the people from the area and they are not looking back despite the fact that several millions of naira have been pumped into the project.

“This is all about community development efforts and we are doing road construction, bridges and culverts. It’s a long standing project of many years where many contributed to it in the past but the present era decided to take it far beyond.

“From the seed money of N5 million community choose your project initiative of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the President General of the community in his wisdom and in consultation with other progressive minded stakeholders from the community decided to plough the money into the road project and thus began a development trajectory that has consumed several millions of naira and still counting while the people are happier for that.”

Recently, there was excitement in the community, when the project implementation committee toured the project site and locations. Chukwuma Edeh, legal practitioner and President General of Mgbuji community said the people thought it wise to make a move and complement government efforts instead of waiting for the government to do it all.

“The massive road project when completed will lessen the problem and burden of our people. The secret of our moving forward in the project is the spirit of boldness and unity of purpose existing among us. With an incredible farm settlements that has engaged many people of the community into farming, the people have been yearning for access roads where they can evacuate their farm products and also sell at the right prices and we are happy it is becoming a reality now” he said.

Another indigene of Mgbuji community, Goddy Ogenyi, former commissioner for Human Capital Development and poverty alleviation, Enugu State said the road project hold so much prospects both for the people and other travelers alike.

Also, Austin Akunne, Chairman, Enugu East Development Council and chairman, works implementation committee for the project disclosed that there are about eight villages in the community that are inaccessible before now especially during the rainy season and expressed excitement that the ongoing project has changed the situation for the better.

Quote

This is all about community development efforts and we are doing road construction, bridges and culverts. It’s a long standing project of many years where many contributed to it in the past but the present era decided to take it far beyond