BY CHINEDU OCHEI in Asaba
The over three hours of heavy rains, Tuesday, in Asaba, the Delta State capital, has left residents reeling difficulties as a substantial area of the metropolis is now under severe flooding.
The flood currently ravaging some parts of the State capital assumed a frightening dimension on Thursday evening when a part of the major roads which include Jesus Saves Road, Direct Labour Agency (DLA) Road, Leo Okogwu Road, Agric Road, Okpanam Road, Junior Staff Quarters area and many others were taken over by flood, which on many occasions, cut away portions of the city from others, hence leaving residents in the area wailing.
As the rainy season intensifies, several parts of Asaba are beginning to wear horrible look. Most roads in the State are now flooded and impassable. Major roads in Asaba, the Delta State capital, have been taken over by the recurrent flood that ravaged the city since the heavy downpour, which began on Thursday. Vehicle users, tricycle riders and pedestrians have been groaning as the flood has remained a perennial challenge in the State capital.
DLA Road which is one of the worst hit and one of the major roads in the city, was said to have been awarded on several occasions to some prominent sons of the community but has remained abandoned leading to residents in the area paying through their nose to access their homes in the flood.
The rain started around 4 pm on Thursday and lasted over three hours. Eyewitnesses said the State secretariat, Delta Broadcasting Service, (DBS), State Security Service Road, Okpanam-Ibusa Road, Junior Staff Quarters Road, State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB), and former legislative quarters, among others, were submerged by the flood.
Although, residential apartments and office buildings were not completely submerged, The Oracle Today observed that some people were bailing water from their houses.
The flood jolted residents of the capital city particularly as some of them could not access their offices. Most workers stayed away from work in areas well-known for excessive and perennial flooding.
Some of the popular offices flooded include the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) office complex, Women Affairs Primary School as well as some private business offices on Okpanam Road that also houses many public offices and banks.
At the secretariat housing the offices of Establishment, Post Primary Education Board, (PPEB), Fire Service, part of the Ministry of Information, Delta State Rural Development Agency among others, civil servants were seen crowded at the main gate of the secretariat, as they could not gain access to the building.
Sunday Nwugo, a businessman who owns furniture store at Nnebisi road, said he was amazed at the level of flood despite the drainage channels initiated by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration.
He accused Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of paying lip service to the incessant flooding in the state capital.
“The Okowa administration claimed that the State government had released N100 million to the contractor handling a construction of diversion drainages to accommodate the flooding on Okpanam Road and other locations during heavy downpours, but we are not seeing the impact. At the moment my business is grounded because my customers cannot access my shop”
A food vendor at the House of Assembly Quarters area spoke with The Oracle Today on condition of anonymity explained that anytime it rains, anyone caught on the way would have a lot of stories to tell as his experience would be extremely painful for him to bear.
“The painful aspect of it is that the damaged road is along the State House of Assembly complex and the quarters where the members are housed. One can now imagine how they navigate their way either to the chamber or back to their residence.”
All over the city of Asaba, the story is the same. Most residential areas are cut off during the raining season. Most of the buildings get submerged and dwellers begin to lament their plight. While some residents wept, many others expressed optimism that the flooding will be a thing of the past when the drainage channels are completed.
Monday Ezeudu, a community leader in Asaba expressed optimism that residents of the Delta State Capital Territory is sure to heave a sigh relieve as the Delta State Government is currently addressing the perennial flood concerns with a massive drainage project to free the Direct Labour Road Corridor and other adjoining roads from flooding even as the rains are being anticipated.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Commissioner for Environment, Hon John Nani, has told the people of the State to be patient, saying that the Okowa led administration has taken strident steps to check the perennial flooding in the state.
Reacting to the flood, Nani, assured that the challenge of flooding in Asaba and its environs will soon be a thing of the past.
He appealed to residents to be patient as the State government is doing everything possible at tackling the problem.
He expressed worry over the level of flooding whenever it rains, saying that the State government is not relenting in its effort at finding a lasting solution, hence the renewed commitment to completing the comprehensive drainage project in Asaba.
In a related development the State Commissioner for Works, Mr. James Augoye, has said that people should not expect total result in flood control in this year’s rainstorm in Asaba.
The Commissioner, who stated this in Asaba during a chat with newsmen over the recent surging flood, noted that until the channeling of rainstorm is properly achieved especially with the construction of drainages on Okpanam road and other parts of the capital city, the state will still experience same flooding like that of last season.
The drainages, he explained will be completed in February 2019.
Meanwhile, the drainage construction of DLA, Jesus Saves that cuts across Agric is 80% completed as well as DBS road, 40%, the commissioner noted.