34-year-old bridge collapses in Abia

By Admin on 21/09/2018

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The people of Amamba, Abiriba in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State have cried out to the Federal and state governments to come to save them from suffering which results from the sorry state of the 34-year-old Usumani Bridge. They are unhappy that they could not have access to their farms as a result of the circumstances.

It was gathered that the bridge which was built in 1984, brought relief to the community when one of their benevolent sons, Chief Kalu M. Okoronkwo, singlehandedly constructed the bridge.

Members of the community reminded President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of an attempt by the last administration of Ex-president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to acquire 500 hectares of land in the Southeast for cassava production project; even as they said the project was abandoned.

According to a member of the community, Mr. Orji, part of the bridge collapsed after a torrential rain on August 18.

According to Orji, the community, through self-help efforts have been carrying out remedial work on the bridge in order to ensure that farmers have access to their farmlands, but they expressed the fear that the bridge would collapse totally if nothing concrete was done before another torrential rain falls.

Orji, who said the lives of members of the community, would be at risk if they continue to use the bridge at its present condition.

He, however, called on the local, state and Federal Government to come to the aid of the community.

“In the yesteryear, the fast-flowing Usumani River was a great obstacle to Amanna farmers until 1984 when a son of the community, Chief Okoronkwo Maurine built the bridge to the great relief of the people.

“The Amamba Farm Road is the site of the vast Akpaka farmland which the Federal Government acquired and cleared 500 hectares for Southeast zonal cassava production project which was abandoned.

“The same road has historically been the starting point of business in Abiriba as it was the road through which our pioneer entrepreneurs launched out on foot to Uzuakoli thence to Umuahia, Aba and Port Harcourt on business concerns. It is still very likely to be the site of an alternative Abiriba regional market and industrial cluster.

“Kamalu Ozuaelu (the god of thunder deity), the Isimokoto static green lake and our own uncompleted version of the Parisian Arch of Triumph, three monuments that have potential value for tourism are all located on this farm road.

“These days when cattle have invaded almost all farm lands in Abiriba, the entire Abiriba people have shifted their farming activities to the Amamba Farm Road because it is fertile and a bit hidden from the highways. So, the collapsed bridge does not affect only Amamba indigenes, but also the entire Abiriba community.

“We, therefore, call on government at all levels and public-spirited individuals to join hands in ensuring that a standard bridge is built over the river to enable our people to evacuate their farm produce to other parts of the state and beyond.

“The third tier of government where our natural resources are derived from is deliberately incapacitated as if rural dwellers are not Nigerians.

“As both the Federal and state governments can ill-afford to neglect a road of economic importance as that of Amamba Farm Road, we call on the relevant authorities to come to our aid by constructing the 25-kilometer Amamba community Road.

“Amamba people are presently in great distress as they have lost their Usumani Bridge to torrential rainfall of August 18. This bridge is the only link between the community and their farmlands,” Orji said.

 

 

 

 

Posted on September, 21 2018

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