Some people of Umuawulu, Awka South Local Government Area, Anambra state, Wednesday, protested over the deplorable condition of Habba bridge, which according to them have turned a deathtrap.
The bridge, which is the major access road through Umuawulu community, the permanent site of National Orientation Camp—Mbaukwu/Umuawulu, and Awgbu, Amaokpala in Orumba North Council area and some communities in Imo and Abia states respectively have been partially washed away by flood.
They also faulted the government alleged refusal to include their name on signages installed on roads to Nibo and Awka in Awka South LGA, describing it as a sign that Umuawulu was no longer part of Anambra state.
Addressing the newsmen, a community leader and activist, Comrade Osita Obi, while recalling that governor Willie Obiano two years ago, carried a palliative works on it with a promise to construct a new bridge thereafter, lamented that stakeholders from the community have officially written to the State government reminding them of the project all no avail.
“We are appealing for the state government urgent intervening on the bridge. The state government promised to complete the work but never come. Some of our stakeholders wrote to them but they never come. This bridge is the only access to over ten communities.
“They are all agrarian communities. It deplorable condition affects farmers and other commuters especially the officials and members of NYSC who take it every day. We are appealing to the government to within one month construct a new Habba bridge and effect the corrections on the signage. We will mobilise for mass action if they fail to address our plights,” he added.
Also speaking, a banker in the community, Mr Peter Nwafor, said the condition of the bridge impacts negatively on their socioeconomic activities, including transactions of agri-produce, as well as grounded some institutions due to low patrons.
On his part, Comrade Chukwuma Nwankwo, while alleging that at least two persons either die or get maimed on the spot every year, bemoaned that “People die on the spot every year because no vehicle passes it without slowing down to avoid damaging their vehicles.
” After that, they have to change speed in order to climb the mountain. Most times trailers and other heavy duty vehicles while trying to do this lose control and roll down to clash into Habba bridge, killing fish and other marine animals. Last year, four people died while our town union secretary general got palalised when a trailer going to unload cement rolled down at the spot.
But reacting in a phone interview, Mr Marcel Ifejiofor, Anambra State Commissioner for Works, said they have directed the State Emergency Management Agency ( SEMA ) to the brdige, while the State Signage and Advertising Agency (ANSAA) was already desinging a replacement to the signages.