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Oduduru Residents Cry Out Over Flooded Road/Blocked Canal, Send SOS To Inoaghan, Anirah

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By Joe Aminah

Residents of ODUDURU Street, off Otomewo Road, Sapele, have cried to the Chairman, Sapele Local Government Council and House of Assembly member, over perennial state of flooded condition of the road, they say, has been cut off by water from nearby blocked canal.

In an S O S (Save Our Souls) to the Council Chairman, Hon, Eugene Inoaghan and House of Assembly Member, Chief Felix Anirah, copied the Council’s Department of Environment, the residents bemoaned years of the road neglect by the council and its nonchalant attitude in the clearing of the canal channeling water from all parts of the area during rainfalls occasioned by flooding.

The blocked canal, according to the residents, channels all waters, especially in the midst of recent deluge of rainfalls, thus resulting to its spill from the overflowing canal into the gutters on Oduduru road and apparently a dirty stream with dangerous aquatic creatures including snakes and leeches, posing great danger to residents and commuters plying the road, especially children going and closing from nearby schools.

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They said that several appeals by them to the Council through the Ward One Counsellor, Mr Agimerien have fallen on deaf ears, while the Environment department has failed to come to their rescue by referring them to the council chairman, on excuse of the department’s financial incapacity.

This is the pathetic situation Oduduru residents have unfortunately found themselves, they lamented, pointing out the waterlogged terrain with their school children wading through the stinky and disease infested waters every rainy season.

Whereas roads connected to politicians and their business investments are being tarred and given new facelifts, Oduduru street, which from the grapevine has been awarded by past administration and officially completed has remained in this state of abandonment, it is a shame to the council to find such road in its locality.

Even with a make- belief dredging that gave some respite for just one rainy season some years ago, the problem persisted owing the shabby job they did without a follow-up on its effectiveness and the people’s reactions.

We are saying that all the waters from parts of Okpe road, Lawrence, Okpalume, Erubasa, Feddison and Otomewo roads are channeled through this blocked and water hycent covered Canal, more so, during heavy downpours into the gutters from the blocked canal.

Close sources revealed that the tardy dredging earlier undertaken by the council with a swamp-boogie caterpillar in the canal under the supervision of Ministry of Environment and Council officials, was compromised.

Mr Enamuotor, a resident whose wife fell into the water days earlier, disclosed that the dredging was only to deepen the canal with little effort to channel it to the river, owing to the presence of a politician owned structure, blocking the water flow at the Feddison street juncture of the canal.

A former Environmental Commissioner, when earlier tackled on the blocked canal, said the structure owner was given time to demolish it and they were waiting, yet no action has been taken till date at the time of this report with flooding aggravated by the canal’s blockage.

When this journalist visited the area, it was like a riverine community, as the water covered with tiny greenish leave upshoots while commuters were wriggling in agony and bitter with the local government authority on the state of the flooded street.

School children, who were yet to resume school were seen busy setting hooks on the gutters, trying to catch small fishes that are swimming from the canal to the gutters.

While movements on Oduduru street has become detestable, with frequent cases of falls into the unhygienic and stagnant water by children and adults, fear of contact with water borne infections by school children is apparent.

The residents, emphatically appealed to the House of Assembly, Sapele Constituency, Hon, Felix Anirah to pay attention to their plights by laising with the Council boss in tarring Oduduru street and putting an end to the controversy surrounding it.

We are appealing to the lawmaker to come to our aids and ensure that the canal is dredged fully to its end while the contract of Oduduru street construction is speedily carried out by the present administration.

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