Ndị Nnewi do you like those tapered or narrow roads that begin from our ozodo or compounds and lead to the major or main roads? Have you noticed that the roads cannot allow two cars chakọlịa or let two cars pass each?
Have you also noticed that we have all erected our fences anyị ji welu gbachakọlụ ana anyị bordering the access roads hence making the roads very narrow and very impossible for side gutters or drainages to be constructed?
Have you also noticed that many of us have constructed our buildings, shops, business places across ọwa mmiri or ogbo mmiri or ancestral water channels thereby forcing the run-off rain water to create new channels on very soft sandy or loamy soil hence creating new gully erosion after which we start shouting “government help us, God help us!!” over the environmental hazard we brought on ourselves?
MY SUGGESTED SOLUTION
We shall remember that it was the youths of various Nnewi communities that created the access roads in our various villages not government. For instance, that Egbu Enem- Azigbo Road was charted and created by Abel Okoye and Umuenem youths of his time. These were created when our people majorly moved about on foot, bicycles, motorcycles and in few motor vehicles.
But not anymore.
We urgently need to expand all our access roads by bringing science to our madness.
To avoid unnecessary litigations, the presidents general and the executives of all our various communities should liaise with Lands Department at our local government to let every citizen know that every access road must be at a minimum 12 feet wide with provision for gutters. The roads should be marked accordingly by the youths with authority of the appropriate local government agency which is Lands, Urban and Regional Planning department or its cousin.
The people who erected structures or fences beyond the set mark would be given a timeline to remove them or risk demolition. And the roads would be widened. It cost less than amount being embezzled at community levels to rent a bulldozer to do the work.
Community Presidents of bigger villages of Nnewichi, Umudim, Uruagu and Otolo should seek the assistance of erosion, geology and environmental scientists to do a geographical survey of their communities and to plot gully linkages and water banks to control erosion. New channels should be created with clear endpoints. Every water collected from various gutters in the community must have a known destination.
Nzukọ Ọra Nnewi can kick-start this entire process by calling for a meeting of the political leaders of our various villages and the Isi Obis where concerned local government authorities would be present for sensitization and agreement on the mode of implementation.
Ndị Nnewi should know that many people in government are not as wise as people outside. Also, most civil servants in the local governments and even the state levels we rely on may not be able to generate curative ideas or have the much needed technical know how to solve the enormous problem of erosion we are beckoning them to come help solve. We can do it ourselves.
Nnewi people should all realise that we are a government ourselves. We can help ourselves if we can think, organise and execute. Nnewi has great thinkers and executors but we are said to too busy in pursuit of personal gains or too myopic or destructively selfish to the detriment of collective benefits.
Is it not too ironic that we as Ndị Nnewi are regarded as very wise and wealthy people but we cannot even allow two cars pass our access roads?
Does it not amount to compound foolishness when the centre of many of our access roads are too large a water filled crater, or ụmị filled with trapped rain water, wherein we all swim as we trek, ride motorbikes or drive cars long after the rain has stopped?
I could remember when in the late 70s and early 1990s when the youths of Nnewi villages or even much earlier would come out to dig gutters by the roads they had constructed.
It could still be done.
Those who cannot dig or cast the concrete should contribute money or materials. But, that is after a detailed geographic and geological survey and plotting the endpoints of the rain water collected. Otherwise, the gutters would channel water to a soft land and create a havoc as we can see in many erosion sites in Nnewi.
We need to do something by ourselves now before it is too late. Akpọọ m, mma eso tụị nke m.
About the writer :
Chief Anayo Nwosu, Ikenga Ezenwegbu is from Okpuno Otolo. He is a Corporate & Investment Banker based in Lagos; firstname.lastname@example.org