The Umukaragu axis of the road where the popular Afor-Enyiogugu-Aboh Mbaise Market is located was before now a major source of worry to both residents of the area and motorists, especially during rainy season as deep gullies covered by flood submerge vehicles.
Some road users and shop owners within the area who spoke with Radio Nigeria recounted how the poor state of the road affected their operations and called for speedy completion of the work to avoid a repeat of past experiences.
“If you open this motor now, you will see that the engine is almost condemned because of this place, the worst road in eastern zone as at that time.
“Federal Government is doing a nice job here, I pray they will continue.
“Terrible, we suffered on this road last year. But we thank God government is doing fine.
“We have not been making sales, customers now fled because of the bad condition of the road; even some big (rich) people that used to patronize us; you know we are within Airport road, I am more than happy, it is only God that will reward them.”
The President General of Umukaragu Community, Mr. Marcellus Nkwocha said the intervention by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) was an indication of President Buhari’s commitment to address the poor state of infrastructure in the South East.
“They have done a very good job for over some years now, we have been suffering over this small portion; on each rainy time, we will be unable to pass, if the country will continue to be like this, where government will remember that people are suffering and come to their aid.”
In an interview, the Acting FERMA Engineer in charge of Imo State, Mr. Emeka Mmaduagwu said the worst portion of the road which measured about 400 meters length had been redesigned with drainage to check flooding.
“This is in line with the Federal Government’s directive and the agency’s drive to make sure that all critically failed sections across all federal roads nationwide receive attention.
“We have succeeded in reclaiming failed section here; we designed it in such a way that the locals will be part of the road maintenance process.
“That is the new idea of the new management of the agency; we have done 400 meters reinforced concrete line drains and a pipe culvert that will take water out of this location; that was done first before we now fixed pavement.”
Mr. Mmaduagwu explained that the reconstruction was being executed by FERMA Engineers with the involvement of youths in the area as a form of empowerment in line with Presidential directive.
Radio Nigeria observes that the construction of drainage and asphalting of the roads are going on simultaneously to ensure timely completion of the job.