March 3, 2024

Filth takes over Uyo as flood ravages city

Filths take over Uyo as flood ravages city

Etim Ekpimah

The city of Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, from being the neatest place in Nigeria for five consecutive years, has degenerated into a city lacking in splendour and beauty as dirt stretches from one end of the city to the other.

Worse still, the filth which is dumped from every corner of the city, highways, streets and waterways, goes into the drains and blocks them. Whenever it rains, the drains which have been blocked with refuse, channel the flood water into the city.

What greets visitors to the city is the stench from heaps of refuse that are dumped indiscriminately on the roadsides, streets, and highways, among others. These heaps of refuse that are now characteristics of the city and the people of the state have not only dented the image of the state as the cleanest state then, but it has also dented the image of Akwa Ibom people, both at home and abroad.

Filths take over Uyo as flood ravages city

A resident of Nung Oku, Israel Unoh, said things started falling apart toward the end of former Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration. He added that as the governor was about to leave the office for another government, he could no longer care about what happened around the city.

The area where refuse was also found in heaps is Banking Layout. Banking Layout houses the Central Bank of Nigeria (Akwa Ibom branch), First Bank, Union, and UBA headquarters in the state. Dakkaada Tower and the Akwa Ibom Basilica are all located in the area.

He said: “It’s a pity that Uyo has become this filthy towards the end of the previous government of Udom Emmanuel down to this time of Governor Umo Eno. The refuse dumping is uncontrollable as some individuals hurl their refuse bags anywhere they may go from their automobiles.

Street solar lights have been vandalised. From Airport Road to Nung Oku area and Aka Etinan junction, solar panels and bubs have been removed. They even fell down poles and took them away.

Tall flowers, and shrubs which used to provide some areas with aroma are no more to be found. Ibom Plaza, Uyo, has lost its grandeur, as the place not only provides shelter for criminals at night but is now a popular market in the city centre. Quite absurd!

The recent flooding of Atiku Abubakar Way and its environs in the Uyo metropolis have left residents, businessmen/women in pain and despair.

Traders and business owners in an interview with our correspondent in Uyo, lamented that the flood destroyed their means of livelihood and called on Eno to save them from the ravaging flood.

Speaking, an automobile engineer, Mr Ndianabasi Isong, lamented that he has yet to start operating from his shop since it was submerged by the flood more than three days ago.

Filths take over Uyo as flood ravages city

According to him, one of his apprentices was wounded during the flood and had been rushed to the hospital, where he was receiving treatment.

“I am an automobile electrician by profession. I am one of the victims of the flood, it affected me very seriously. We had a relationship with the authorities of this school Beulah Nursery/Primary School. So, whenever it rains, we have to relocate customer cars and park in front of the school. The flood has posed a lot of challenges to us. When it rains, it affects us financially.

“We are managing to survive; when we tell some of our sincere customers that the area is flooded, they look for us wherever we are. As you can see, my shop has been destroyed by the flood. The tools that we bought from Lagos for work are also destroyed. One of my boys fell into the water and sustains injuries; he has been in the hospital,” Isong said.

While blaming excess flooding on the indiscriminate disposal of waste, Isong called on the state government to intervene to save the community.

“We have been here for the past 13 years. Before, it wasn’t like this. That is why I am appealing to the government and the people living around here to look for where to dispose of their waste products, and not to dump them here. Poor waste management is also responsible for flooding. As residents dump refuse, some of them fall into gutters directly while water pushes some to block the gutters, it becomes difficult for the water to flow freely. I appeal to Mr Umo Eno, our governor, to see what he can do to help us in this area,” Isong said.

A restaurateur, Mrs Udeme Ime, said he was disappointed with the way the government is managing flooding in the area. She noted that whenever the area is flooded, everything she cooked for the day would be wasted.

Filths take over Uyo as flood ravages city

She said: “This area has been flooded years back but not to this extent. It’s beyond explanation; you will see people folding up their clothes to fetch their children from school ‘even, I find it difficult to sell anything. Anything I cook, whenever it rains, will be wasted.”

Recounting his experience, the head of ICT Beulah Nursery/Primary, Mr Rotimi Awobode, noted that whenever it rains hard, rains would penetrate into the school compound up to four feet.

He also called on the state government to come to the rescue of residents of the area.

“We have a lot of business centres here; we really want to appeal to the government to help us open the gutters and tunnels so that water can pass through easily. If it rains for two days here, nobody will come out,” he stated.

It was also observed that many streets within the Uyo metropolis are untarred; the few that are tarred are not given proper grading like gutters or so.

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