That one of the busiest roads in Awka Capital City is the Unizik Temporary Site Road is not contestable. Apart from having many businesses and Unizik students domiciled there, the road connects both the Enugu/Onitsha Express Way and Okpuno. It also hosts a mini-market that is always buzzing with activity even late into the night. Sadly, however, parts of this road are about being severed into two, especially in the market area close to the express way; no thanks to heavy flooding witnessed there, as well as the gaping potholes.
It is noteworthy that these potholes did not just spring up as most of them had been there well before the rains. But the failure of the concerned state government agency to address them led to their escalation in the rainy season.
The situation at Unizik Temporary Site is also the situation in many parts of not just the capital city, but in the state as a whole. Indeed, back to the capital city, there is hardly any major road that is free from large potholes. This has made driving a nightmare for the people of the state. The situation has never been this bad.
It is our view that the agency charged with repairing damaged portions of roads in the state has not lived up to expectations. That agency is the Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency, ARMA.
We believe that it has not aggressively tackled this problem and has seemed to be largely reactive, rather than proactive. We believe that if it had been regularly fixing bad portions of roads, the present sorry situation would not have cropped up.
Now that we are deep in the rainy season, we do not expect much to be done until the rains subside. Once it does, we expect the Anambra State Government to declare a state of emergency on roads in the state. Anything that should be done to get the roads good again should be done as bad roads are a major cause of road accidents.
The Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency should also set up emergency numbers and make them available to the public so that it can be alerted of any damaged road anywhere in the state for immediate response.
But it should first start with roads in the capital city which witness more traffic on a daily basis.
The government must also note that having launched what it called ”Operation Zero Pothole” in the recent past, it behoves it to justify the funds committed to it and one of the ways to do this is to effectively supervise the activities of those charged with carrying it out.
We fear that if action is further delayed, the state, especially the capital city, may witness a major collapse in road infrastructure.