The village head of Mbikpong Ikot Edim, Eteidung John Okon Etim speaking to representatives of the consultant handling the construction of drainage structures passing through Mbikpong Ikot Edim community.
Abasifreke Effiong, Uyo
Residents of Mbikpong Ikot Edim in Ibesikpo Asutan local government have asked the Akwa Ibom State government and the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), company handling the construction of surface and underground drainage structures passing through the area to create access road for them.
NEWMAP is implementing a World Bank funded surface and underground drainage project in Akwa Ibom State to take out flood from the city area around IBB avenue, Uyo.
Some residents of the community whose houses are situated along the flood channel said the drainage structures have locked them out of their homes.
The residents said they can no longer drive their cars to their homes since the project started because the access road to their houses have been taken by the project.
They called on the state government and company handling the project to create a service lane for them to have access to their homes and property located on the affected flank of the road.
One of the affected residents Mr. Sunday Itim, said churches, relaxation spots and other businesses in the area have been rendered un-operational because access to the area has been destroyed by the drainage structures.
“For months now, we have been parking our cars along the road and that is risky. As you can see, the whole of this area can only be accessed on foot. For months now, the church there (Christian Pilgrim Bible Church) has not had a full service because there is no road for members to come in. A relaxation spot that was just opened before this project started has closed down because there is no access road.”
On-going installation of high security barbed wire around the drainage structures in Mbikpong Ikot Edim.
Mr. Itim while lauding the state government, NEWMAP and World Bank for ensuring speedy implementation of the project appealed that attention should be paid to the unforseen challenges the drainage project has posed to communities.
Leading representatives of the consulting firm for the project, Prelim Consulting, and CRBC to access the impact of the project on some part of the community, the village head of Mbikpong Ikot Edim, Eteidung John Okon Etim, said the community is ready to work with the company to open an access road for residents affected by the project as well as address other environmental concerns observed.