Delta State Governor Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa has urged the contractors handling the Okpanam drainage project to re-double efforts towards ensuring a speedy completion of the project so as to minimize the effects of erosion and flooding in the state capital, Asaba.
Governor Okowa stated this when he inspected the Okpanam drainage, waterways, and discharge points in the State Capital Territory recently.
He decried the menace of erosion and flooding in Asaba and environs, explaining that “there was the need to mitigate the effects of flooding in the state capital territory by completion of the drainage project and linking it to the various discharge points and natural waterways.”
The Governor also called for the clearing of already completed drainages as a palliative measure to prevent floods and erosions during the rainy season.
Dr Okowa charged the contractor handling the project to “move faster and connect the various drainage channels, so that whenever the rains fall the overflow and flooding will be reduced.”
Speaking to newsmen, he said: “I know the people are expectant of what the Government will do to make life more bearable after the rains so we are going to stay on course and put a lot of pressure on the contractors through supervisions and inspections.”
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works, Engr. Dona Umukoro who led the inspection team, while advising that Okpanam road needs a deep sewer construction to address the drainage problem, assured the Governor that other drainage channels had been built across the capital and measures to clear the drainage channels and connect them to the discharge points and waterways were on course.
Governor Okowa was accompanied on the inspection by the Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, the Delta SSG, Hon. Festus Ovie Agas and newly appointed special adviser, Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, amongst other top government functioneries.
Deltans and visitors who are familiar with Okpanam road will recall that former Governor Uduaghan appeared to have been overwhelmed by the seemingly unresolvable drainage situation, which led to complete decimation of the road and the harrowing nightmares which commuters and residents on that axis of the state capital territory endured for virtually the entire duration of the Uduaghan administration.
Palliative measures, carried out by the then Commissioner for works, Hon. Solomon Funkekeme and indeed community efforts by the youths of Okapanam town, eventually turned out to be mere half hearted lip service and cosmetic, as the drainage defied every attempt to fix the road.
The early intervention of Governor Okowa to address the Okpanam road problem, especially his immediate action to quickly provide palliative measures for the embarrassing portion of dilapidated passage right in front of the legislative quarters, for which he has already received overwhelming praise and a vote of confidence by members of the Delta Assembly, has assured Deltans and raised confidence that the Okowa administration will give Okpanam road comprehensive attention and seek to resolve the drainage problem as quickly as possible.