The urban renewal programme of the Imo State Government though well intended is causing agony and pain for residents of Owerri city.
Since the programme commenced, the city has turned to a huge construction yard. The drainage system (gutters) have been demolished dislocating water pipelines.
The whirlwind that wrecked havoc in the city last week also led to the collapse of electric poles as electricity cables now litter on the road.
While the State Government has intensified efforts to rebuild these damaged items, many residents complained of terrifying traffic gridlock as a result of the ongoing works.
The coming of the rains has made some major roads impassable as pedestrians have a herculean task to get home whenever there is a downpour.
Worst hit is wethedral road Owerri which is in darkness at night as a result of damaged electricity cables.
Mr. Sebastine Osuji, a resident in the city said “ we appreciate the ongoing road expansion work at Wethedral Road, but it is been difficult for both motorists and pedestrians. There is traffic hold up on the road especially at MCC junction from morning till night. The electric cables litter on the road and this is quite dangerous.
“We call for expedited action on ongoing construction work on the road . I felt the construction work on Douglas road should have been concluded before moving over to wethedral road. These are the two major roads in the city
Our reporter observed that the closure of Douglas Road since Eke Ukwu Owerri market was demolished by the State Government in September 2017 and ongoing renovation work in the area is the reason for the traffic logjam in almost all parts of the city.
Before the Urban Renewal Programme intensifed, Owerri city had to grapple the menace of flood which ravage the city whenever it rains. This appears to have intensified when construction works began.