By: Ifeanyi Okonkwo
Governor Chukwuma Soludo-led is matching actions with words as his administration’s urban renewal effort in Okpoko, Ogbaru Council Area, its environs and the state in general, an enforcement team led by the state Physical Planning Board, began marking of structures for removal in Okpoko.
Okpoko, a sprawling slum which has a population of over a million, sits on the east bank of the Niger River just north of the larger city of Onitsha.
The enforcement team was led by the Executive Chairman of the Board, Barrister Chike Maduekwe.
Armed with the Master Plan of Okpoko, the team sited the area from the Second Niger Bridge.
In the process, it was established that over two hundred structures are blocking the road, drainage and water way, thereby preventing successful emptying of flood water into the Niger River.
The clean up exercise is one of the major deliverables of Soludo’s plan to make Anambra a liveable city.
Barrister Maduekwe explained that the major challenge in the area is that many people blocked the waterway especially the Sakamori drainage, saying that when it rains, it stops water from emptying into the Niger River, causing flooding with its attendant damages
He revealed that the Governor has given instruction to mark every house on the waterway and give them notice to remove by themselves, stating that if they don’t remove those structures, government will do so and charge them for the expenses.
The Chief Surveyor, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Somto Atuenyi who pointed out that his mission is to be a guide, said that the board remains focused and committed to the mandate.
Some of the residents expressed joy that the Governor has kept his promise, praying God to help him complete what they described as genuine desire to transform the state.
You will recall that true to his promise, Governor Soludo Visited Okpoko on the 18th of March, 2022, a day after he was sworn in as Governor, where he performed on the spot accessment of the area.