Enugu: Asata residents hail ECTDA’s intervention on flood-wrecked building

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Residents of Onu-Asata, in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State, have commended the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) for its prompt response to the emergency situation that befell them as a result of “a poor illegal structure being built on a waterway at Asata River Water bank”, which was wrecked by flood a few days ago.

Following the heavy rainfall of 1st April, 2020 in Enugu, a petrol filling station being constructed on a waterway at Onu-Asata, along Presidential Road, was wrecked by flood which affected other shops around the area.

On receiving distress calls from residents of the neighbourhood, the rescue team of the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) mobilized to the site, removed the wreckage and cleared the waterway for free flow of water.

Unfortunately, the ECTDA’s intervention was misconstrued, in some sections of the social media, as a demolition exercise, an accusation officials of the agency faulted, explaining that they only came to remove the wreckage and clear the waterway to avert future recurrence.

Reacting to the development, a cross section of the residents thanked God that the heavy flood, which was caused by the collapsed building that blocked the waterway, did not affect much property.

The residents dismissed the erroneous impression being peddled on social media that the ECTDA came and demolished peoples’ houses when they are observing the government’s sit-at-home order aimed at containing the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, stressing that the allegation was mischievous and a calculated attempt to undermine the state government and mislead the public.

Speaking on behalf of the residents, Mr. Onyebuchi K. Agbo from Ogui Community stated that it was unfair for some social media users in the state to misrepresent facts about what actually transpired on that fateful day.

Mr. Agbo regretted that instead of commending the management of the ECTDA for its timely intervention, “these biased social media influencers in this Enugu, who feed on false and negative stories have twisted this story in a failed attempt to gain traffic and achieve their selfish interest”.

He asked those accusing the Enugu urban development agency of demolishing peoples’ houses amid Coronavirus outbreak to drop such cheap blackmail and appreciate what they did to save lives and more damage of property by flood in the vicinity.

The resident argued that the government’s sit-at-home order does not in any form stop those in emergency services from discharging their due responsibilities, maintaining that the action taken by ECTDA under such an emergency situation was timely and in the overall public interest.

Noting that the neighborhood had expressed worries about the imminent danger of constructing such commercial structure on a waterway, Agbo revealed that they had equally called the attention of the ECTDA and the Council Chairman to such illegal construction.

According to him, “the people of this neighborhood, especially those of us living close to this waterway had earlier informed the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority to come and stop work at that construction site because the structure was just on the waterway, I mean this river here. We said that it was dangerous to build there. The ECTDA people came and marked “Stop-work” on the building but they continued work, until Monday night when the rain started and wrecked it.

“In short, I was the first to call the ECTDA rescue team to come and clear the waterway because it was blocked to the extent that if any rain falls, the flood will affect a lot of buildings including mine.

“So, all these things people are talking on the internet or social media are not true and should be disregarded because the structures the rescue team removed were collapsed buildings destroyed by flood. We invited them and they did not demolish anything, as mischievously alleged”.

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