OCHANJA ROUNDABOUT ONITSHA: FROM REFUSE DUMP TO WATER FOUNTAIN

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The recent online video of an obviously sponsored and amateurish drama at Ochanja Roundabout Water Fountain where a water vendor is pretending to supply water to the supposedly dry fountain is mischievous and not well thought through.

It is obvious that for lack of what to use to discredit and denounce the publicly-acclaimed hard-working Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, opposition politicians have gone berserk in orchestrating all manner of infantile images to drive none existent point. Unlike ordinary tap which flows from tank that could be depleted over time, a water fountain recycles its water continuously, and the one in question, which was installed barely a month ago, could not have evaporated into the air.

The Anambra State Ministry of Power and Water Resources has reticulated water within five kilometers radius of the neighbourhood, and there is no way water supply to the Ochanja Roundabout Water Fountain could have been a challenge.

The State government frowns at the unwarranted tampering and possible vandalization of public utilities built with tax payers money and anybody found tampering, defacing or damaging the roundabout and fountain or any road infrastructure from now on will be immediately arrested and prosecuted.

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It is equally important to warn that people should desist from making themselves available for a useless propaganda that could land them in jail.

For over twenty years, Ochanja Roundabout in Onitsha, Anambra State, known for hosting a mountain of refuse and animal carcasses, with deplorable roads like Ozomagala, Ochanja-Iweka, Menax and other adjoining roads abandoned for over thirty years have been a major source of worry and concern for residents, traders and commuters.

However, with the power of transformation which the Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo often talks about, the area has been turned into an

enchanting roundabout with a functional water fountain. That is transformation in practical term. Governor Soludo has equally impacted same Midas touch in many other areas of the state’s social infrastructure within the past two years.

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Most significant are the labyrinth of solid roads, pipe borne water with public taps and healthcare centres among others which he recently commissioned, mostly in parts of the State that have not seen such facilities since Nigeria became a sovereign country. The transformation of Ochanja Roundabout has not only improved the aesthetics of the area, it has drastically revved up the quality of economic activities that go on in the environment and to a large extent guarantee good health for the residents, traders and passersby as against the previous nauseating stench that emanated from the mountain of refuse. The nerve wracking traffic gridlock that was regular nightmare for commuters have become a thing of the past. There is now a free and smooth flow of vehicular traffic conveying people and their goods, to and from the area.

“One good turn deserves another,” is a common refrain. It is therefore important that traders and residents of the area should take ownership of the transformation for it to be sustained. Already, reports have it that some petty traders, particularly “ọkịrịka” sellers immediately swooped on the just completed roundabout to display their wares while others, intrigued by the novelty have gone there to wash their limbs and different items. This is unacceptable as the roundabout and water fountain are not meant for that. There is therefore need for residents and those trading around the area to ensure that no one, in whatever guise, should misuse or abuse the facility. The roundabout and water fountain are meant to facilitate smooth traffic flow and beautify the place. It should not be used as public tap or extension of market stalls or for displaying wares.

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It is important to remind traders and residents of the area that OCHA Brigade has been directed to ensure compliance.

It is important for people to take full ownership of public facilities to achieve the desired goals.

Written by SIR PAUL NWOSU

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