As the Federal Capital Territory continues to expand, exotic estates and mansions are adorning the landscape. But are the roads leading to some of these high brow areas motorable and in good shape? ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM writes on the dangers residents face and how successive administrations, have continued to neglect them.
2Baba Idibia, in one of his evergreen songs that talks about electioneering, said “All I want to say is that they don’t really care about us.”
What residents of Dawaki/Dutse areas are facing ever since the creation of these areas is becoming worrisome. The pains residents are put through have made them clamour the continued neglect by successive administrations, especially with the provision of good roads and water.
During the raining season, the roads were nothing to write home about and not motorable. Erosion was visible and the slippery sloppy roads endangered the lives of many. Motorbike accident and sometime head-on collusion with vehicles is now a common phenomenon.
During the last raining season, a pregnant woman fell from a bike due to the bad slippery road. The residents have complained on several occasion but it has fallen on deaf ears.
Now , the dry season is here and it’s time for dust which poses a great threat on the health of residents. The dust kicked up by vehicles traveling on roads may make up 33% of air pollution.
Road dust consists of deposits of vehicle exhausts and industrial exhausts, particles from tire and brake wear, dust from potholes, and dust from unpaved roads. Road dust is a significant source contributing to the generation and release of particulate matter into the atmosphere. Control of road dust is a significant challenge in urban areas, such as Dawaki and Dutse and also in other locations with high levels of vehicular movements.
Besides those districts and locations inside of Abuja metropolis, most areas housing some palatial houses in the city’s satellite towns and districts have bad road networks like Dawaki/Dutse. It is common to see multimillion naira edifices constructed in these areas where there are no infrastructures, particularly good roads.
The residents are becoming furious because when going to work/school in the morning, the dusty atmosphere slam on their clothes , making them look like someone who was sprayed with dust.
Speaking to some residents, Mr Okoro Mike says this is very shameful and embarrassing not just to the community of the head of the community who is supposed to channel the plight of the people to those responsible.
“ My brother, I thank God that people like you are speaking for us. How can people be very insensitive? Just imagine, I cane out to get something and I am all covered in dust. What have we done to these people? When they want to seek for our votes they always promise to fix these roads but immediately they get into power, we don’t even see them again. Why has God punished us with bad leaders.
“ I call on the FCT minister to come to our aid so that we can have good road. And do you know that them is dust can cause sickness? If there are asthmatic patients in these areas, I tell you, something bad would surly happen. I just want to to come help us before it gets out of hand” he begged.
Adding her voice, Miss Rebecca Ojo called on the chairman and councilor of the area council to come to their aid especially now that the dust is widespread. She urges them to fear God and do what they promise the people.
In the same vein, Mustapha Abubakar, who is a petty trader on the road side said his shop and goods have been covered in dust. He explained that aside that cough he contacted from the dust, his goods are all dusty and dirty. He also called on the Chiefs and elders of the area to put pressure on the political office holders to construct a good road befitting for the edifices in the area.
Also, a woman who just wants to be known as Madam Margret said what they would have done is making sure those politicians who promised to fix the roads for the resident are force to do it.
“ You will see, these same people that promised us that they would fix this road will still come to tell us they will do it again and would be voted in. Politicians are very wicked and never keep to promises. I call on the FCT Minister to visit these areas because if there is good road and water, there will also be goof health. And as it is said, health is wealth. Please Honourable Minister, please come and help us fix this road and put shame on the faces of the leaders of the community because it seems they are conniving with the politicians and siphoning the money that would have been used to construct the road. We are suffering and we need your help,” she begged.
The dust particles themselves are well known for their potential to cause respiratory and cardiovascular health problems. They can also irritate eyes,throat and skin. Human health effects of dust relate mainly to the size of dust particles and in Dawaki and Dutse areas, the dust is unequivocally at a high level.
All effort to reach the area council wasn’t forthcoming as they said he wasn’t on sit.