Saturday, February 13, 2021

Road Projects Monitoring And Evaluation: Delta Civil Society Community Starts With Aniocha South & North LGAs.

...... Residents, Engineers, Contractors Speak To DTS Civil Society Community during the Visits.

......Drilled Citizens On The Quality, Advantages And Pitfalls of Okowa's Road Projects.

...Delta Civil Society Community bemoans unkempt State of drainages by Citizens, harps on Communities Sensitization.

By Victor Bieni, Asaba

Delta State Civil Society Community yesterday walked the talk by embarking on project monitoring and evaluation excerise, with emphasis on road projects executed under His Excellency, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa's administration from it’s inception in 2015 till date. The exercise which kick started from Aniocha South and Aniocha North LGAs of Delta State is still ongoing.
The project monitoring visit which took the delegation to Ogwashi-Uku Clan, Ubulu Clan, precisely Ubulu-Okiti, and Nsukwa communities, Precisely Isheagu/ Ewulu where the projects were sited, and ongoing.

Also had amongst the entourage, the SSA Civic Engagement and Civil Society, and Delta State Civil Society Community led by its Coordinator, Dcn Okezi Odugala, other Executives and members of the Projects monitoring Committee, flanked by Shocknaija, Delta Uhuru and other Media Organizations in Delta State as part of the observers during the evaluation of concluded and some ongoing projects.
In Aniocha South LGA, Delta Civil Society Community visited Ubulu Clan to monitor and evaluate the construction and completion of Uzougba link road to Issele-Azagba/Issele-Uku /Ubulu-Okiti Road done by a civil engineering firm, Webster Global Ventures. Basically,
In Ogwashi-Uku Clan, where the monitoring and evaluation exercise by the Civil Society Organizations took off, the group evaluated the following projects: completion of Mission Road, the ongoing Ishiekpe Road Projects and drainage construction projects Ishiekpe Quarters, Ogwashi-Uku being executed by Bube-Dan Global Resources Ltd.
The delegation further took a tour of several sites including, construction and completion of Agidiehi Road projects done by a contracting Civil Engineering firm, Lebtech Construction Ltd. And in Nsukwa Clan axis, the group also visited and made inquiries about the progress of the recently awarded Ewulu/Isheagu road Projects which they were informed that the contractor will be moving to the site in almost immediately.
In Aniocha North LGA, the delegation evaluated the construction and completion of Idumuje-Ugboko/Idumuje-Unor /Issele-Uku Road.
Activist Rex Anighoro alongside the Delta State Civil Society Community having officially started the state-wide projects monitoring and evaluation of roads constructed by His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa's administration from inception (2015) till date, and upon carrying out project evaluation exercises in Aniocha South and Aniocha North LGA respectively, swiftly moved in to Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West and Ukwuani Local Government Areas in the Ndokwa Nation, to cover the next phase of the ongoing monitoring and evaluation exercise thus sustaining the pace and gathering momentum.
The action team which comprised of CSO leaders and the press, monitored projects in Anochia South and Aniocha North Local Government Areas respectively.

Activist Rex Anighoro, SSA to the Governor on Civil society and Civil engagement, Delta State Civil Society Community, Ministry of Works officials and engineers assigned to the Local Government Areas guided the delegation on the tour. Also, the contractors were onsite to give insight on the jobs done by their firms during the monitoring and evaluation exercise.

As a fallout from the exercise, SSA to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa On Civic Engagement and Civil Society, Activist Rex Anighoro, Delta State Civil Society Community, alongside other project monitoring Committee personnel observed that most of the drainages by the roads constructed are in a bad state as they were completely blocked due to the alarming rate of refuse dumped overtime by citizens, thus hindering the easy flow of water.
According to the group, "the people in our communities do not seem to care, neither do they see themselves as owners of the Projects, and has warrant wanton neglect, to the extent of doing businesses on top of blocked drainages. These and more were the observations in places like Ogwash- Uku, Isele - Uku, Idumuje-Unor amongst others".

The Civil Society delegation in a statement noted that, "Civil Society must begin serious advocacy and enlightenment campaigns against the misuse of our drainages. The Ministries of Works, Health and Environment, Transport, Information, Bureau of Orientation and others must work together with the office of the SSA and the Civil Society Community to end this Civic irresponsibility.

The Local Government Council Chairmen who would emerge after Saturday 6th of March 2021, must be tasked to do the right things for our people by embarking on a massive action-driven campaign to reclaim and maintain our drainages regularly.

The representative of Bube- Dan Global Resources Ltd, Engr. Akumabor Jude Chinedu, affirmed that the road they have handled can boast of a lifespan of 10-15 years, and assured the Civil Society Community of longevity of the road projects with excellent environmental impact assessments and others.

The president General of Ogwashi-uku Youths Development Association, Comr Chiedu Stanley, thanked the group for coming to monitor road projects in Ogwashi-Uku kingdom. He also appreciated the SSA Civic Engagement and Civil Society and the entire leadership of Delta State Civil Society Community for finding out time to investigate completed and ongoing projects in the State. He commended the delegation who's action will ensure check and balances in governance. And also check mate the contractors.

He also rightly added that this project monitoring and evaluation exercise will put the contractors on their feet to deliver timely and quality job, and called on the host communities with ongoing projects must take ownership and monitor contractors and projects in their domain to ensure timely, and qualitative project delivery.
On the issue of refuse being dumped inside drainages by citizens, the youth president, stated that it is the Civic duty of the youth and other citizens as stakeholders, to ensure that government project which were constructed to serve the people are protected and monitored to ensure that they last long and are put to the best use.

Comrade Chiedu further speaking, assured the Members of the Delta State Civil Society Community that in the next two months, a Committee will be set up to address the issue of blocked drainages, and in conclusion, appreciated the group delegation, praying for God's enablement upon them to succeed.

A human rights Activist, and Coordinator, Young Nigerian Rights, Comrade Victor Ojei, also appreciated the Delta State Government for the road projects and noted that hitherto, he was one of those who mounted pressure to put the State Government on their toes. He further employed the opportunity urged all host communities where projects are sited to take ownership of their projects and ensure that their drainages are cleaned up and regularly maintained, to complement the efforts of the Delta State Government and play their part to reduce the annual flooding menace affecting the State.

Ministry of Works Representative, Aniocha South, Engr. Nkemdilim Chiadika, stated that the Ministry saw the importance of carrying the communities along in the course of project execution. She further stressed that the Ministry of Works took necessary steps to ensure that the contractors meet the specification for each item of work, while she restated commitment on the part of the Works Ministry.

She advised on the need for host communities to take ownership and help maintain government facilities, especially roads in their domain by desilting the drains regularly to help free flow of water and ensure that the environment is not compromised. She maintained that an unhealthy environment foster the outbreak of deadly diseases.

Darasyn Peter Diji who is the Financial Secretary, Ogwashi-Uku Development Union (Home Branch), spoke alongside their Youths President-General, described the job executed by the road contractors as a perfect job, and going forward, the youths will come together to clean up the drainages in Ogwashi-Uku.

In Aniocha South LGA, during an interview with newsmen, Mr. Okolie Cassidy, amongst other residents along Mission road, which is one of the executed projects in Ogwashi-Uku commended the contractor for doing a good job, and further commended the Delta State Government. Another resident Mr. Ifeanyi at Ishiekpe Quarters, Ogwashi-Uku, also commended the ongoing road drainage system construction in the area and called for more speed in the execution of the job to avoid any disruption during the raining season.

In Aniocha North, precisely at Idumuje-Unor, some residents, Mr Fred Ojei, and Mr Afam who commended the road projects, described the job done as excellent, adding that the Road is now motorable for passengers, indigenes and will better aid the distribution of farm products in their area for Idumuje-Unor Community people.

Other residents who spoke with our correspondents echoed the joy of the Idumuje-Unor residents over the road projects, they commended the state Government for the deliberate effort to open up communities via strategic road projects to foster economic activities and improve the living standards of the beneficiaries.

While rounding-up the project assessment and evaluation exercise, an Agriculturist, Former Local Government Chairman and Commissioner, a political leader in Aniocha South Local Government Area, Hon. Jerry Ossai, who hosted the delegation, also commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on the impact he has made in the rural communities in Delta State, especially the recently awarded Ewulu/Isheagu Road Projects.

The former Commissioner for Agriculture and Works told our reporter that the Road projects embarked upon by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa will create opportunities for the Youths in the area, Aniocha South and entire Delta State majorly for Youths living in rural communities as part of efforts by Delta State Government to promote its job creation Initiative so as to encourage the Youths to go into Agriculture. Also that the development will further create ease of access road and transportation network system for rural markets and distribution of their farm products to final consumers.

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