A young man, Chidipeters Okorie, has lamented the deplorable condition of roads in the Mburubu community, Nkanu East local government area of Enugu State.
According to Okorie, the roads in the community have been denigrated in a way that makes it difficult to move from the community to the neighbouring communities.
This is despite the commercial benefits of the community as he cited the popular Nkwo Market which is filled up by visitors from the state and beyond for trading activities every fortnight.
He said the community is dominated by farmers who produce food and cash crops such as yam, cassava, palm oil, groundnut, rice and beans in commercial quantities.
He added that residents of the community have complained of persistent neglect by successive governments of the state despite the community’s proximity to the capital city, Nigerian Law School and Enugu State University of Science and Technology.
Okorie also stated that government neglect of the community is profound in the lack of basic amenities such as a health facility, schools, among others.
He said, “The first impression about the nature of the suffering of the people of Mburubu in the Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State is the deplorable condition of the road linking the community with the neighbouring communities of Nara, Nkereffi, Nomeh and Odumah.
“A distance of two kilometres takes about 30 minutes to travel. It is hard to access the community due to the erosion, mud everywhere, gullies filled with water, a small stream without a bridge cutting across the road; where there are bridges, they are iron rusty bridges constructed during the war for military exigencies.
“The community has a well-organised traditional institution with the popular Nkwo Market which is fortnightly filled to the brim by visitors from the state and beyond for commercial activities, yet is unfamiliar with social amenities.
“The community is dominated by farmers who produce crops like yam, cassava, palm oil, groundnut, rice and beans in commercial quantities. But they lack encouragement from the government in terms of access roads for the transportation of these products to various markets.
“The vehicle conveying us only managed through the many deep hollows, making the journey farther than it really was. This speaks much about the deplorable condition of the road, which residents said is difficult to ply during the rainy season.
“With its proximity to the Enugu capital territory, there is no government presence in the community. Residents groan of neglect by successive governments of the state, yearning for amenities that guarantee better living.
“Mburubu Community is under Nkanu East Local Government of Enugu State. It is about 30 minutes drive from the state capital territory, 15 minutes detour from the Nigerian Law School, Agbani and the prestigious Enugu State University of Science and Technology.
“In the wake of the colonial era, Mburubu served as the epicentre of economic activities, the following were located in the community: Mburubu Native Court Prison yard, Rest House (Guest House), Health Centre (Dispensary), Trauma Centre where people afflicted with leprosy diseases were treated and has the only Primary School with Teachers’ quarters.
“Unfortunately, all these are abandoned and have gone into obscurity.
“A visit to the only primary school in the community revealed the existence of two old dilapidated structures used as classrooms.
“The school which lacks facilities also has one of the classroom blocks in dire straits with the entire building having no windows and doors.
“Except for the primary school which was built 71 years ago, and reroofed 11 years ago, residents cannot boast of any social amenity.
“Residents, through communal efforts, pooled resources together and built the only secondary school and handed same over to the government, yet the roofs are blown off, students study in the rain and harsh environment, and the government is being nonchalant about the plight of the future generation.
“Additionally the construction of the only health centre was sponsored by the community women. Again, the government has never offered any medical equipment or personnel. Of course, the toll on the community is unbearable.
“Absence of healthcare facility affects the women most. Some of them face difficulties during labour. The situation of the community is lamentable. The only thing the community gets is the polio vaccine, aside from that nothing else. Therefore, it wouldn’t be out of place if it is posited that the community is without a healthcare centre.
“The government has neglected the community in terms of provision of social amenities and infrastructural facilities including potable water, electricity, schools, hospitals, good road, security and fertilizer for farmers.
“The poor government attention and lack of development in the community is decrying. The community has been neglected for many years. Even though amenities are also not adequate in some communities, the situation in Mburubu is far worse.”
He further alleged that several complaints by community members to elected leaders have only fallen on deaf ears.
Okorie observed that some of the problems of the community are used as manifestoes by politicians during elections, but nothing is usually seen thereafter.
“They ignore the community and their problems,” he said.
Also speaking, the community leader, Chief Dr Aniobi, said, “The Enugu State Government under Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi should show the mercy of governance and rescue Mburubu Community from extinction.
“The Nkanu East local authority did not find it necessary to even grade the road with caterpillar last dry season, instead it used filling sand to block the road along Nara axis to demonstrate intentions to cut Mburubu off. What are the sins of the Mburubu Community? No government presence, no infrastructure.
“Let the cries of the good people of Mburubu pierce the good heart of Governor Ugwuanyi to listen and bring governance to save us. Governor Ugwuanyi, please try, we beg you.
“Is the existence of Mburubu Community only recognised during electioneering? The level of neglect by the government is far worse than most other communities in Nkanu East LGA. Why? God is watching. Mburubu is part of Nkanu East LGA of Enugu State.”