By Muhammadu Mubaraak
It appears the second most important arterial road in Lafia city is finally being dualized. This decision of the state government to dualize Shendam road, even though a federal government road, is very commendable. It is indeed a road too important to the city and indeed the honour of the state, to have been so abandoned in it’s current state for these years.
While we hope for a quality and speedy job, there is a need for more to be done. And this is mainly in the area of mitigating the environmental impacts of this project during construction and upon completion. It appears these foreseeable profound impacts have been ignored too.
Upon completion of this road project, there shall be more run-off water at adjoining areas of the new road in the rainy season. And this means more gully erosion on the already badly ravaged streets off Shendam road to the south. Streets behind low-cost housing estate, Nacwyca street etc will be worse hit by then. Some houses will certainly be washed away and many others rendered inaccessible down these streets if the dualization goes ahead without applying proper mitigating measures.
Therefore, it is necessary that this project is accompanied with the paving and channeling of run-off water through at least three adjoing streets south of the Shendam road. These streets have to be from those located at the lowest areas of the stretch. Nacwyca street, Low-cost Gate 3 and the Street by NASIEC are the precise stretches that will safely convey the huge run-off water out of a dualized Shendam road if paved and provided with drainages.
For these interventions to be effective, low-cost gate 3 street needs to be connected to the Tudun kauri street. While the street between the two grave yards on Abuja street needs to be paved and made to connect to the government house. This will allow for junctions down Nawyca and NASIEC streets.
A speedy construction work on this ever busy Shendam road will be better achieved when these streets and the one between the two grave yards on Almakura street are paved. They will be used to divert traffic from a large stretch of Shendam road to allow for the more challenging construction works there to go on smoothly.
Shendam road dualization is too good to be allowed to taint the image of the regime. The huge flood that ravaged houses after Lafia-East road was constructed without Tudun Kauri road, is enough pointer to what is ahead should these suggestions be completely ignored. Moreover, these interventions if carried out, the regime would have imprinted itself nicely on the minds and hearts of the thousands residing in this vast area and indeed across the city.