By SAM JONES
YENAGOA (Sundiata Post) – The Bayelsa State Government has set July this year as deadline for complete rehabilitation of roads destroyed by the monumental floods of 2022.
The Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Moses Teibowei, and his Information, Strategy and Orientation counterpart, Hon. Ayibaina Duba, disclosed this on Thursday while conducting journalists on a tour of ongoing efforts to rehabilitate failed sections of some of the roads.
The 2022 flood destroyed sections of Yenagoa- Amassoma, Onuebum-Otuoke, Opokuma, Imiringi and Sagbama-Tungbo roads among others affecting road transport in the state.
The tour also included stops at the Igbogene-AIT-Bayelsa Palm road, extension of the Igbdi link road and the Labour House which are all under construction.
Work is on at the Opolo-Elebele where government is trying to construct modern concrete culverts to replace agelong iron culverts and also divert the road to eradicate dangerous sharp bends.
At the Onuebum-Otuoke road, Teibowei said the government is trying to make it an all season road by elevating it up to seven feet in some sections, higher than the level of the 2022 in the area.
At the Yenagoa-Amassoma road, work is ongoing to rehabilitate three failed sections immediately after the fork to the Bayelsa International Airport just as contractors are fixing another three sections at the Opokuma road.
Teibowei disclosed that work would soon commence on rehabilitation of other failed sections of other roads as government was desirous of ensuring the completion of all the jobs by July this year.
He said the tour was also aimed at informing Bayelsans of ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the roads and thereby ameliorate the suffering of road users caused by the flood.
Teibowei stated: “We have decided to tell Bayelsans what the Prosperity Administration is doing with regards to roads that were badly affected by the 20202 flood and what effort the government is making to ensure that the roads are rehabilitated.
“We started with a visit to Onuebum/Otuoke site from there, we moved to Imiringi-Elebele road where we made some diversions because in that road, we were having regular accidents and we are replacing the iron bridges with concrete culverts.
“From there we went to Opokuma-Sabagraei road and to Amassoma road. In all the locations, work is ongoing and we believe that work will be completed by July this year latest.
“We also visited Igbedi extension. We are doing over two kilometers of additional road after government has done 4.5 kilometers which was commissioned last year.
“We also visited the Outer Ring road Sections 2 and 3 and there are other jobs going on in different locations of the state. The Onuebum-Otuoke road is always flooded perennially and we decided that there is a need to elevate the road from its present level to two meters height and so we are removing the asphalt.
“We are going to sand fill up to two meters height and provide culverts where necessary to ensure that it is not going to be flooded going forward.
“We have also awarded contracts for the rehabilitation of the road to Trofani; on Sagbama-Ekeremor road also before Bulou-Orua and after Bulou-Orua work is ongoing.
The Commissioner for Information, Strategy and Orientation, Ayibaina Duba, said the focus of the state government is to link up all the communities by road network.
Duba said: “We have always maintained that we want to link up Bayelsa State and the roads need to be constructed. More projects have been approved. We are doing this because Bayelsa State was created since 1996 and it is bad that with what we contribute to the federation, there are still local governments that are not connected by road network.
“And, as a responsible government, we feel that it is unacceptable and we must link up these communities with roads. It is something we as a government want to do for the people and we will continue to do those roads. We won’t stop until we get it done and achieved.”