The communities affected by collapsed bridges in Akwa Ibom State have cried to the state government for intervention.
The affected communities include Nkwot Edem Edet in the Ikono Local Government Area; Aka-Ikot Udo Eno in the Ibiono Local Government Area; Mbiaso-Ikot Ukpong in the Obot Akara Local Government Area; and Ikot Inyang Okop-Ikot Ekpang in the Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.
The collapsed bridges are the Ibikpe-Mbiakong in the Uruan Local Government Area; Ikot Mfon-Ndiya and Afaha Ikot Idem Udo-Ntan in Etinan linking the Onna Local Government Area; Mbiaso Enyin and Ikot Nsong-Ikot Enyienge, linking Etinan with Mkpat Enin, amongst others.
A resident of the Obot Akara Local Government Area, Mr Michael Umoh, lamented the state of the Mbiaso-Ikot Ukpong Bridge, which he described as a death trap to unsuspecting motorists.
He told journalists during an assessment of the bridges that the condition of the bridge at a certain time was so bad that the communities decided to contribute money to construct an improvised one as the government was not forthcoming.
Umoh said the state of the bridge, which links the local government with Ikot Ekpene, had affected the economy of the area as traders had to go through an alternative route before getting Ikot Ekpene to sell their wares.
“We are calling on the state government to help the community by constructing a new bridge. Our people have suffered a lot. Because of the collapsed bridge, traders have to go through another road to Ikot Ekpene, which is a stone’s throw from here,” Umoh stated.
A community leader in the Onna Local Government Area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also lamented the condition of the Ikot Akpan Mkpe-Ikot Akpa Ekop Bridge.
He said the collapsed bridge, which was constructed in the 1970s, used to provide a thoroughfare for traders travelling from Onna to the popular Ukam Market in the Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, adding that the deplorable condition of the bridge had forced residents to resort to alternative routes.
The community leader stated, “The Ikot Akpan Mkpe-Ikot Akpa Ekop Bridge was constructed in the 1970s to link part of Onna with Mkpat Enin by providing a thoroughfare for traders going to the Ukam Market in Mkpat Enin.
“Now, it has collapsed and is abandoned, thereby becoming a death trap to people traversing the area to the Ukam Market.”