Port Harcourt Insight - by GambetaNews.com 2019 Vol.3

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VOL.2: DECEMBER 2019 EDITION

PORT HARCOURT GambetaNews.com INSIGHT INSiGHT

PORT HARCOURT

Inspiring Africa’s infrastructural development

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VOL.3: DECEMBER 2019 EDITION

GARDEN CITY OR GARBAGE CITY? THE CHOICE IS YOURS! WHAT’S INSIDE PORT HARCOURT PROJECT UPDATES An update section on the three flyover bridge project.

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hristmas is here again! Parte after Parte, with so much to eat and drink.

As you make plans to enjoy the festivities, it is important that you also think about the environmental effect of some actions. In this season, there is usually an exponential growth in the amount of plastics, aluminum and other inorganic wastes found in our waste streams. The handling and disposal of these inorganic waste is a major challenge for the Rivers State Government. This is mostly due to the fact that, Port Harcourt residents do not sort their wastes.

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Despite plastic and aluminum being recyclable wastes, you will find them blocking the drainage system around the garden city. I remember growing up between 1980 and 1995 when the city of Port Harcourt was rated the cleanest city in the country as a result of its beautiful landscape, good road layout and the environmental consciousness of its residents. But as urban explosion began to take a heavy toll in the once beautiful 'Garden City', people now fear that the city is gradually assuming the status of “Garbage City''. Residents of Port Harcourt are not conscious of their environment.

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THE ISSUES ON GROUND Massive heaps of refuse will overtake the city in this yuletide. A simple walk or drive through the city in the early hours of the morning brings you that disgusting sight and smell of refuse. Refuse dumping time is within the hours of 7pm and 12 midnight daily. You can see it everywhere you go, from old Port-Harcourt Township to Rumuokoro. To make matters worse, some residents in Port Harcourt dispose their refuse straight into the drainage system.

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Hence, whenever it rains, you see refuse littered on the pavement and in the gutters blocking the flow of water. Thereby, resulting to flash flooding along critical road networks in the city. Rivers State Governor, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike has expressed sadness at the amount of filth littering different parts of the state capital. He lamented, ''Port Harcourt is dirty, and we must accept this fact''.

WHO MANAGES OUR WASTE? Rivers State Wastes Management Agency (RIWAMA) is the government agency responsible for waste management in the state. This agency is headed by Bro. Felix Obuah, as its sole administrator, and is responsible for the collection, treating and disposal of waste within the state. The agency handles wastes along all spectrums; from household to industrial waste. It is important to note that the major source of waste in Port Harcourt is households. Yes, household waste poses various economic, administrative and social problems than industrial waste in the city of Port Harcourt. In tackling this challenge, the agency currently mandates a monthly and weekly sanitation exercise to clean up the city. Every Thursday, street vendors are mandated to clean up their surroundings between the hours of 7:00am to 10:00am; whereas, all rivers residents are mandated to clean their surrounding every last Saturday of the month. Movement is restricted within the state during this activity. In a bid to ensure proper waste management, the agency employs the services of contractors to handle waste management in various districts. This strategy helps in curbing the negligent attitude common among government owned establishments. These efforts by the agency are commendable; however, most

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residents disregard them and the resultant effect is weak implementation.

WHAT TO DO?

�Garden City or a Garbage City; the choice is ours to make. Especially in this Yuletide! Your habit and attitude will reflect the choice you made!� As a resident, you should know about the three laws governing waste management; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! Here are some examples of the three laws in action.

Reduce: It nice to have family and friends come over to share the festivities! However, you could enjoy their warm company while serving water in a jug than buying cartons of plastic bottled water. Reuse: As new cloths and appliances arrive into your home, you will definitely feel an impulse to discard the old item. Instead, organise a sale/give out those unwanted clothes, toys, appliances, and books that you no longer need.

Recycle: Use disposable paper plates to serve guests while throwing a party. These plates can be shredded after and put around the base of plants and flowers to help retain moisture and provide nutrients for the plant. There are so many other environmentally conscious strategies to implement! Seek and you shall find more impactfull strategies in restoring Port Harcourt to its former glory as "The Garden City". My City, My Responsibility! Happy Holidays.

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PROJECT

UPDATE: THE THREE FLYOVERS

GARRISON JUNCTION, NOVEMBER 26, 2019

P

ort Harcourt residents are feeling the heat, as the ongoing 21billion-naira flyover project is gaining traction!

Before now, it took me less than thirty minutes to visit the mobile phone repairers at Garrison Junction! But, the other day, I got sanctioned at work for spending more than an hour of my break time visiting Garrison! Honestly, Port Harcourt is starting to feel like Lagos! I subconsciously have to strategise my journey plan! Do I take Ikwerre road? Which internal link roads are preferable? I bet Port-Harcourt residents never bargained for this during the colourful flag-off ceremonies reported in November. In just two months, the traffic situation in the city has deteriorated. However, the gridlock could have been worse, if not for these commendable efforts!

COMMENDABLE EFFORTS The 21-billion-naira flyover has raised eyebrows since inception! Especially, seeing that the governor paid 70% mobilisation as upfront payment to ensure timely delivery within 16months! Honestly, it is a good decision seeing that I cannot manage this unwanted mental stress for more than 16 months! At least, government thought about this while conceptualising the project. Secondly, the idea of simultaneously starting the Rebisi (Garrison) and Rumuoba (Artillery 1 & 2) flyover along the Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway without the Okoro-nodu flyover (Rumuokoro) is a commendable effort! All hell would have broken loose, if both Aba Road and Ikwerre Road were barricaded for construction works. The city of Port Harcourt would have come to a complete lockdown! Thereby, forcing the current loss in productivity to escalate to an alltime high.

enhancing Quality Control and Assurance of the construction members Lastly, it was timely that the Governor inaugurated the Task Force on illegal street trading, markets and motor parks before the commencement of the project. The task force is doing a great job in ensuring unobstructed flow in traffic along the Ikwerre and Aba Road axis. Indeed, Mr. Project is working! However, this article will not be complete without addressing some areas of concern.

SOME CONCERNS The creation of a round-about in Garrison and the demolition of same structure within three (3) years is a complete waste of Rivers state resources. One will begin to wonder how much is in the Rivers State treasury? It also shows that the Government has a defunct Urban Planning Commission as it lacks town planning professionals. While the Attorney general is seeking to keep the state within the bounds of the law and the Accountant general is ensuring a healthy treasury. “The state obviously needs a professional to ensure proper infrastructure delivery. This professional may be called, Engineer-General! The Engineer-General will be responsible for envisioning “Rivers of the future”, while ensuring the implementation of projects to meet professional best practises.” Mr Project needs a think-tank of building professionals!

Thirdly, Julius Berger has done a brilliant job in planning the project to minimise on-site construction activities. So far, what is on-going at the site is piling, geotechnical activities and other site preparation like the removal of streetlights and central barriers. The components of the bridge, such as columns, beams and slabs are currently being prefabricated offsite; thereby, reducing road congestion while

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GARRISON ROUND-ABOUT, MAY, 2018

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