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Reps Pledge To Address Enugu Metropolis Slum

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Two members of the House of Representatives have pledged to upgrade Ugbo-Oghe slum within Enugu metropolis through physical restructuring and improvement of infrastructure such as roads and electricity.

Ugbo-Oghe slum settlement is located in the Abakpa axis of Enugu East local government area of Enugu State.

They made the pledge yesterday when, Prof Paul Nnamchi of Enugu East/Isi-Uzo federal constituency (LP) and Sunday Umeha of Udi/Ezeagu federal constituency (LP) visited former occupants of 8 Akpugo Street, Ugbo-Oghe, where fire gutted a bungalow.

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The bungalow was inhabited by over 50 residents with two persons sustaining serious fire-burn injuries.

The property went into flames on April 26, 2024, following what an eyewitness said was caused by a power surge that reportedly started from the ceiling of the house but could not be put out by emergency agencies due to the inaccessibility of the property in the slum.

One of the residents of the building, Mr Chika Odo, explained that even though he was not around when the fire incident took place, his wife told him it was caused by the fluctuation of electric current in the afternoon of the fateful day.

Odo said that his wife told him: “NEPA has been flashing light constantly all afternoon before they noticed that there was smoke coming out from the roof.”

In an address during their visit, Nnamchi described the inferno as a carnage, but thanked God that no life was lost except properties, adding it would be difficult for the occupant to recover their losses due to their low economic status.

On how to improve on the slum structure of Ugbo-Oghe, Nnamchi said that, “the bane of our national planning is that we don't take care of our population increase, we produce kids who will also have kids tomorrow and so we need to have a long-term plan.

“Twenty years ago we had fewer people living around here but today we have over 50 people living in this burnt apartment alone, so it's about planning. But I also think that the Federal Fire Service has just recruited and would be able to step up its services.

“The town planning authority should also look at it but it also involves that the community should give them support because nobody likes his property to be demolished. We need to have clear access to this axis for security, safety and every other thing.

“This place also needs solar power and we are planning to do a bit of that soon but in some areas here, if you put a pole, it will prevent entrance of vehicles. So, in due course we'll think along with this community to plan because they are also our own people,” he said.

 


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