MEMBER of the Delta State House of Assembly representing Ughelli South Constituency, Hon Reuben Izeze, is bewildered that Primary School pupils at Omosuomo and Ekameta, two riverside communities in his area, still sit on bare floor to study without desks.
Hon Izeze, who undertook a tour of the communities to appraise their needs, said what he observed during the visit staggered him.
My devastating experience
He said, “From what I saw in the course of my tour of the 69 communities that make up my constituency, I can confirm to you that Ughelli South is indeed one of the most backward local government areas in Delta state in terms of infrastructural development.”
His words, “My most traumatizing experience was when I saw kids learning in classrooms with no desks and sitting on bare floor at Omosuomo and Ekameta communities, I wept.” “About 17 communities (Ewu) are riverine with no access roads, electricity or healthcare facilities. 27 other communities in the upland area (Ughievwen) are littered with abandoned/uncompleted road projects and poor education facilities,” he asserted.
Hon Izeze added, “Also at Otitiri/Iwhre-Ogun, a part of the community had been completely submerged by coastal erosion and clearly, it has gone extinct.” He bemoaned: “To get to some of the riverside Ewu communities in my constituency, which is Ughelli South, you have to pass other local government areas, Burutu and Bomadi, this is irritating as it is burdensome to my people.”
“I also found that there are major communities in the Jeremi area that are not accessible during the rains because of lack of roads and bridges. This is besides the decay in infrastructure and dearth of personnel in the basic education sector,” he further lamented.
Laughable facilities
The lawmaker said there was lack of primary health providers in most of the communities he visited and inadequacy of equipment and staff in the few existing Primary Health Centres, PHCS, pointing out that only one inadequately equipped and staffed General Hospital cannot serve the entire constituency.
He said that practically all the existing water schemes in the local government were not functional, while government have not connected the riverside communities, also threatened by coastal erosion, to the national grid.
Compendium of findings
The worried Hon Izeze, however, said, “We have been able to prepare a compendium of all our findings and gotten experts to cost the challenges we identified. It is our intention to present this to the present government of the state with a view to getting these issues addressed as the finances of the state improve.”
“Also we intend to reach out to other states and federal intervention agencies with some of these challenges in our bid to use a multi-dimensional approach to solving the developmental needs of our people.
“Non-governmental Organizations, NGOS and private sector operators will also not be left out as we seek to address these litanies of challenges as we believe that government alone cannot do it all,” he asserted.
Premeditated goals
He said that part of our strategic objectives is to effectively connect all communities in the local government to the national grid by 2019, provide 16 transformers for 13 communities, complete ongoing electricity projects in Gbaregolor and extension to five other communities, as well as provide approximately 350 solar streetlights in 23 communities.
Izeze is advocating provision of equipment for the 30 existing primary health care centres in the local government, upgrade of general hospital, Otu-Jeremi; back-up of Ewu cottage hospital to a general hospital; rehabilitation of Oginibo PHC; completion/equipping of four PHCS; new cottage hospitals at Ovwor and Ofrukama; and floating hospitals to serve the riverine communities.
He also said the existing water schemes in 29 communities across the local government should be rehabilitated, new water schemes provided in three communities, as well as rehabilitation and equipping of 17 existing primary schools in the constituency.
His list of requests also include establishment of four new secondary schools, Technical College at Agbon, construction and equipping of DESOMATEC campus at Gbaregolor, tertiary institution in the area, construction of foreshore walls and embankment in five communities, dredging of two major rivers, construction of culverts in four communities among others.

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