Anambra State government has commenced demolition of buildings affected during the October 16th, 2019 Ochanja fire disaster whose structural integrity has been compromised.
The exercise was carried out today by officials of the State Physical Planning board, led by its Chairman, Barrister Chike Mmaduekwe with support from security agencies in the state.
The demolition is part of the promises made by Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, to assist the landlords to demolish the badly affected structures to enable them erect model ones.
It will be recalled that one of the compromised buildings had collapsed on December 26th, last year, although nobody was hurt.
It was observed during the exercise, that some of the affected buildings had serious cracks, thereby posing a danger to life and property of the traders.
Speaking during the exercise, Barrister Maduekwe noted that the exercise was in keeping with Governor Obiano’s human-faced style of governance, assuring that the State, through the board will continue to ensure controlled building development across the state.
“This demolition exercise will also include the evacuation of debris, after which the State government will re-plan the area for the private developers to put up their structures. This market when rebuilt, will possess all the necessary attributes of a standard market especially facilities that will ensure that fire incidents in future do not wreck the kind of havoc seen in the past,” said Maduekwe.
He commended the owners of the affected structures for their cooperation that ensured the success of the demolition.
Some owners of the buildings including, Mr. Chinedu Okonkwo and Chief Charles Udegbe expressed gratitude to the Obiano-led administration for its response and efforts towards their plight since the unfortunate fire incident last year.
They said the exercise has greatly reduced the cost of rebuilding the market for them.
“What is important is that the state government did not renege on its promise to assist us and for that we are grateful. If these structures are left like this and the next rains come, there may be a loss of lives. Our people are business-inclined and urgently need shops where they will trade. As the government has fulfilled its promise now, we are going to rebuild the market and very soon, the fire incident will be a thing of the past,” they added.