Gbagalape: A community living on the edge
The roads that lead to Gbagalape, an Abuja suburb, are death traps. Residents of the community in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) go to their houses in fear due to the number of deaths and casualties recorded on the roads.
Driving through Gbagalape, especially during the rainy season, is quite an unpleasant experience. The roads are full of gullies and are usually muddy and slippery. Residents say it is always a nightmare plying the road any day it rains.
“A woman was recently crushed on the road while many people now live with scars and harbour scary memories,” Kenneth Rabo, Gbagalape’s community head said.
Most of the accidents involved motorcyclists, the major means of transportation in the community because some residents out of fear park their vehicles in Nyanya Phase 4 or Kabayi in Mararaba before crossing over on motorcycles.
Gbagalape is a border town between the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa State and the community could be accessed through a hilly, rough and bumpy narrow road from Kabayi. The other entry point is through an erosion threatened road from Phase 4, Nyanya.
“We are suffering, the boundary road (from Kabayi axis) is on a hill, narrow and at the same time it is too high, and that of Phase 4, anytime there is heavy downpour, the road would soon cut us off,” Rabo said.
During the rainy season, none of the roads is usually passable. At the Kabayi axis, motorists said the road is usually impassable days after rainfall because it is on a hill and is muddy as such they always lose control of their vehicles.
The alternative road from Phase 4, Nyanya, is no better. A huge portion is already washed away by erosion while a drainage earlier constructed has gone about 10 feet deeper, no thanks to the gully erosion which has been aided by the sloppy nature of the road.
“My younger brother fell from a motorcycle and got injured on that road,” Rabo said, adding that accidents happen frequently on the road.
“In this rainy season, if the rain is much, the road will automatically cut us off. As it is now, people are taking a great risk passing there,” he said.
He said the community was considering blocking the road from the Nyanya axis but the Continued on next page
A portion of the Karshi-Apo road. Construction work started in 2011.