Gba­galape: A com­mu­nity liv­ing on the edge

Daily Trust - - ASO CHRONICLE - By Taiwo Adeniyi, Eseohe Eb­hota, Richard Ng­bokai & Hope D. Ariko

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

Photo Taiwo Adeniyi

A por­tion of the Karshi-Apo road. Con­struc­tion work started in 2011.

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