Operation Green Parrot - Newsreel

 

 Anambra Govt Procures City Plans for Awka, Nnewi & Onitsha

 

 

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra

 

With the aim to bring order, aesthetics and functionality in future development of the three main urban centers of Anambra state, Governor Obi's administration has recently procured development structure plans for the capital city, Awka, as well as for the commercial centers of Onitsha and Nnewi through the auspices of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). The plans contain proposals for staged development within identified areas or growth corridors  in each of these cities with a view to maximizing efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of  key infrastructural items.

The respective urban development structure plans have set the structures  and the broad direction of  future development and growth of each of these cities, taking account of their  topographical, environmental, cultural and socio-economic settings and conditions, provided for the coordination of a wide-range of  present and future land-use developments including residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, as well as basic urban infrastructure and  social services, such as transportation (road, rail and water transportation as relevant), provision of water, sewerage and sanitation etc and provision of adequate public parks and recreational open spaces.

The plan for Onitsha, for example, includes guidelines for decongesting currently overcrowded Main Market by relocating some of its commodity stalls to more spacious parts in the outlying suburbs of Nkpor, Odekpe and Nsugbe. Similarly, the congestion in Nnewi shall be addressed by shifting some of its commodity markets to neighboring communities like Oraifite and Ozubulu. Since the capital city, Awka, does not currently have space problem as Onitsha and Nnewi, the recommended  spatial structure plan is that of a "Core-Multi-nuclei form" within which all necessary land-use needs – namely: residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, social, cultural, recreational and leisure etc. have been provided for in appropriate locations and densities. Awka could be said to be a town planner’s dream in the sense that much of the town and surrounding territory are still largely open and relatively undeveloped.

 

 

 

 

This thoroughfare for regular vehicular traffic in the western end of New Market Road, along the edge of Onitsha Main Market, is always thronged with pedestrians. Hawkers of all types of farm produce and manufactured goods display their wares right on the street. Vehicles can spend hours navigating through these locations when congestion is at its peak.

 

 

 

 

 Onitsha Main Market was redesigned and rebuilt only once in the 1950s.

 

Traffic jams along the Upper Iweka Road corridor, in foreground, is a given. 

 

 

 

 

Owerri Road brings all traffic entering Onitsha from the south to Upper Iweka Road. Due to lack of planning before now, storm water discharge from Awada, in the background, often surges directly into the major arterial highway, in the foreground, on regular basis. Road pavement never lasts beyond a rainy season cycle or two before it is completely broken up and washed away.

 

 

It is, of course, evident to all and sundry that producing plans for Anambra's major urban centers is one thing, but disciplined and methodical implementation of these plans are entirely different animal altogether based on precedents. As Governor Obi himself remarked, “effective implementation of these recommendations and realization of the development potentials require, apart from the envisaged massive public investments in infrastructure, the support, cooperation and coordination of all stakeholders, including  all State Government Ministries and Agencies, communities, Town Union Groups and their leaders, business people, traders, all scales of land developers, all professional organizations and trade union associations and indeed all the citizens and other residents of Anambra State." He emphasized further that "this required support and cooperation involves among other things, respecting and complying with the development rules and regulations made in the implementation of these urban development structure plans. The recommendations and  proposals are in the overall public interest of Anambra State”.

The question that remains unanswered is who shall be responsible for funding and overseeing the implementation of the development structure plans for Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha? Shall this chore remain with the state or local government? Or better still, are new municipal authorities going to be chartered to administer these major urban areas? Until these crucial questions are answered and backed up with legal teeth, there may yet be a very long wait before anyone sees a sustained implementation of this potentially useful gift to Ndi Anambra by the incumbent Obi Administration.

 

UN HABITAT Report - Anambra City Plans 

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