As the rain poured down upon our beloved hometown in these past weeks, an unsuspected danger began to unfold. The cause of the perilous situation we may likely face lies in the negligence and lack of foresight regarding the impact of heavy rainfall on our old but efficient infrastructure; the Epe Berger bridge.
There’s no doubt that this solid infrastructure constructed over several decades connects Epe, the Fish Basket of Lagos State, and a vital fishing community to the rest of our Greater Lagos Rising and the mega-city, which has fallen victim to the unforgiving forces of nature. The torrential downpour brought with it a deluge of sand, gradually narrowing the bridge and impeding the free flow of water. This accumulation of sand and water has transformed the once-sturdy link bridge into a dangerously narrow and clogged passage, creating room for disaster that must be addressed immediately.
In a harrowing glimpse of what awaits us if action is not taken, a horrifying incident unfolded on the bridge just weeks ago. Two massive haulage trucks, their drivers unaware of the impending danger, collided, leaving ruins and scars behind. Passing through the bridge, motorists had to slow down as the collided trucks were yet to be removed from both sides of the road.
I believe the primary cause for such a catastrophic collision was the gradual narrowing of the bridge, coupled with the pool of stagnant water due to the lack of free flow. The resulting chaos not only posed a significant risk to the lives of the truck drivers but also served as an urgent warning of the calamity that looms if immediate measures are not implemented.
The responsibility for maintaining and safeguarding our infrastructure rests firmly on the shoulders of those entrusted with the task. Yet, their failure to recognize and address the potential dangers posed by heavy rainfall is putting countless lives at risk. I believe the narrowing and clogging of the link bridge did not happen overnight; it was a gradual process that unfolded under the watchful eyes of those in power.
The repercussions of the authorities’ neglect cannot be overstated. The once-efficient link bridge has now become a dangerous path, with hazards for motorists and road users. The narrowed passage forces vehicles into uncomfortably close proximity, heightening the risk of collisions and accidents. Moreover, the accumulation of water obstructs the vision and hampers the ability of drivers to maneuver, further escalating the danger. It is a ticking time bomb that threatens the lives and well-being of all who traverse this ill-fated route as I witnessed on a recent journey.
The link bridge is not merely a conduit for vehicles; it is a lifeline for the residents of the fish basket of Lagos. However, their very connection to the outside world is being hampered by the negligence of those responsible for its maintenance. As the bridge narrows and the dangers multiply, the residents may find themselves trapped and cut off from essential services, healthcare facilities, and economic opportunities.
The time for excuses and complacency is over. Immediate action is required to prevent the impending catastrophe looming over our beloved town. The authorities must acknowledge the severity of the situation and mobilize resources to clear the accumulated sand, widen the bridge, and establish proper drainage systems. Regular maintenance and monitoring should be implemented to ensure the safety and functionality of this crucial link bridge.
A stitch in time saves nine says a proverb. I, as a concerned citizen, appeal passionately to the authorities to take swift and decisive action to avert the looming disaster. The collision of the haulage trucks serves as a stark reminder of the urgency and gravity of the situation. The safety and well-being of everyone, both motorists, and residents, must take precedence over negligence.