Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, an environmental, Pro-Democracy & Human Rights group wishes to commend the Abia State government on the bold initiative it has undertaken towards recovering the 47-year-old Ariaria International Market, one of the most famous markets and emporium in the Southeast and by extension the nation.
As an environmental rights group, FENRAD, heretofore condemned the condition of the market which is not made any better in recent times given the perennial rainfall which has made the market inaccessible by even foot. Surface runoff, without outlet or channel, remain for days forming turbid muddy water which constitute health hazard to business and shop owners. If situation in the market is not timely mitigated could render potency to the flood disaster forecast by Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, that Abia and other states in the federation face getting overwhelmed.
FENRAD urges affected shoppers and sellers, in the affected areas of A-Line, C-Line and Medical Equipment Line to see this ongoing redevelopment plan of the government as a necessary penance aftermath of which ensures a win-win for all. Condition of the market already is an invitation to hazard, FENRAD says.
Having said this, the Foundation calls on state government to ensure, as it has promised to, that no single legitimate shop owner loses their shops to the ongoing redevelopment plan, as happened before with Ekeoha Shopping Centre. To this end, the stop-gap measure of temporary relocation while on should allow for proper documentation of shop owners. FENRAD calls on government to ensure that, following the new master plan, the market is completed with parks, convenience facilities,fire fighting unit and facilities,
Past experiences, especially during dry season, show that the market has, on many occasions, been gutted by fire resulting in losses by shop owners without recovery due to absence of fire unit. FENRAD believes that in the interest of environmental safety the market should, when and after completed, have a mini fire unit with fire fighting Equipment and other Amenities
FENRAD remind the Developers that Works should not tarry more or longer than necessary as is currently happening in Ahia ohuru Market where the Developers could not beat the Government reconstruction deadline. FENRAD calls on government to ensure that work is speedily completed without hitches so that business resumes in earnest and urge the developers to be committed to complete the required work in the phase and ensure the establishment of proper drainages with in the Affected lines.
Abia is known for commerce and Ariaria International Market is one of the reasons for this.
FENRAD is soliciting for the understanding and support of all traders in Ariaria international Markets to the Government commitment in delivering a modern markets to the people.
Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor
FENRAD Executive Director
Barr. Femisi Akande
Head Corporate Accountability and Human Rights Enforcement.