Dangers and solution to manhole cover theft on Port-Harcourt roads~ By Gideon Ele

Manhole cover theft has continued to thrive in the city of Port Harcourt unabated.
 
There seems to be a continuous and deliberate move by “unknown thieves” in virtually all major roads of Port Harcourt to sabotage the state Government efforts in developing road infrastructures especially as they have consistently continue to mount attack and cart away the manhole covers installed on the walk ways, and this has continued without checks.
 
This incident apart from sabotaging Government’s efforts, also posses a great risk to road users who ply through these walk ways at night and in the day.
 
It took the grace of God and quick intervention of other road users to save the life of a young lady Amarachi at night who mistakenly fell inside one of the manholes as a result of power outage by the Everyday supermarket along NTA road. Despite her rescue series of injuries had already been sustained in her right leg and her face.
 
This is just one incident too many to mention across Port Harcourt roads occasioned by manhole cover theft.
 
As investigative journalism requires, Naijatvnet interacted with most commercial vehicle drivers and most commercial night workers and accusations pointed to the fact that this criminal act is being perpetuated majorly by scavengers who patrol around streets and major roads with their trucks and wheelbarrows scouting for metals. This accusation however is yet to be substantiated as there are no evidence to back them up.
 
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However, as Government continues to develop our inner cities in road infrastructures it becomes pertinent of Government to ensure adequate measures are put in place to ensure the security and maintenance of these infrastructures as there are unscrupulous elements who are bent on sabotaging Government’s efforts thereby putting the unsuspecting public at high risk.
 
The advise to the Rivers State Government, especially the ministry of works would be to install street cameras in strategic points, setup an investigative Committee that would patrol late night with the police patrol vans some days in the week. This team would as well mount surveillance on metal dump sites or yards across the state to check for stolen manhole covers on those sites from time to time.
 
If these measures are put in place it will surely check the incidence of manhole cover theft in Port Harcourt and also assist Government monitor crime in the state because of the street cameras.
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