A layout of the Bende town physical development plan
The Federal Government has completed its physical development plan for Bende town in Abia state, under a novel initiative that provides framework for physical planning, growth and development of emerging urban centres in the country.
The scheme, undertaken through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, comes as part of the first National Physical Development Plan (NPDP). The initiative offers technical assistance and workable strategies to state governments and their constituent parts.
The preparation of the plan for Bende town was executed by TEE-AY-AY Limited, a firm of urban planning consultants. The plan, according to the Managing Partner of the company, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, seeks to encourage the development of human settlements and to guide as well as control new growth in an ordered manner.
He further explained that the plan avoided land that is either physically unsuitable or which should be reserved for agriculture or other conservative uses and safeguard future development projects.
The Guardian learnt that over the years, Bende town has grown without a conscious commitment to development planning, resulting in deplorable environmental conditions such as erosion, deforestation, and flooding.
The situation, more often than not, has led to severe social problems, the culminating effects of which are poor health and low productivity of the dwellers.
Under the proposed plan, which has a life span of 25 years, stakeholders agreed on the opening of the Ndiokorieukwu-Etitiulo road to improve internal connectivity, establishment of Etitiulo Agro-based industry, construction of Amaogwu – Ndiokorieukwu road, construction of industrial borehole for Etitiulo Agro-based industry, upgrading of existing primary health centres, construction of road and provision of electricity for the Etitiulo industrial area.
Ayinde said: “To effectively ensure the implementation of the plan, the guidelines contained within the document need to be translated into policy instruments, and development as well as regeneration projects, through government action, and relevant stakeholders’ involvement.
“ The implementation of the plan is expected to be inclusive in approach and to be Public-Private-People-Partnership (PPPP) driven with responsibility lying not only within the bureaucracy of government, but also with self-regulating and self-financing attributes of the private sector.”
The document recommended the setting up of Bende Physical Development Plan Steering Committee (BPDPSC) to ensure constant cooperation and collaboration of stakeholders to achieve the set objectives of the plan.
The plan also recommended that the Federal Government should prioritise and invest in the NPDP as a matter of urgency to take leadership in setting the framework for various hierarchies of physical development plans.
The government should also initiate, encourage and coordinate the preparation of subnational/geopolitical regional physical development plans as well as ensure the rehabilitation of Umuahia-Bende-Ohafia road, a trunk F road, for the smooth accessibility of the area and its environs and to catalyse economic development.
Similarly, the document recommended that Abia State Government should invest in the preparation of regional plan to promote balanced development of human settlement and in the preparation of master plans for cities, towns and other human settlements to enhance sustainable living.
Ayinde advised that Bende local government should stimulate the development of the town by lobbying and rallying support for the development of the local access roads and the new economic growth areas.
“The Bende Town Union in collaboration with the entire community leaders should raise awareness within the community and show concern for the implementation of the Bende Physical Development Plan to fulfill its goals and aspirations by 2044,” he added.