By Miracle Enuji
Workers of the Chinese Company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), handling the completion of the water Storm project for the Jesus Saves/DLA drainage along Nnebisi road, Asaba, have expressed their fears and displeasure over the frequent tragedy being experienced in the course of the construction work.
These worries are coming on the wake of a fatal injury dealt on one of their colleagues by an excavator operator on Thursday, 22nd February 2018 and the painful death of another on Saturday, 24th February 2018, when the deceased, Mr. Okon Bassey got crushed under the rumbles of a collapsed manhole at a section of the drainage at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) main gate.
According to a co-worker to the deceased who pleaded anonymity and also an eye witness to the sad event, narrated that, Mr. Bassey was with them when they went to dismantle the boards of the manhole at the FMC main gate. Suddenly the top soil which was soft due to the heavy down pour the previous night, collapsed on on him crushing him through the manhole into the drainage and by the time they got to his rescue, Bassey had lost his left lower leg completely.
Sadly, Mr. Bassey who just joined the team few weeks ago, was skeptical about coming to work that very day and died few hours after the incident.
Another worker who also pleaded anonymity said that, two days ago, one of their carpenters lost his foot to an excavator, just after the excavator was used to lift him up and a generator from the depths of the drainage and he is now undergoing treatments as sponsored by CCECC.
Speaking further, he lamented that the payments they receive is also not co-measurable to the labour they put in, as they have to work round the clock all week, stressing that some of them were paid N13,400 for a month while some lucky ones got as much as N25,000 a month which was still too poor for the nature of their jobs and its possible hazards.
He stressed that they had made an appeal to the management of the company for an upward review of their salaries or they will stop work, but the company insisted that they should continue work in wait of an upward review of their salaries soonest.
Efforts to speak with the Chinese Supervisor on ground to get the company’s view on the growing numbers of work hazards and the alleged poor payments, was futile as he found difficulties in conversing fluently in English language.
Investigations revealed that, since the commencement of the drainage project 2 months ago, both commercial transporters in the State capital and the construction workers have had their fair shares of the fatal accidents leading to amputations and an initial death of a CCECC worker which was shielded from the public.