Erosion has sacked more than 500 in Enugwu-Ukwu Anambra State

erosionThe people of Enug­wu-Ukwu community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State,  indeed rough for the  rampaging erosion that has sacked more than 500 of them from their homes.
By the disclosures of the el­ders of the area, the erosion has taken over 70.5 hectares of their communal land.
The natural disaster, which washed away many farmlands, economic trees, and public util­ities sited in the affected land mass, also affected 100 homes.
The residents of Urunne­bo village, Enugwu-Ukwu dis­closed this on Tuesday 4th Oct. 2016 when of­ficials of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Pro­ject (NEWMAP) visited the sites to ascertain the level of damage done by the erosion.
They explained that erosion-induced flooding of their area started over 30 years ago and as­sumed the current terrible state because no serious action had been taken by past and present leaders in the state and at the fed­eral level.
Their spokesperson, Mr Nwadinigwe Emmanuel, said that many of the villagers become tenants because their homes were destroyed by the erosion. He said that they made efforts to control the erosion at the initial stage through planting of bamboo and Melina trees, but they could not stop it.
While pledging that remedial work would start in the area soon, the Anambra State Project Coor­dinator of NEWMAP, Michael Iv­enso and Sola Akinsikun, the Di­rector of Communication, Aries Concept Nigeria Ltd, which part­nered with NEWMAP to check the menace, urged the residents to embrace positive environmen­tal practices to ensure that further damage is not done to the ecosys­tem.
A month ago, residents of Ihuaku in Ebenato Okpala com­munity, Amichi in Nnewi South Local Government Area of An­ambra State were sacked by flood and erosion, which destroyed their economic trees, farm lands, as well as killed their domestic an­imals.
The Chairman of the Ihuaku Kindreds, Mr Chinedu Muona­go, said the community had spent millions of Naira to check the ero­sion menace without success.
He regretted that whatev­er materials used to wage the flood were always swept away by the uncontrollable heavy flood­ing that gather from the adjoin­ing communities, including Igbo-Ukwu, Isuofia and other parts of Aguata Local Government Area.
The Secretary of the Com­munity’s Town Union, Chief Mi­chael Obiekezie, said the ecolog­ical problems in the area could only be solved if the flood from neighbourhoods was properly channelled.
Meanwhile, the Anambra State Government has identified 950 active erosion sites in the state. Governor Willie Obiano who raised the alarm over the growing threat of gully erosion in the state, said that with over 950 gully erosion sites existing with­in a land mass of 4,844 square kil­ometres, it was clear that unless something drastic was done, An­ambra could be washed away by erosion.
He said: “The truth is that no other state in Nigeria has been ravaged by erosion on the same scale as Anambra. If the images that we generated from our aeri­al photography are anything to go by, then the world must come to our rescue before it is too late. In­deed, we are raising this alarm in the hope that the attentive world will give Anambra State a chance to survive as a geopolitical enti­ty that deserves its continuous membership of the human race.”
The governor called on the Federal Government to declare Anambra an ecologically-en­dangered state and expedite re­sponse action.
Obiano said that “the trage­dy of gully erosion is that its im­pact is usually so colossal that it is almost impossible for any state, no matter how rich, to tackle it alone. We are emboldened by the fact that many nations which were faced with the threat of ex­tinction of this nature or worse in the past were not left to their fate by a caring world. We have no doubt that our case will not be different.”
The World Bank, through NEWMAP recently approved the commencement of work on the erosion sites in Ugamuma-Obo­si, Ikenga-Ogidi, Enugwu-Ukwu and Abidi-Umoji.
Already the state government has concluded plans to plant one million trees in the state as part of efforts to curb the gully erosion.
The Managing Director of Awka Capital Territory Devel­opment Authority, Mr. Michael Okonkwo, who is also the chair­man of the steering commit­tee of the tree planting exercise, said his panel had visited Lagos State to understudy its Green­ery Programme aimed at devel­oping parks and gardens in stra­tegic areas.
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