NGWO COMMUNITY CRIES OUT AGAINST EROSION DEVASTATION

Erosion is one of the major natural disasters that affects human existence.

Apart from destroying the eco-system, properties as well as lives are sometimes lost whenever it occurs.

This is the situation in Amuzam Ngwo in Enugu State where indigenes of the area are counting their loses following gully erosion that has continued to threatened their environment.

Amuzam Ngwo is among the largest communities in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State, with a population of about five thousand people.

Surrounded by hills and valleys the community is about ten minutes drive away from Enugu the state capital.

Residents of the area are predominantly farmers, petty traders, artisan and civil servants.

One of the greatest challenge facing this community is is erosion menace which had turned some of them to refugees in their fatherland.

The erosion site, which is about ten feet deep, into twenty miles and very wide, has already pulled down a storey building, while some other buildings are on the verge of collapse.

Also affected by the erosion threat are farm lands and cash crops, and a stream known as Asata, major source of water to the people.

Recounting his loses, the owner of the collapsed building, Mr. Thomas Ani, describes it as a major calamity that has affected him in his life time and appealed for assistance.

“I have take refuge among neighbours. My father’s house has been occupied before the erosion devastation. My neighbours say I shouldn’t run away, that I should not do myself any harm, that even if it is in the parlour, I should sleep in the parlour or veranda.”

Another indigene whose two storey building is about caving in, Mr. Ndubuisi Chime noted that he had spent a large sum of money in controlling it but to no avail.

“The gratuity they paid to me from NNPC, I have spent all here. We have been calling on government to come assist us.”

Mr. Chime called on relevant authorities to declare a state of emergency on the erosion site.

A community leader Chief Samuel Onoh, blamed the erosion problem on the activities of coal miners in the olden days.

Speaking on the implication of erosion threat on agricultural production in the area, a farmer Mrs. Kesiah Ozoagu said the incident had reduced available land for agricultural activities.

“We don’t have land to farm, again, it is life threatening.”

In a reaction, the traditional ruler of  Enugu Ngwo, Igwe Innocent  Ayalogu explained that the  community had done a lot to  contain the gully erosion, through make shift erosion control, but their efforts seem  to yield no fruit.

The people of Ngwo plead with the Enugu State Government to use the dry season to commence intervention work on the site.

When contacted, the Enugu State Commissioner for Environment, Chief Fidel Ayogu agreed that the government was aware of the erosion site and was working towards addressing it and other erosion sites in the state.

“We are on top of it and what it requires is little time for the job to be awarded so that it could be done.”

Chief Ayogu appealed to residents of the state to avoid blocking water ways, to prevent flooding which usually result in erosion.

OBIORA EZE

 

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