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Massive Gully Erosion Decimates Delta Community

By Yemi Olakitan

Severe gully erosion is currently destroying the Ogbeozoma New Layout in Okpanam Community, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.

On Friday, September 15, 2023, various individuals stated in different interviews that the tragedy constituted a major threat to their lives and property.

Additionally, they raised worry that the construction was severely impairing the socioeconomic situation in the estate and adjacent areas of Okpanam, a significant portion of the Asaba Capital Territory.
The populace also claimed that the tragedy, which “deteriorates by the day with each rain,” was a threat to their way of life.

If the State Government did not act quickly to stop the phenomena, they believed that even greater danger lay ahead in the region. According to a local, Mr. Kingsley Izuka, the gully was between seven and ten feet deep.

He claimed that every day, people laboriously climb in and out of the shallow part of it to reach their homes. “As you can see, men, women, young and old, you must cross the gully by walking in and out before you can enter into your house.”

Well, eventually some kind Samaritans bought planks, which gave folks a platform to walk through. However, Izuka noted that there had been some occasions when people had tripped and fallen into gullies while using the narrow plank.

He added that kids, who frequently use the planks to get to and from school, were in a worse predicament. “Some have fallen in while trying to climb the board and suffered injuries. “The circumstance is hazardous. We are in pain,” Izuka declared.

He added that the landlords association tried to stop it in vain and that the calamity “gradually started but got worse over time.”
“Attempts were made to control the situation, but in the final three years it became out of control. We worry that many houses may soon collapse given the rate of decay.”
This is why we are pleading with the State Government to save us before it causes even more damage to property and human life,” he said.

Additionally, Mrs. Cecilia Odogwu, a local trader claimed that the circumstance had turned into a nightmare for each and every citizen in the neighbourhood.

“Even though this village is located within the Asaba Capital Territory, the issue has not been comprehensively addressed by previous administrations. As things stand, we struggle to even ride our bikes to our homes, let alone drive our cars in and out of the estate.”

“Residents travel long distances on foot to collect their bikes or to the spots where they left their cars.

Because people park their cars far from their homes, Odogwu added, “the situation is worse; if you have an emergency at night, God forbid, nobody can help you.”

Leo Emina, the chairman of the Landlords Association, bemoaned the terrible circumstance and pleaded with the State Government to intervene.

Emina claimed that the scale of the catastrophe was the reason why the group’s attempts to combat the threat failed. He claimed that the threat gravely endangered local commercial and social endeavours.

He claims that the land can be prevented from being completely destroyed by the flood and the wide gully by prompt government action.

The majority of the estate’s residents were private citizens and civil officials who helped to develop the area using bank resources primarily acquired through cooperatives.

In a related event, Mr. Uno Uno, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Environment, has advised state people to avoid areas at risk of erosion for their safety.

Uno, who made the decision during a Friday interview in Eket, also urged drivers not to drive on fallen roads.

He declared that the Umo Eno government was committed to addressing environmental issues.

“While the government is making its contribution, it is crucial for the locals to practise environmental responsibility and safety awareness.

“It is only safe for the residents to vacate when a house or an area is threatened by erosion or flooding,” he said.

In order to ensure free flow of rainwater, the commissioner advised state people to refrain from depositing trash on waterways.

According to Uno, the state administration has identified two homes in the Afia Nsit Community of Eket that are at risk from gully erosion.

“The residences are near to the section of the road that fell. Our people should stay away from that location out of caution.

He stated, “I can guarantee you that the government is moving to address these environmental concerns.”

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