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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Anambra Community, Ebenator, Sends SOS to Soludo As Erosion Gully Sets to Cave in Primary School

 

By Izunna Okafor, Nnewi

The people of Ebenator Ozulogu community in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State have appealed to the government of Anambra State under the leadership of Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, to run to their rescue as the aggressive erosion gully in the community, popularly known as ‘Ibo Ebenator’, threatens to fracture the community and cave-in a community primary school in the town, among other dangers it poses.

The call was made by the President General of the community, Chief Anthony Okechukwu while speaking in an interview with this reporter, Izunna Okafor, concerning the situation of the erosion after the incessant and consistent rainfall that recently badgered in the State for days and its chains of effect on the community.

The PG had, during the community’s 2023 August Meeting few weeks ago, commended Governor Soludo and the State’s Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Felix Odimegwu, for the state government’s intervention and ongoing erosion control project on the deadly erosion site, which he described as a prayer answered, given that the erosion has been one of the major challenges bedeviling and causing sleepless nights to the residents of the community for decades and still counting.

Giving situation report of work at the erosion site, the PG, during the meeting, explained that the intervention and control work was started at the axis where the gully cut off an inter-state road in the community, and further noted that work had advanced many meters down to the heart of the gully.

He, however, said that the work was currently at a halt due to persistent rainfall, adding that the construction will resume once the rainy season is over.

The PG, also during the meeting, reassured of the community’s continued support to the visionary leadership of the Soludo Administration; while urging him to continue his good works.

However, speaking on the current situation of the erosion gully after the consistent heavy rainfall, the PG said some parts of the gully had aggravated and become more death traps than they were before the rains.

This reporter, Izunna Okafor, gathered that the gully, which is over 300 feet deep throws many members of the community into tears and regrets on yearly basis, as it advances and escalates toward people’s homes, caving in, forcing many residents to abandon or flee their homes; even as it destroys farmlands, crops and other economic trees.

The reporter also observed that the gully had now recently cut-off and threatened many inter-communal routes, and more worrisomely advances very close to a primary school in the community (Central School, Ebenator), posing as a death trap to innocent school children who recently resumed their academic activities for the term. The gully also recently caved-in many electric poles and high-tension wires in the area; while a palliative bridge work done to mitigate its effects and further escalation was recently washed off by the heavy flood that accompanied the recent persistent rainfalls.

Furthermore, it was also gathered that many residents of the community no longer sleep in their houses for fear of having their buildings caved into the gully with them at night, especially in this rainy season.

 

When asked the demand of the community concerning the situation, the PG, Chief Okechukwu, who appreciated Governor Soludo for his efforts in championing rural development across the state, also appealed to him to urgently intervene and come to their rescue to save the community and her people from the impending doom.

Joining his voice to the call, the Traditional Ruler of the community, Igwe Edwin Chinewubeze Ezejiburu said the erosion gully had caused a lot of damages to the people of the community in different ways, to the extent that it now threatens to rend the community, by cutting off many access roads that link each of the villages to another.

The Royal Father who recently celebrated his new yam festival, further eulogized Soludo Administration for his intervention so far on the site; even as he pleaded with him to treat the issue of the erosion gully as a case of emergency.

On their own part, some concerned youths of the community who helped to draw the attention of the community leadership to the recent menace of the erosion gully through various social media posts, including Toochukwu Onyeama, Chizoba Ikeh, and Chekwube Okafor, also called on the state government and the government of the federation to urgently do the needful, or and at least deploy a delegation from the offices of concerned ministries and agencies to visit the community and see things for themselves.

They decried the rate at which the gully is destroying structures, roads and farmlands in the community, wondering where the coming generation in the community will dwell or farm in the nearest future if the erosion gully continues escalating and devastating the land unchecked.

When contacted by this reporter, the State Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Felix Odimegwu, said part of the major reasons why work was halted at the site was because the contractor discovered a larger and more horrific site along the way during the construction, which necessitated that he stopped to redesign the work plan.

While assuring that the work will be completed in a record time, he however, said he and his team would visit the site soon to see the current situation of the gully.

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