Anambra Community in Agony over Erosion Ravages, Begs Urgent Govt Intervention, as Rains Begin

Anambra Community in Agony over Erosion Ravages

By: Kenechukwu Ofomah

Achina Community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State may not be blessed with vast land mass like its neighbors, but that is the least of the worries of members of the community.
A major challenge also contributing to the shrinking of the inadequate land space, is the menace of erosion, which has eaten deep into the people’s lands, vacated homesteads, and separated families from their kits and kins.
TNC correspondent who visited the community recently, reports that the inhabitants are living in fear, as the clouds gather for another season of rain.
With over ten active erosion sites, it appears that the state government intervention so far on the sites is grossly inadequate to arrest the situation.
From the massive Iheokwaranwa erosion site in Umueleke, to the gully around the Ezeokoro stream and down to the gully ravages along the Ugwunganga road, occasioned by the abandonment of construction work on the road, the community appears to be in dire need of help from the state and federal governments as well as international agencies and development partners.
Speaking on the development, the President-General of Achina Town Union, ATU, Mr Tony Ezenwaka said the community is facing an existential threat by erosion with 10 active erosion sites.
According to him, the community has through several self-help initiatives, deployed a huge amount of resources in checking the disaster, but it appears the situation is getting out of hand.
He regretted the abandonment of the Achina-Onneh-Agbudu-Ogboji road, by the government of former governor, Chief Willie Obiano, which worsened the erosion challenges along the Ugwunganga axis of the road, sacking homesteads.
“Erosion is almost everywhere in Achina but the worst is the Ihe Okwaranwa site in Umueleke village. Ihe Okwaranwa is a classic example of government failure where Governor Obiano performed the 2014 National Tree Planting Campaign but the site has long been abandoned and the site is expanding ferociously.
“This was further complicated by massive constructions of roads and houses due to delays in completing the projects.
“Ugwu Nganga road is deteriorating now that work is on hold and the rains are coming fast.
“Modern residential houses pose serious erosion problems from excessive use of long roofing sheets and concretes to beautify the houses with little or no provision for catchment pits or flood water control.
“Government intervention is not usually effective due to delays in contract execution like the Achina -Onneh road project and the worsening Ugwu Nganga slope,” he said.
Ezenwaka, who was a former Permanent Secretary in the State Civil Service, noted that with the rains fast approaching, his people were living in fear because of the speedy encroachment on lands, economic trees, and homesteads.
He appealed for urgent intervention from the State and Federal Governments, as well as international organizations and development partners, towards addressing the challenge.
“We are appealing to the government to draw the attention of the donor agencies to our plight. We are no longer safe in our lands.
“Our economic trees are gone, same with our farmlands.
“The agriculture which our people are known for is gone because we cannot farm again due to this menace. The kind of devastation that has visited our community in the area of erosion is unimaginable.
“We hope Mr Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo will hear our cries and as a solution governor, will make genuine exploits towards changing our story,” he appealed.
The PG said on its own, that the community has sustained initiatives to ensure that the community members protect their environment and save lives and property by taking proactive measures before the rains become heavy.

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“We are advising residents to open up every water channel like catchment pits at homes and public spaces and to de-silt water drainages to allow free flow of flood to nearby flowing streams.
“We are also asking every family, ward, or village to declare a sanitation day to clean up the environment, remove all materials blocking the free flow of water in our gutters, cut down overgrown weeds and trees around our houses, and plant trees in homes and public spaces to provide shades and protect the environment,” he said.

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