By Chidiebele Cy Obika.
The Anambra State Physical Planning Board officials have demolished structures erected along erosion and flood channels at the former erosion site in Omagba Phase II, Nkpor in Idemili North Council Area.
The exercise was carried out today, February 19th, 2020 after some private developers- in spite of receiving compensation from the Nigeria Erosion Watershed And Management Project (NEWMAP)- commenced building of structures in the area against the orders of the state government.
A gully erosion (Category-A type) had in the time past developed in the area and ate away residential buildings, factories, vehicles and farmlands. Worse still, it had even killed a number of individuals. The Anambra State Government under the leadership of Governor Willie Obiano partnered the NEWMAP to control the menace and a specific number of metres was given to property owners around the area for development.
Speaking after the demolition exercise, the General Manager of the Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Mr. Anene Nwabufo informed journalists that they were at the site to pull down structures erected within 100ft of the erosion setback.
The GM pointed out that since the property owners in the area have been fully compensated when the erosion control works were on at the site, whoever builds within that mark is encroaching on the set back. According to him, this may trigger a new erosion.
Mr Nwabufo pointed out that what they have done at the site was just a warning, noting that whoever wants to erect any structure in the area should approach ANSPPB so that the board will give the person the correct standard for development.
On his part, Chief F.I. Ugwu, an affected property owner in the area noted that they had suffered a lot in the area and had spent fortunes controlling the erosion until Governor Obiano came to their rescue and managed the menace. He tagged what the government did on the site as impressive but lamented the demolition exercise being carried out on the newly erected structures. He pointed out that the NEWMAP gave them 1.6m as embarkment which they observed. He agreed that ANSPPB came to the area and warned them. The agency marked his building but he fell sick which made it difficult to meet with the leadership of the board.