The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on erosion in the South East.
President General of COSEYL, Goodluck Ibem, who made the call, yesterday, in Aba said the natural scourge was destroying farm lands and homesteads and that there was the need to take urgent steps to end the menace.
He cited the havoc done in Ohafia, Bende and Isiukwuato local government areas as well as incidences reported in some parts of Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi as necessitating speedy government action.
“We are unequivocally calling on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on erosion menace in the entire Abia North. We must not fail to let everyone know that a combination of the farm produce from Abia North with neighbouring Ebonyi state can feed the entire South East. The rice revolution that everyone is talking about is the main reason why these affected communities should not be abandoned because Abia North and Ebonyi is unarguably the rice producing hub of the South East.
He said that towns like Oko, Ekwuluobia, Nanka and Oba in Anambra and Njaba, Ideato, Mbano and some parts of Okigwe in Imo are facing threats of erosion.
“Our people have been displaced and have ran away from their homes. They need to return home and continue doing what they do best.
“We don’t know what is happening to the ecological fund in Abia; we call on the Federal Government to ensure the funds are used effectively. Ebonyi is not left out as communities in Nguzu-Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area are in trouble.
“Enugu is suffering from the same natural disaster in Ngwo and Abor in Udi Local Government. And we have received reports that Onuiyi-Nsukka, a community just at the back of UNN, Orba, Imilike and Obollo-Afor in Udenu Local Government are being threatened by erosion,” he explained
Ibem said there was need to act fast as some erosion sites are in their infant stages saying it would be more disastrous and costly to manage when well developed.
He urged the Federal Government to collaborate with South East governments to take action to save lives and property of citizens before it becomes late.