Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Residents of Abari, a riverine community in Patani Local Government Area of Delta State, are constantly living in fear as a result of ravaging coastal erosion.
The fear is always exacerbated during the rainy season withe consistent down pour, resulting in the submerging of the few available public infrastructure including roads thereby severing the community from the rest of the world.
Personal properties are not also spared as the coastal erosion bares its fangs annually. Already, no fewer than ten house recently caved-in to the yawning gully created by the flood enroute to the nearby river.
Besides, over 100 are now rendered homeless as their buildings have been swept into the river by the visiting flood.
Despite this level of damage already, the people in the area are apprehensive that more property will be lost the ravaging flood in the coming weeks unless urgent steps are taken to address it.
Meanwhile, Nigerian authorities already warned of massive flooding in coastal communities particularly those on the shores of River Niger and its tributaries. The signs of the predicted may have started manifesting in Abari town.
Speaking on the development, the national president of Abari Improvement Union (AIU), Peter S. Pibowei expressed that the community was on the verge of being washed off.
Pibowei appealed to relevant authorities to come to the aid of the town by putting in place palliative measures to safeguard lives and property and ensure the continued existence of the creek town.
He lamented that efforts made in the past to drag government agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to provide lasting solution, have not yielded the desired result.
According to him, the interventionist agency (NDDC) made a feeble effort, which was more of a showmanship, when it sent officials in May 2019 to assess the site.
He said the NDDC officials promised to award the contract for the construction Shoreline Protection and Jetty, and decried however that up till now no construction was carried out.
“We have also made an appeal to the Delta State Government on the plight of the people of Abari through letters with pictures of devastations but the State Government is yet to respond to our request.
“We have also wrote to the NDDC in 2019, stating all the abandoned projects with pictures of erosion encroachment threatening to wipe out our community.
“We have reminded them to embark on the construction of the only access road from Abari to Patani, the local government headquarter.
“Several publications were made to draw the attention of the Federal and Delta State governments to the plight of the Abari community but all to no avail,” he stated.
Pibowei therefore renewed the appeal to the Federal and Delta State governments to rescue them from being wiped out by the menacing erosion by constructing shoreline protection to put an end to the hardship and devastation caused by erosion and perennial flood.