From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Residents of Oko community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State have cried out over the continued devastation of their community by erosion and landslides.
The people lamented that the ugly occurrences have continued unabated, with 100 buildings, farmlands, economic trees and other property having been lost to the natural disasters.
Secretary of Oko Youths Movement (OYM) Okoli Ebuka told Daily Sun that the erosion menace was posing existential threat to his people as it has continued to widen across the community.
‘Every village in Oko has its own share of the erosion problem. It has destroyed many things in Oko. In fact, the destruction is uncountable. As at the time this erosion started, it has affected up to 100 buildings. Many lands have caved in.
‘The problem is not just Oko. It is the geology of the area. It also affects Nanka and Agulu communities. And it is not something individuals can easily do. We have always called on the government to come and help us,’ he stated.
Chairman of Okeana village Nze Emmanuel Nwajiaku accused the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) of doing nothing to curb the erosion despite the funds reportedly approved for it to check erosion and landslides in the area.
‘NEWMAP came but theirs is full of theory. There is no practicality. They would gather people and educate them about the erosion menace; giving them unnecessary precautions to be taken to avert erosion yet the erosion is still ravaging the people,’ the village head complained.
‘Government will come and see where the problem is coming from but to solve it will be a mirage. Nothing is happening there right now. The ugly situation is still like that.
‘The erosion traversed all the villages in Oko. Even, another one is threatening Ifite village. So many buildings have been destroyed by the erosion.’
When contacted, the Project Coordinator of NEWMAP in the state, Michael Ivenso, declined to comment on the allegations against the organisation. He told the reporter to get in touch with their information officer whom he said would fix a date for a special interview so he could react formally to the allegations.
The information officer respond when the reporter called him and did not return calls more than 24 hours later, before this report was filed.