From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Since the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, Ekwulumili community, in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, has been grappling with erosion menace. Five dangerous sites have been identified as causing havoc in the area.
President-general of the community, Chief Clement Ezeifedikwa, an assistant commissioner of police (retd.), articulated some of the losses the community, which has close to one million inhabitants, had incurred since the problem started.
The most annoying and disappointing thing, according to him, is that government, from the military era to civilian administration, at the federal and state levels, has practically done nothing to salvage the situation, while the community, through self-help, had spent more than N8 million to fight the menace, to no avail. The PG noted that the communal efforts were just like a scratch, given the size of the sites.
Ezeifedikwa said: “The erosion started immediately after the civil war. All efforts to check it proved abortive. There was a bridge we constructed after the war but the erosion destroyed it and washed everything away. This happened at Umudim village.
“It has cut off all the major roads that link us with our neighbours. It has cut our link with Unubi community. The erosion menace has sacked seven families, destroyed their houses, uprooted economic trees, killed several domestic animals and many acres of our farmlands are not spared. In fact, a rough estimate of what our community has lost so far stands at over N400 million and we are still counting, until positive intervention comes.
“We are appealing to both federal and state governments to come to our rescue. It is beyond our control and governement should know that we are on fire. We need help urgently. We, as a community, cannot afford the amount of money the sites will still gulp.”
Ezeifedikwa said all promises for intervention by the government had remained unfulfilled till date. He said the erosion had encroached to the boundary through which members of Ekwulumili community could cross to Imo State, thereby cutting them off from Okigwe through Akaokwa town.