Raphael Ede, Enugu
The Nigeria Erosion Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Enugu State office, has raised the alarm over erosion menace and danger of major roads being cut off in the state.
The agency said erosion threat in major federal roads in Enugu State required an emergency measure to fix them, warning that the state would be cut off from the rest of the country if urgent steps were not taken to address the situation.
Addressing journalists, on Monday, in his office after touring some sites of gully erosions along Enugu -Onitsha express road and coal camp, the NEWMAP Enugu State Project Coordinator, Mr. Vincent Obetta, said that erosion is closing in on the roads and the hinterlands.
He said, “The sites along Enugu – Onitsha road are in a state of emergency and the one at the coal camp is almost swallowing a factory.
“The Ugwu-Onyeama road is almost dead and imagine when that road is cutoff at that half then, the motorist will be struggling on the part that is also in a deplorable condition.
Obetta said that the erosion sites along Enugu–Onitsha road required an emergency intervention to fix it, stressing that rigorous process required for NEWMAP intervention makes it encumber some for the agency’s intervention.
“If we go by the procedural method of NEWMAP those situation we saw might either consume life or structures before the interventions could come to the people,” he said.
He explained that the agency has completed work at two erosion sites; Ajali water works gully erosion and 9thMile gully erosion sites and are waiting for commissioning.
Shading more light on the menace of erosion in the state, the Project Engineer, NEWMAP, Engr. Festus Ajibo, said it would require billions of naira to tackle erosion threat in Enugu State.
He continued, “For instance, to tackle the gully erosion in Umuavuru-Abor in Udi Local Government Area, it requires between N700 million to N1 billion.
“For the Onuiye Nsukka, it is every massive project and it mighty gulp up to N5 billion and that of Anyazuru-Ohum Orba it will gulp over N5billion.
The Agbaja-Ngwo is going to gulp about N500 million and these are state interventions. We are only being supported by the World Bank,” he explained.