Eziomume Solomon, Nnewi
President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Anambra, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, has expressed worry over the increasing ecological problem in Nanka, Orumba North Local Government Area of the state.
Ogene in an interview with Daily Sun claimed that government and funding agencies had not done enough to contain and control the erosion ravaging the state.
“When people say that Anambra is the erosion headquarters of Nigeria, they are saying so because of the erosion problems in Nanka, my community. They are saying so because the erosion problem in Nanka is the greatest in the entire Nigeria. In Nanka alone, we have about 18 very active and devastating erosion sites that the Federal Government, World Bank and NEWMAP should be worried about. We also have over 100 erosion fingers in the same community,” he said.
He said Anambra accounted for about 35 per cent of total gully sites in the South East and about 28 per cent of total erosion gullies in the entire Nigeria.
“Anambra alone has estimated 1,000 active gully sites, out of about 2,800 gully sites in the South East. Out of 1,000 gully sites scattered around 177 communities in Anambra, Nanka in Orumba North Local Government Area, has the most devastating gully sites in Nigeria. Since 1914 when serious erosion sites were discovered in Nanka, the community has continued to record huge losses in the form of destruction of residential buildings, farmlands, schools and prayer houses. As at the last count, over 300 buildings have been washed off. Colonial masters worked on the sites the much they could from 1920 to 1960, before they left the shores of Nigeria. But successive governments in the country have continued to neglect that problem since independence.”
He said the Federal Government had not shown keen and sincere interest towards addressing the problem.
“The only time the federal government came close to doing something on the erosion sites was in 1982, during the Shehu Shagari/Alex Ekwueme regime. Then, few years ago, President Goodluck Jonathan government showed interest in tackling the erosion problem, but it was a sort of palliative effort,” he said.