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Erosion menace threatens community in Cross River

Ikot Effanga Mkpa community in Calabar Municipal Council was almost being extinct due to erosion that had eaten the area since 2012.

Already about 100 houses have given way for erosion while property estimated at several billions of naira have been destroyed.

Some of the remaining estates are under threat of submerging due to the deep gully erosion threatening the area. The gully erosion site which have cut down one of the two main access roads into the estate, have also prevented resident in the areas from accessing their houses by vehicles as they now use a bush track to access their houses.

Worried by the threat, residents of the area have sent a `save our soul’ message to the federal and state ministries of environment, Nigeria erosion and watershed Management Project and the Niger Delta development commission.

A traditional ruler in the area, Mr. Okon Edet who spoke with newsmen said that the gully erosion started as a result of the failure of
the contractors handling the project to complete the secondary drainage which was supposed to run through the estate.

According to him, the gully erosion started expanding gradually in 2012 due to the high volume of water it receives from 8 miles, Ikot Effangha Estate 1 and other contiguous areas. He explained that the high pressure and volume of water rushing through the secondary drainage was not properly channelled because the construction of the drainage was terminated abruptly.

“Over 100 buildings in this estate are under threat of collapsing while lives and properties are equally at risk. We are calling on the state and federal ministries of environment, NDDC, NEWMAP and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to come to our aid” he said.

Another resident, Mrs Victoria Eborty, told NAN that residents in the area have collectively written to the state ministry of environment appealing for urgent intervention in the area. “We wrote a letter to the Cross River Ministry of Environment in 2016 and officials from the ministry alongside Governor Ben Ayade came and inspected the site but uptil now, nothing has been done” she said.

Another resident in the area, Engr. Kenneth Onyedire, lamented that he can no longer assess his house using the main tarred road, adding that he now uses a bush track to enter his apartment. “This erosion site has become so bad that we don’t usually sleep at home in most occasions because of fear of collapse of our buildings. I have decided to move major items in my house to another place for safety.”

“We appeal to the relevant government agencies to alleviate our plight by addressing this raven which is now a dead trap’’, he said. Reports had it that as a result of the erosion, some residents in the area have parked out of their buildings for fear of collapse.

Edem Edem Calabar

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