‘We have become tenants in our own land…’
Erosion displaces over 500 persons, destroys 100 houses, farmlands in Anambra State
The menace of gully erosion, according to reports, is threatening a large part of Anambra State. Many houses have caved in and many families have been forced to settle elsewhere.
The case of Enugwu-Ukwu community in Njikoka Local Council is pathetic, as many residents now live in fear following the erosion, which has displaced over 500 people from their homes.
Also, residents of Urunnebo village, in Enugwu-Ukwu, were visibly worried when The Guardian visited.
Reports said erosion had taken over 70.5 hectares of their land, stretching over two kilometres.
Another site, very active in length, has also destroyed over 100 homes.
A community leader, Mr. Nwadinigwe Emmanuel, said this yesterday when officials of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) visited the erosion site to ascertain the level of damage caused by erosion in the area.
He told The Guardian that erosion had equally destroyed their available sources of livelihood and many homes, lamenting that it had created a lot of hardship for the community, especially during this economic recession.
He said: “ The natural disaster has damaged many farmlands, economic trees, and public utilities in the affected land mass. No fewer than 100 homes have been washed away while many others are under serious threat”.
He added that the disaster, which began over 30 years ago, has left the community in deplorable condition.
Nwadinigwe, who regretted that many villagers, were now living as tenants as a result of their homes being washed away by the erosion, however said that they made several efforts to control the erosion at the initial stage by planting bamboo and gmelina trees, which were futile.
Meanwhile, the Anambra State Project Coordinator of NEWMAP, Michael Ivenso, and Director of Communication, Aries Concept Nigeria Ltd., which partners with NEWMAP, Sola Akinsikun, in their separate speeches, assured that remedial work would start in the area soon.
Ivenso further implored the residents to embrace positive environmental practices to ensure that further damage was not done in their community.