At, UN Habitat Assembly, Metchie seeks global help for Anambra erosion crisis
African Director, International Association of World Peace Advocates (IAWPA, Amb. John Metchie, has sought urgent global attention to the menace of erosion in Anambra State, Nigeria, which he said has become a big threat to the lives of the people.
Metchie, who is also Prime Minister of Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), made the appeal at the ongoing United Nations Habitat Assembly taking place in Kenya, urging the United Nations and other foreign bodies to come to the rescue of the people and their communities.
While acknowledging that the problem has been perennial, he regretted that the situation is getting worse, especially after the massive flooding of 2022 that affected many settlements in Nigeria.
Metchie said apart from wiping out farmlands and ancient landmarks, the erosion is cutting off communities through destruction of roads, making it difficult for rural farmers to take their produce to the farm, a development he said, is about to trigger off hunger among rural dwellers.
Metchie, who doubles as President General of Umueri community in the state, drew attention of the world, especially the UN-Habitat gathering, to the devastating effects of the erosion on the environment and the entire ecosystem, including climate and others.
The director, who commended the Governor Chukwuma Soludo for his efforts in making Anambra a livable homeland, said the challenge posed by erosion in the state cannot be handled by any state administration alone, the need for the global community to mobilise resources to rescue the people before the situation becomes catastrophic.
He added that for the investments by the state government on housing and urbanisation to yield the much-desired impact, erosion must be confronted frontally in a deliberate way that allows the people to reclaim their homeland.
Metchie noted that Anambra was fast losing its arable land to gully erosion, which volume he put at about 1,000 sites.
He said Africa suffers from various climatic problems, but in the case of gully erosion, the damage is comprehensive and total, adding that school classrooms, community health centres, houses, crops, farmlands, roads and electricity infrastructure, among others are not spared by the rampaging erosion, adding that everything collapses into the very deep gullies and nothing is recovered.
He said: “Anambra State suffers from flooding and is also the headquarters of gully erosion in Africa, hence there is need to prioritise or even out-rightly declare a climate change emergency in the state.”
Among the issues being discussed at the three-day UN-Habitat meeting are: Universal access to affordable housing, urban climate action, urban crisis recovery and localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as critical to the survival of communities and general environmental crisis.