Delta community seeks Okowa, World Bank intervention over erosion, bad roads
Residents of Ubulu-Uku community in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State have urged Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the World Bank to save a part of their town from being wiped out by erosion that has been ravaging the area.
Residents of the erosion-ridden Onicha-Uku Quarters in Ubulu-Uku, especially those in the diaspora, lamented that their homeland was turning into a place of torment. The residents of the town, who are predominantly farmers and civil servants, said they were running away from the land of their birth not because of upsurge in criminal activities, outbreak of epidemics or any untoward factors, but because of government’s total neglect of the area, which has been cut off from other communities in Ubulu-Uku and neighbouring towns by erosion.
The only road in and out of the area, connecting the people to other communities in Delta and other states has deteriorated to a state of disrepair and is now a death trap.
According to The Guardian findings, only the strong and courageous can walk through the road; many have been injured, maimed, and vehicles and other property have been damaged in the course of forging through the road.
The residents of Ubulu-Uku, who are predominantly farmers, can no longer access their farmlands. This has heightened fear of imminent hunger and starvation as the only road that leads to their farms has been completely destroyed by erosion.
There is also anxiety that, if work does not commence to salvage the road immediately, in few months’ time, many people would be trapped in their homes, which are likely to be destroyed by erosion.
An American-based Ubulu-Uku indigene, Catherine Williams, came from the United States of America for the burial of her sibling, Boniface, recently but became more devastated as she could not get to her family compound with the three SUVs that were conveying her entourage and valuables.
The embittered Williams said: “I have never been embarrassed like this. I was coming home in company of my friends from the US and those who joined us from Lagos. We had a smooth ride to Delta State, and I was so happy that we arrived safely. Just to enter my street, Onicha-Uku Quarters, in Ubulu-Uku, we were not able, because of the dilapidated nature of our road.
“We had no alternative than to abandon our vehicles and paid heavily for people to convey our loads by head, as neither cart pusher nor motorcycles could pass through the road. To walk through the road was like walking through the valley of the shadow of death, because the road was in the worst state of dilapidation. We did not arrive my home without minor injuries.
“We daughters and sons of Ubulu-Uku in diaspora are asking the offence that the Onicha-Uku and Onicha-Okpe people committed that they have been abandoned by the three tiers of government. They voted for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is in control of Delta State. The last time I visited home about one year ago. I wonder what the road would look like in one year’s time.
“On behalf of Ubulu-Uku people at home and in diaspora, I am appealing to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the World Bank to do something drastic to avert a total extermination of our people who are already suffering from vicarious liability.”