Nightmare as gully erosion threatens residents of housing estate in Edo
Being a property owner comes with some prestige and swag in Nigeria, especially when the property is sited in a private developed estate or Government Reservation Area (GRA); but for landlords of Government Housing Estate, Iguosa, Edo State, they are staring nightmare in the face as their cherished property is at the risk of being swallowed up by gully erosion.
Residents told The Guardian that the gully, which started as a joke, has now destroyed more than 50 houses and other property, thereby forcing landlords to become tenants and internally displaced persons.
They described the gully as 60-feet deep, 200-feet wide and 500-feet long, the size of nearly two big stadias.
A community leader and former chairman of the Association of Residents of Government Housing Estate, Iguosa, Mr. Jonathan Oweibor, said though the estate is being managed by the Edo State Development and Property Authority, they have been abandoned to their fate after several years of government’s failed promises.
“The gully started about four years ago when the Federal Government was reconstructing the Lagos-Benin expressway.
The handlers channeled a tunnel carrying water from some neighbouring communities to the front of the estate.
We are today suffering from that construction fiasco. Whenever it rains, for more than four hours, water will still be draining from the tunnel into the gully and the estate has now been turned into a waste bin.
“The estate has made several efforts to attract the attention of both the state and federal government to our plight to no avail.
In 2017, two separate letters were delivered to the National Assembly in Abuja and the Ecological unit of the presidency.
All we see is that government officials will come and inspect during rainy season and make promises to fix it in dry season.
When dry season comes, they are nowhere to be found.
“In fact, our hopes were raised last year when the state government told us the World Bank has accepted the gully project and would commence work late 2017 to early 2018.
What we are hearing is that the project was dropped for lack of counterpart commitment from the government.
We are tired of this cycle of failed promises. Even the palliatives that were promised are not forthcoming.”