Over seven communities in Delta State are living in fear as a result of a yawning gully erosion that has widened over the years.
At the moment, the residents of the Alibuba community in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State are apprehensive that more than 10 houses may cave in at the end of this year’s round of rains if the erosion issue is not tackled.
The Secretary of the community, Mr Clement Ihiale, told South South Punch that the situation is now worse and many houses may cave in
He said, “We have been crying to the government over eight years when the gully erosion was not as big as it is now, but dem play a deaf ear.
“A few days before the governorship election, they brought caterpillar as if they wanted to commence work and deceived us to vote for them, few days immediately after the election, they carried the equipment out of the site, till now we have not seen them.
“We are begging the Federal Government and the state government to come to our aid, very soon, many of us will be relocating now that mostly night rain is at its worst.”
He said that many lives have been lost to the gully erosion, including two siblings of the Allibuba Primary School, aged 15 and 11 years respectively, who were swept away by flood in 2019.
Ashama and Ubulu-Uku communities in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state and Okpanam in Oshimili North Local Government Area are also facing ecological challenges, with attendant losses of lives and property like houses or farmlands to gully erosion.
Speaking on the life-threatening erosion site, the state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Jamani Ejiro, said that the state is gradually intervening in some erosion sites.
Ejiro said, “As a state, we are collaborating with the World Bank through NEWMAP to intervene in some erosion sites in the state.
“You are aware that the state had intervened in Ukwu-Nzu, Obonkpa in Aniocha North area of the state and Owa-nta in Ika North-East.
“We are preparing to intervene in the Amacha erosion site in Okpanam, Vanguard area in Asaba and Jesse site in Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state.
“Last week, I was at the National Project Office, Abuja and I reported to Governor Sheriff Oborevweri the outcome of the meeting
“I will visit the Alibuba erosion site on a spot assessment to see for myself before I brief the governor. He is a listening governor who means well for Delta State.
On ecological funds, the commissioner said that the state has not received any ecological funds from the Federal Government.
He explained that efforts are ongoing with his counterpart in other states to meet the Minister of Environment on the issue of ecological funds.(PUNCH NEWS)