Daily Champion (Lagos)

16 December 2009

Nigeria: Erosion - Ihioma Network Appeals to FG

Orlu — IHIOMA Network, a sociopolitical organization in Imo State has called the attention of the State and Federal Government, Lamenting to the devastation caused by erosion to the lives and properties of the people in the area.

The call was made by the Coordinator of Ihioma Network, Chief Innocent Sunday Okeke Thursday while conducting Champion round the various sites devastated by the erosion.

He noted that the erosion was the greatest problem facing Ihioma clan which he said consists of five autonomous communities namely: Ihioma, Okwuabala, Umuezennachi, Nnenato and Isiokwu/ Obiokwu.

Chief Okike, who is also the CEO Rinnoson Drugs Limited also listed the Acharaba / Iyiuzo / Okporo road, Ikpa/ Okwuabala road, Amaifeke function / Ugwu Onummiri/ Ogberuru road and Ogbeke/ Umuezennachi / Iyiuzo road as the roads which he said that the erosion had cut into two.

Said he, "These roads afore-mentioned traverse all the above-cited autonomous communities. We have been in this deplorable condition for two decades. More sympathetically is that when our hopes were raised high with the emergency of the immediate past administration of Chief Achike Udenwa, being a neigbhour could not and did not work on these roads. We are certain that he is aware of the dilapidated condition of these roads."

Chief Okeke said the roads were earth roads and lie on sloppy stretch adding that due to the rolling nature of the terrain in the areas , the roads have been subjected to heavy gully erosion and therefore, impassable to motorists during the rainy season.

Continuing, he disclosed that the importance of the roads can not be over emphasized as he said that he roads lead to farmlands and connect the communities to Orlu-Onitsha road and therefore of great economic value, to Ihioma clan and her neigbhouring communities.

" Worst still is the gully erosion sites that stretch a very long distance which has cut off most of the villages from contact within Ihioma land. The gully sites in question at Isiokwu, Ikpa, Okwuabala and Umuneme villages have recorded dead of a youngman from the area during the last rainy season. Our lives are really in danger," he emphatically stressed.

Adding his voice, the PRO of the Network, Mr. Emeka Ugwu contended that the rationale behind the call on the State and Federal Government was that the Orlu LG Council cannot handle the project alone.

He stated that the Ihioma Network as a body, has written several letters to the State and Federal Government attached photographs of the sites to the letters, pleading with them to save their soul, but regretted that nothing tangible has been done to the letters.

Mr. Ugwu said the erosion had also made it very difficult for them to reach their kit and kins at the northern part of the community . He finally pleaded for the State and FG intervention to eschew the loss of more lives and properties.

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