Home ยป 2 killed, properties destroyed as gully erosion ravage Abia community

2 killed, properties destroyed as gully erosion ravage Abia community


Two people have been killed and properties destroyed as gully erosion devastates Umuizundu village, in Umuogele Autonomous Community, Isuochi clan, in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.

Community sources told our correspondent that aside from the terrible circumstances in which the two lives were lost, many properties worth millions including buildings, economic trees and valuable farmlands have been lost to the erosion.

According to the source who is a youth leader in the community, the two victims identified as Nzada Ume and Uwakwe Tasie, both youths of the community, were said to have gone to the farm when it rained, but while returning during the rain, unknown to them that the path they were walking had been eaten into deeply, they fell into the gully erosion and were carried away by the flood.

The traditional ruler of Umuizundu, Umuogele, Eze Edwin Madu, said that the devastating gully erosion is menacingly threatening to wash away his community.

He explained that recently, the situation assumed a worsening dimension as it is now taking lives and destroying properties worth several millions of naira.

The royal father who spoke through the community’s President General, Daniel Okoroafor, traced the origin of the erosion to the channeling of storm water to the area by a construction company in the 1980s.

He said that the situation was worsened by another company contracted by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2017.

“What the people of Umuizundu are suffering today, was caused by two road construction companies which channeled storm water from different villages into Umuizundu without first carrying out environmental impact assessment in the area.

“As I speak, we have lost two lives and properties worth several millions of naira to the advancing gully erosion and there seems not to be an end in sight to the problem the erosion is causing to the Umuizundu community.”

He said that the erosion which deepens with every rainy season by 100 meters and also increases in length, is threatening to wash away the entire community should urgent attention not be given to it.

While speaking separately in his capacity as the President General of the community, Okoroafor, said they approached officials of the Abia State government in November 2023 for help.

He said although some officials were sent by the past administration to inspect the level of damage caused by the erosion, nothing was done to date.

Some concerned community members said that a remedial measure of planting bamboo, palm and other trees to prevent the erosion from expanding, which is their communal efforts could not stop the menace from advancing.

They said that the roads to their farmlands have been cut off by the gully, and this has resulted in increasing hunger and suffering among their people.

Reverend Godwin Ikechuckwu and Elder Joshua Madu, in their separate interviews said it has not been this bad for their people.

According to them, “The erosion keeps widening with each rainy season and with the way things are, if nothing urgent was done, there will be nothing like Umuizundu again on the map of Abia State.”

They said that controlling the erosion has gone beyond the scope of the community and therefore begged Governor Alex Otti, President Bola Tinubu and all federal legislators and appointees to save them from death and destruction.

Onuoha Okpara, one of the victims of the erosion menace said that his father’s house was destroyed by the gully and some other houses may soon go down unless an urgent help comes.

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