Residents Of Kabayi Community Cry Out For Help

 

The people of Kabayi community in Aso Pada district of Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State share a boundary with nation’s capital. Sadly for them, the proximity has not been as beneficial as they would have loved.

Residents of the community, numbering over 25,000, share a major predicament – lack of infrastructural development.

Bad roads, the absence of water channels, flooding and erosion plague Kabayi community.

For years, the residents say they have had to come together to provide basic amenities, including electricity, for themselves.

Now, they want the government to lift the weight of their shoulders.

“In this area, we have been trying our best. Whatever you see here, even the roads, it is the community that tried and did it.  This light you are seeing including the transformer, we are the ones that bought it,” says a resident, Usman Suleiman.

“In short, there is nothing that we can show that the government has done for us in this community.”

A street in Kabayi

Other residents who spoke with Channels Television share Suleiman’s sentiments.

New Challenges

Faced with more challenges than they can grapple with, they reached out repeatedly to the authorities.

According to them, those contacted include the Nasarawa State government, lawmakers and elected officials.

“We have written to some senators, we have written to the local government chairmen and to the councillors, but we have never gotten any attention from the government,” says another resident.

 

One of the major issues which residents of Kabayi battle with is flooding and by extension erosion.

It hasn’t always been this tough for the community, a growing population and new constructions are considered responsible for several problems.

Julius Otene and Leonard Ogu blame the flooding and erosion on a nearby road construction and the influx of people in the area.

“When people came here and built houses, they displaced the amount of places water used to percolate reduced, so the erosion came to the road. We have been maintaining it by ourselves using shovels, as you can see we were clearing the gutters, that has been our challenge,” says Ogu.

Otene shares what it is like when it rains.

“When rain falls, you need to be here, the level of the water goes up to the neck. I have entered it (the water) once and I couldn’t go back and I couldn’t move forward until I managed to grab a fence. Five to six years ago we weren’t experiencing this (flooding). It all started in the past two to three years after they made the Kabayi/Aso road,” Otene says.

“We have been in this area for more than 20 years. It was motorable before but, as time went on and population increased, flood and erosion kept increasing and eating up the road.

“This culvert we are standing on was built by me with the efforts of the community but we can’t keep pressing. Therefore, we are calling for the help of the government to put one or two things in place.”

 

The infrastructure challenges in the community have affected economic activities in the community, hospitals, and the size of the population, according to the residents.

“There was a hospital here before but because of the bad roads caused by heavy rains, the owner could not maintain it any longer and now the place is deserted. As you can see, people are suffering. If they get sick at night they must go as far as Mararraba as we don’t have any other place for medical attention,” a resident says.

One consequent of flooding in the community is erosion which is fast becoming a threat to some buildings

Another resident, 45-year-old widow, Veronica Reuben, is faced with a new threat caused by the community’s flood problem – erosion.

She says although a portion of her house and land has been wiped away by erosion, she and her children continue to live there because they have nowhere else to go.

 

 

For the residents of Kabayi, their situation is now a matter of life and death.

According to them, floods caused by a downpour recently swept a 19-year-old girl away.

Her uncle, David Uzuegbu, says she was coming back from her workplace at Nyanya when she got stuck and swept away by the flood.

The Nasarawa State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, who also spoke to Channels Television, sympathises with the residents for their losses and challenges.

He promises that the government will continue to give the needed attention to affected areas, stressing, however, that not all issues can be resolved at once.

The commissioner, however, believes “Development efforts are a process”.

“What we are trying to emphasise is that this government, more than any other in the past, has invested a lot of time and resources to ensure that Karu receives attention,” he says.

“There are emerging communities that have developed over time and, probably, Kabayi is one of them. If they (residents of Kabayi) do not have government attention, I can assure them that the state and local government will look into in that direction.”

Delta-Ijaw Lawmakers Cry Out Over Landslide, Erosion

 

Federal lawmakers representing Delta-Ijaw have called for the attention of Federal Government and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over landslide and erosion in Tuomo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

The Senators made this plea during an assessment of the situation in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

One of the Senators, James Manager representing Delta South Senatorial District, during the visit, described the effect of the erosion and landslide as devastating.

“Something urgent must be done to assuage the plight of the community and those affected. I hereby call on the NDDC, the Federal and State government to do the needful before it is too late,” he said.

The people of Tuomo, last week, woke up to the tragedy of a landslide which left their community on the brink of being swept away and submerged by water.

This situation got the attention of lawmakers from the Delta-Ijaw extraction who visited the affected areas and demanded a swift response from the government before lives and properties are lost.

Also speaking, a lawmaker at the Federal House of Representative, Julius Pondi, expressed shock at the level of the landslide.

“I have directed the NDDC and the contractor handling the Tuomo community shoreline protection project to give enough information regarding the project for proper assessment,” he said.

Sympathising with the people of Tuomo community over the natural disaster, he promised to raise the issue at the floor of the House.

“I will move a motion on the floor of the House to draw the attention of the Federal government to this community for immediate action by relevant authorities,” he promised.

The lawmakers, traditional rulers and other Niger Delta activists who witnessed the event also believe restiveness in the region can become a thing of the past if the government take more seriously, issues affecting the region and it’s development.

World Bank, NEWMAP Partner On Imo Erosion Control


World bank, NEWMAPThe people of Umueze Eziala Obizi autonomous community in Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo state are excited about the gully erosion control and site rehabilitation project by the World Bank and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).

This is because they will in no distant time heave a sigh of relieve as gully erosion, which used to displace many lives and properties in the community will soon become a thing of the past.

The cheering news was shared at a town hall meeting organized by NEWMAP in the community to create a rapport between the World Bank project team and the indigenes of the area to ascertain the level of work done on the Obizi gully erosion site.

The meeting was to also educate the people on further precautionary measures to be taken to prevent further occurrence of gully erosion while urging them to also cooperate with the contractors handling the project.

Before the intervention of the World Bank through the Nigeria Watershed Erosion Management Project (NEWMAP), the dangerous Umueze Eziala Obizi gully erosion site had claimed many lives and property.

The erosion site was identified as one to be rehabilitated under the Nigeria Erosion Watershed Management Project and seven months after, the rehabilitation and control work on the erosion site reached 75-80% completion.

The traditional ruler of the community, Stephen Azubuihe commended the
NEWMAP team for the progress made so far on the rehabilitation works.

He acknowledged the role expected of Stephen-Azubuihe-Umueze-Eziala-Obizithe community in ensuring the success of the project and promised that residents would cooperate with the World Bank to see the project through.

Some of the indigenes of the community whose properties and farmlands were affected by the gully erosion also commended the World Bank.

One of them is the chairman of the farmers’ cooperative in Obizi autonomous community, Justus Uha, who noted that the quick financial intervention and compensation has enabled them to start life over again.

The Urualla erosion site in Ideato North and Umuezelibe Isu erosion site in Njaba local government areas are also under the rehabilitation watch of the NEWMAP team. They have also promised to complete work in these sites in no distant time.

Willie Obiano Moves To Tackle Erosion In Anambra State

Willie Obiano, Anambra State, Erosion Several key stakeholders have been engaged in a one-day strategic meeting in Anambra State on issues concerning the environment with specific focus on erosion.

The event, which held in Awka, Anambra state capital, was part of activities to mark this year’s World Environment Day in the state.

Stakeholders including state government officials, development partners, community leaders, representatives of government ministries and agencies among others gathered to exchange ideas with indigenous and foreign resource persons on the way forward on environmental issues especially erosion.

The session featured presentations on ecological issues including erosion management and control, renewable energy development ad climate change.

Declaring the session open, Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, condemned the effects of erosion in the state which presently has destroyed 950 sites.

He called on the Federal Government to declare the state an ecologically devastated state due to its numerous erosion challenges.

The Governor noted that despite the states’s small land mass of 4,844 sq km, it has lost and was still losing so much land to erosion.

He said that the state’s effort in tackling the over 960 erosion sites had attracted the intervention of the World Bank and it would commence work in 12 sites but more intervention was needed still.

The keynote speaker at the event, who is a consultant in Renewal Energy Development from the United States of America, Mr Jerome Ringo, commended Governor Willie Obiano for pursuing the issue of environment seriously.

He advised that leadership everywhere should focus on stimulating the economy with green projects and stop deforestation.

Other ecologists who spoke also elaborated on the solution to reversing damage in the state through the “Acting Locally and Thinking Globally,” concept designed as an enlightenment campaign that places increased value on environment.

The meeting was part of government effort in creating awareness on the issue of collective resolve on environmental protection in which all hands must be on deck to ensure a safer, cleaner and erosion free environment in Anambra State.

NEWMAP Inspects Erosion Sites In Imo

erosion, NEWMAPThe Imo State Branch of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) has urged the federal government to complete pending World Bank assisted projects at erosion sites in the state.

The group made this recommendation while inspecting construction sites at Ideato South, Mbaise and Orlu local government areas of the South Eastern State of Nigeria.

Erosion, especially common in the south east area of Nigeria, has had a devastating effect on infrastructure and economic development in those regions.

To address this challenge, the federal government has partnered with the World Bank to form the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).

But the contractors at Mbaise and Ideato local government areas reported that the projects have kept expanding to areas not previously identified without commensurate payment of funds.

The delegation inspected erosion sites at Orlu Local Government Area where the state project coordinator identifies climate change as an additional challenge to the progress of the work.

The team promised to also inspect erosion sites in other parts of the state in the course of the visit.

Erosion: FG Seeks Collaboration Of State Governments

erosionThe Federal Government has called for the collaboration of state governors in addressing the issue of climate change, especially the menace of gully erosion that has been a recurring environmental challenge facing the south eastern part of the country.

The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, made the plea while on a visit to the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, at the Government House in Owerri the Imo State capital in south east Nigeria.

She said that the federal government under the present administration committed to tackling the menace of gully erosion and environmental degradation that has claimed many lives and displaced several homes in the south east.

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, while responding to the Minister and her delegation, commended them for their efforts on the fact finding mission.

He disclosed that there were over 24 gully erosion sites across the state in need of the intervention of the federal government and the state government was willing to partner the federal government to tackle this menace that has caused so much havoc in many homes and communities for a long time.

Senate Committee Inspects Federal Highways In Anambra

AnambraThe Senate Adhoc Committee on Works has stormed Anambra State to inspect the federal highway and the erosion devastated sites.

This was the result of the joint outcry by the people of Anambra State and the motion moved by the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Zone of Anambra State, Uche Ekwunife, calling for immediate intervention of the federal government on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway which has collapsed completely as well as assistance in checking the increasing devastation of erosion in the state.

The leader of the delegation, Senator Barnabas Gemade, expressed surprise at the extent of dilapidation on the expressway as well as the magnitude of erosion in the state. He raised the alarm for urgent attention to prevent continued fatalities in the affected areas.

The inspection commenced from Amansea axis of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

They also inspected the Awka to Nkpor road in spite of the difficulty they went through accessing the highway which had been described as a slaughter slab by Professor Emeka Anyaoku in 2009.

At Nkpor flyover where erosion had destroyed the dual carriageway with two service lanes completed by the federal government just two years ago, the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee decried the extent of devastation and urged the state government to write an application to the Ecological Office in Abuja immediately and access funds to embark on palliatives.

He also gave an assurance of strong recommendations from the Senate for the actual intervention from federal government.

The team also visited the Nanka Erosion site before finally visiting the State Governor, Willie Obiano.

During their brief interaction, the Governor further highlighted the challenges of the state with high hopes of immediate intervention and he got more assurances from the leader of the team, Senator Barnabas Gemade.

NEWMAP Commences Means To Tackle Erosion In Imo State

erosionThe Imo State government has commenced means on tackling erosion under the World Bank with assistance from Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project. (NEWMAP)

At a stakeholders meeting and interactive session in Owerri the Imo state capital, the project coordinator of NEWMAP team in Imo state Mr. Victor Anueyiagu said out of 5 major erosion sites to receive immediate attention in the state, full work has commenced in 3 sites following World Bank’s clearance and approval.

The NEWMAP team however advised people of the various communities to cooperate with the team to ensure that work is carried out within the stipulated time frame without any interference.

A visit by the World Bank team under the NEWMAP project led by the Imo state project coordinator Mr Victor Anueyiagu revealed that contractors moved to some of the erosion sites have started receiving attention due to World Bank’s clearance and approval.

After inspecting most of these erosion sites, the NEWMAP team gathered for a stakeholders meeting to sensitize the peoples especially communities affected by these erosion on the need to support government’s activities in areas where they need help from the federal government as regards the erosion menace.

While commending the project contractors, the NEWMAP team also urged the people living in those communities affected by the gully erosion to see the project as their own and support the contractors and workers in the field to achieve their aim during the project period.

NEWMAP is one of federal government project in partnership with the World Bank, to transform the Nigerian socio-economy landscape and to mitigate the vulnerability to erosion as well as support the people as they relate to their land.

Ajimobi Inspects Apete Bridge Project, Demands Faster Process

Apete BridgeThe Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has demanded a faster process towards the completion of the Apete Bridge, which was washed away in 2011, and is now under construction.

Accompanied by members of his cabinet, Governor Ajimobi inspected the on-going construction work on the bridge, to assess the extent of the damage and to assure the people that government has not abandoned them.

During the visit, he disclosed that Government had paid a substantial part of the contract sum to the contractor but halted further payment to ensure the contractors give value for money.

A cross section of residents who spoke to Channels Television implored Government to speed up efforts on the bridge as they have been cut off from the rest of the city.

Meanwhile the Commissioner of Works, Mr Bimbo Kolade, explained that the Apete brigde project would be all encompassing, as 3.5km road leading to the bridge was also under rehabilitation and expansion. He assured residents of the area that it would be completed by year end.

Meanwhile, Governor Ajimobi also berated some politicians, he said, had been tampering with the pedestrian bridge under the guise of showing concern, warning that the Government would not allow any breach of peace.

The Governor thus directed the contractor handling the bridge to ensure that a temporary pedestrian bridge was put in place within a few days, and that the main bridge should be completed before the end of the year.

He explained that the completion period for the project was the end of the year in view of his administration’s resolve not just to rehabilitate the bridge but to also expand and modernize it in line with his government’s transformation agenda.

Governor Ajimobi frowned at the vandalism of the properties of the contractors handling the project, warning that people should desist from taking laws into their hands.

The President of the Students’ Union Government of the Polytechnic, Ibadan, Mr. Iyiola Mubarak, implored the Governor to speed up work on the bridge as students are billed to resume on July 21.

Seven, Including Pregnant Woman Feared dead In Calabar Collapsed Building

At least seven people have been feared dead including a pregnant woman following a building collapse in Calabar as a result of the heavy down pour at Edem Otop, in Calabar Municipality in Cross River state, which lasted for several hours.

Residents of the area and eye witness accounts stated that, the disaster which occurred on Wednesday night, was as a result of erosion running through into a ravine behind the building. They also said that lack of drainage system to channel erosion in the community contributed to the problem.

Nine persons, including a six-month old baby, were in the building when the incident occurred.

Six bodies were recovered dead and the other three, including the baby, were rescued alive with several degrees of injuries. The survivors are receiving treatment at the General Hospital, Calabar.

The head of the family, Amos Akaniyene who was outside at the time of the disaster was not available to comment on the issue.

Erosion: Okorocha Says More Houses To Be Demolished In Owerri

The Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has said that the government will have to demolish more houses built on water ways in the state capital, Owerri, as part of its precautionary measures against flood.

He made this known during a tour to inspect areas which were badly affected by erosion.

He also disclosed that there are plans to return to the original Owerri Master Plan which provides a central drainage system in the city. This he said will provide a major solution to the challenges of erosion and poor drainage which presently affect the city.

The Governor said the state government will continue the demolition of some residential houses that were built on the water ways and drainage because erosion and poor drainage system has been a major issue his administration is working tirelessly to tackle.

The demolition exercise will be supervised by a committee which has been set up through the Ministry of works and environment.

He advised Imo indigenes to desist from throwing dirt and garbage on the water ways and drainages because it’s one of the major problems causing erosion within the state capital.

A visit to Nigeria’s Mecca of gully erosion

When computed per capita or by land space, Oko community is easily the town that is most afflicted by the scourge of gully erosion in Anambra state and indeed, the entire country.

Much has been seen, read and heard about the gullies in Ekwulobia, Uke, Nanka, Agulu, Ideani, Ekwulumiri and many other communities in the south east in recent times, but little mention has been made about what could be characterized as the Mecca of gully erosion menace at ground zero, Oko town.

Just for a start, the much publicized Umuchiana erosion gully corresponds to the boundary between the two neighboring towns of Oko and Ekwulobia. In fact, northern edge of the drainage channel at bottom of the gully lies in Oko while the southern side lies in Ekwulobia.