• Friday, September 29, 2023
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Erosion threatens communities in Uyo metropolis as many escape death from landslide

Erosion threatens communities in Uyo metropolis as many escape death from landslide

Communities in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, face the threat of erosion and landslides with many houses submerged after a heavy downpour that lasted several hours.
According to checks, three children narrowly escaped death as the landslide consumed many houses and cut off Asutan street, near Wellington Bassey Way in the state capital.

It was gathered that the children aged nine, six and five years old had barely left the house after preparing their evening meals when the incident happened

Speaking in Uyo, a landlord of the affected building, Francis Ikpe, described the landslide as devastating, adding that it was a miraculous escape for the children.

“Three children were preparing their meals in the kitchen. It was not even up to five minutes when the kitchen collapsed. The children were eating when suddenly there was a bang and the kitchen and everything inside it got buried. They would have been trapped; it was a miracle,” Ikpe said.

He said the community had been living with the erosion for the past 30 years, adding that the dimension was not as disastrous as it has it turned out to be now.

According to him, the problem worsened when the state government decided to embark on the construction of drainages, saying floodwater from adjoining streets became channelled to the ravine without a chamber constructed to receive the volume of water

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“I am the landlord at number 16, Asutan street, the compound that is badly threatened by the erosion. We have lived with the erosion for more than 30 years, the dimension was not as threatening as it is now.

“But when the state government decided to embark on massive streets repairs and drainages, water from the six adjoining streets, including barracks road, have been diverted to the place and no chamber was done to receive the water.

“A lot of damage has been done to that place. Whenever it rains the volume of water increases and this has been posing threats to lives and properties” he said.

He called on the state government to intervene before many houses are swallowed by the rampaging slide. On relocation order by the state government, Ikpe said ” I just heard that a surveyor came here many months ago.

He brought a document purported to have been written by the state government in 2011, but no landlord has ever seen that document and there is no indication that the landlords acknowledged receipt of the document”the landlord said.

He said if the state government had asked people to relocate, it should make provisions for the relocation.
A car dealer and tenant, whose building was swallowed in the slide, Mohammed Umaru, said he travelled to another town but received a call that his house has been submerged by the landslide.

Speaking when he visited the affected area, Charles Udoh, commissioner for environment and petroleum resources directed residents to relocate to avoid any loss of life.

Udoh said the control of erosion is costly which he said cannot be handled by the state government alone adding that the report of the landslide would be presented to Governor Udom Emmanuel.