• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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How sea incursion wreaked havoc on Ondo community

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The ocean surge has again wreaked havoc on the residents of the coastal community of Ayetoro, in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.

The ocean has destroyed properties worth millions of naira and rendered many of the community residents homeless. According to authorities in the community, the surge has taken over more than half of the community land mass.

Emmanuel Aralu, the Secretary of the Ayetoro Youths Congress, who spoke with journalists in Akure on the development blamed the state government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the natural disaster due to what he described as their failure to complete the N6.5 billion shoreline protection contract awarded a company, Atlantic Dredgers Limited (DAL) in 2006.

According to him, more than 200 homes were affected during the latest surge which occurred on Sunday, displacing thousand of residents.

Aralu said the surge has become an annual occurrence which successive government had failed to attend to, saying hundreds of homes and properties including schools, and hospitals, business centers had been destroyed with several people displaced by the ocean surge.

He said the recent surge had rendered many landlords homeless while many of the residents of the community had relocated to the neighboring communities.

According to him, all efforts to draw the attention of the state and federal government to address the yearly surge had failed.

“Government has abandoned the community to be at the mercy of ecological disasters,” Aralu said.

“The ocean surge has been threatening of the existence of Ayetoro community and this has been happening for the past 20 years, the level of destruction cannot be qualified again. From 2015 till date the community has lost over 10 kilometers of the land scape to the ravaging sea surge.

“This time around no fewer than 500 to 700 buildings has been destroyed or washed off with properties worth millions of naira washed away. We have cried to the state and Federal government but all efforts to get government attention has proof abortive”

Aralu recalled that contractors had been mobilised to the site twice for the dredging of the ocean but said no work was done on the site, while government never bothered to query or probe those behind the contract while the residents are dying on yearly basis.

“We are calling on the government at all levels to please come to our aid. We want to appeal to all relevant agencies and authorities concerned to help save Ayetoro community from going into extinction,” he said.

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The traditional ruler of the town, the Ogeleoyinbo of Ayetoro, Oba Micah Olaseni Ajijo, who also spoke on the occurrence of the sea incursion, said the ocean surge has destroyed everything on its path.

He attributed the frequent surge to the emissions from the activities of the oil companies in the coastal community of Ayetoro and other adjoining communities.

“That is the reality of rising temperatures and sea levels due to carbon emissions. The International agreement on carbon cap are not implemented and oil companies off the coast of Ayetoro still flare their gas, not minding the environmental challenges on coastal communities.

“As there is no social justice, there is also no environmental justice in the policies of the political class. We only cry to God as the sea eats our land and coastal towns in Nigeria, may our God and creator give us peace and command the ranging waves to be still,” Ajijo prayed.