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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Senate calls for remedial works on erosion sites in Imo

Senate has urged Ecological Fund Office (EFO) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to embark on remedial works on Obodoukwu, Urualla, Akokwa, Umumaisiaku, Urachima and Umueshi gully erosion sites in Ideato North and South Local Governments in Imo State.

Gully erosion
Gully erosion in southeast Nigeria

It urged the agencies to jointly engage geologists, hydrologists, and environmental engineers to conduct assessment and implement measures like stabilisation, gabion installations, and terracing to prevent further losses, and minimise risks to nearby communities.

Senate resolution was sequel to a motion at plenary on Thursday on “Urgent Need to Carry-Out Remedial Work on Obodoukwu, Urualla, Akokwa, Umumaisiaku, Urachima and Umueshi Gully Erosion Sites in Ideato North and Ideato South LGAs, Imo State”.

The motion was sponsored by Sen. Izunaso Osita (APC-Imo).

Osita, in his lead debate, said the total collapse of the Obodoukwu, Urualla, Akokwa, Umumaisiaku, Umuchima and Umueshi gully erosion sites have become treacherous leading to loss of human lives, properties worth over N4 billion and inflicted severe injuries.

He decried the continuous loss of lives, businesses and properties of individuals, non-governmental organisations and the government by the erosion menance.

He said the total number of affected communities were 12 and that the two local governments share border with Anambra, Enugu and Abia states.

He expressed concern that the gullies and floodwaters were now beyond the Imo State Government, hence the need for Federal Government’s presence to urgently undertake immediate remedial work.

This, he said, was to mitigate the risks and prevent further loss of lives, properties, and environmental degradation in the affected areas.

Senate, in its further resolution, urged NEMA to urgently implement a community resettlement plan, where necessary, to relocate residents from high-risk areas, providing them with adequate housing, livelihood support, and necessary amenities.

It further urged NEMA and EFO to establish community-based initiatives to enhance resilience, like emergency response teams, evacuation plans, and formation of local task forces with focused on disaster management.

Senate commended the Imo government on its quick response and intervention which saved some lives and reclaimed many properties.

By Kingsley Okoye

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