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Friday, December 8, 2023

Gully erosion threatens 350 buildings, Rojenny Stadium, cuts road in Anambra

A massive erosion on the Oba axis of the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway in Nigeria is threatening property running into billions of naira.

Erosion site
The Anambra erosion site

The erosion, which had already cut the Owerri bound carriageway of the Federal Highway and is threatening the second lane, had approached a filling station and a nearby hotel.

Already, the Anambra State Government has barricaded the affected part of the road, thereby transferring all the burden to the second lane which is on the verge of collapse.

The popular Rojenny Stadium and Games village, with about 30,000 sitting capacity football pitch, is also at the risk of collapse if urgent measures are not taken to arrest the gully erosion menace.

Some residents, who spoke to journalists on Saturday, September 2, 2023, called on the Federal Government to urgently step in and address the challenge before it degenerates to ecological disaster area.

Mr Johny Obinwa, facility consultant at Rojenny Stadium, said over 350 residential buildings, acres of undeveloped land, a filling station and a two-star hotel are all threatened by the gully erosion.

Obinwa said facilities worth millions within Rojenny had been destroyed as result of heavy flash flood from Ichi, Nnobi, Ojoto, and Uruagu-Oba whenever it rained.

He said perimeter walls around the stadium, parts of spectators’ stands, tennis, handball courts had collapsed while the tracks had been pulled as a result of being water logged.

Obinwa said: “Our Olympic side swimming pool has overflown, the flood causing this gully erosion flows from Ichi, Nnobi Ojoto and Uruagu-Oba communities in Idemili South Local Government Area. It is also because the gutters and water channels are too small.

“On our part as management, we are doing what we can to mitigate the disaster, but we need a lot of work to do to protect the sporting facilities that are in the Games Village, that is why it is important that Federal and Anambra governments come in.

“The way it is, Rojenny is only serving as a protective shield for communities behind us, the gully erosion behind the stadium is growing and may sweep the whole area away soon,” he said.

Mrs Amaka Obi, the Transition Committee Chairman of Idemili South Local Government Area, who spoke at the site, said the state government had made efforts to control the gully erosion menace but the situation had not abated.

Obi was represented by Mr Uchechukwu Ubadi and Mr Nzubechukwu Ibe, Councillors representing Oba Ward I and Oba Ward II respectively.

She said all the controls done so far, including the water channels constructed about three months ago, had collapsed because of the heavy flood.

She also pointed out that when a proposal was made to fill the gully with refuse at the budding stage, youths in the area refused, placing a charge of N5,000 per trip as a condition.

“When the state government came here with their counterparts from the Federal Government, it was not as wide and as deep as this and as the rains continue it will keep widening.

“We contacted the Anambra Waste Management Agency to dump refuse here as a way of reducing the flow pressure but the owners of the empty land and youths here stopped us, claiming we want to take their land, so it was moved to another erosion site in Nnewi.

“Now, the gully has deepened and many houses are going down every day and with the rate of rainfall only God can save those buildings and their owners,” she lamented.

By Chimezie Anaso

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