Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has appealed to the World Bank, the Ecological Fund and the Federal Government to assist in tackling erosion menace in the state.
The Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Mr Charles Udoh, stated this when he paid an unscheduled visit to the erosion site at Asutan street in Uyo on Monday.
He assured residents of the state of Government’s commitments to tackle erosion sites across the state, adding that his administration was doing everything possible to mitigate its impact on the environment.
“We need assistance from the World Bank, the ecological fund and the federal government to be able to deal with the problem.
“The State Government alone cannot effectively control the erosion sites across the state but everyone has a responsibility to play in it,” he said.
Udoh disclosed that his ministry was going to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment of all erosion sites in the state to ensure that such problems were reduced to the barest minimum.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that three children on Sept.13 escaped death by the whiskers following a landslide which swallowed a kitchen and cut off parts of Asutan street, close to the Punch Office in Uyo.
The children: aged 9, 6 and five, respectively, had barely left the kitchen after preparing their evening meals when the landslide occurred at about 8pm on that day.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Landlord of the affected house, located at no. 16, Asutan street, Uyo, Mr Francis Ikpe, described the landslide as devastating, adding that it was a miraculous escape for the children.
“It was a devastating experience. Three children were preparing their meals in the kitchen. Just after they left 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 was buried in a landslide. They would have been trapped; it was a miracle,’’ Ikpe said.
He said the community had been living with erosion for the past 30 years, adding that the dimension was not as disastrous as it turned out to be now.
Ikpe said the problem became serious when the state government decided to embark on street repairs and construction of drainage, saying that water from six adjoining streets had been channelled to the place without a chamber constructed to receive such volume of water.
“I am the landlord of no. 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 disastrous as it is now.
“A lot of damage has been caused to that place. Whenever it rains, the volume of water increases and this has been posing threats to lives and properties,” he said.
Ikpe, however, called on the state government to intervene before the house was completely swallowed by the rampaging slide.
A car dealer and tenant, whose kitchen was swallowed in the slide, one Mohammed Umaru, the father of the escaped children, said he went out to Okoita, on Sept. 13, when he received a call that his house had been swallowed.
Yesterday (Sunday), I traveled to Okoita, where I received a call by the landlord that the house has collapsed. I rushed back and what I saw was terrible. What we need now is help .,. let government do something, I am helpless,’’ Umaru said.
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo