By Sunny A. David, Awka
The last word has not been heard on the effects of torrential down pour in parts of the state with the collapse of a bungalow located at Deacon Chris Avenue, Ifite Awka, the state capital, but no life was lost.
The building partially collapsed around eleven O’clock in the night.
Giving account of the ugly incident, the owner of the building Mr. Geoffrey Obi from Oraifite, Ekwusigo local government Area revealed that his house was threatened since thirty first of August 2016, after a heavy rainfall caused a terrible gully erosion at the back of his house and noted that he has written to the Ministry of Environment in 2016 and the officials of the ministry visited the site but nothing was done, until yesterday night when the building collapsed.
Mr. Obi who is a widower told our correspondent that he has done some palliative works on the erosion site, adding that he was outside his house yesterday night with his children when the house caved in and called on the state government to come to his aid.
Reacting on the development, the Commissioner for Environment, Architect Mike Okonkwo who on behalf of the state government and entire Ndi Anambra sympathized with Mr. Obi maintained that erosion is a real emergency in the state due to its soil composition and location which prompted Governor Willie Obiano to make a case to the federal government about the adverse effect of erosion to the socioeconomic development of Anambra State.
Architect Okonkwo further pointed out that the state tackles erosion through four distinct approaches, namely direct intervention by the state government, the federal government, through ecological fund as well as through Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Program which is
World Bank assisted and promised that the state government will move in immediately to do some palliative works on the erosion site.
The Commissioner appealed to the residents of the state to stop indiscriminate dumping of refuse, deforestation and improper termination of water channels by developers as they are agents of erosion, stressing that the state government’s emphasis on erosion is prevention and not mediation.
Our correspondent also observed that all the buildings close to the collapsed bungalow are equally at the verge of collapse as the erosion has adversely affected them.
According to the Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Program, (NEWMAP) Anambra State has over one thousand erosion sites.