…4,000 School Children Out Of Schools Two Escape Death
Over three hundred families have been sacked by the gully erosion occasioned by flood disaster in six villages of Amawbia Community in Awka South Local Government area of Anambra State.
This incident which has cut off the community from its kits and kins from the neighboring, Nise, Nibo, Umuokpu and Agukwu Nri towns have stopped about four thousand school children from going to school while two escaped from being washed away by flood.
According to the Director Community Environmental Media Awareness (CEMA) Mr. Okey Maduforo, “the situation needs urgent attention by the state government before the entire community is sacked”.
“Also affected by the erosion include, Union secondary school, Kabe College, May Rose Hotel as the link roads to those public facilities have become inaccessible by motorists and other road users in Adebebe village”.
Deepening the menace is the cutting off of the residence of the member representing Awka South II State constituency Mr. Chukwuma Okoye (aka) Nwanayoeze.
The lawmaker could not be reached as at the time of this report as he was said to be away on an oversight function.
The Adebebe road construction was commenced three days to the conduct of state Assembly elections only to be abandoned after the election hence paving way for the perennial flood and ultimate gully erosion in the area.
When schools resumed yesterday no fewer that four thousand pupils and students could not return to their schools as vehicular movements have become impossible and school children had to carry their boxes across the gully.
Also farm lands and buildings under construction along Adebebe-Nise road now hang on the cliff as the next heavy rain would surely sweep them into the Obibia River in the area.
Just last week, two children were saved from their untimely graves when the last Wednesdays rain fall flushed them into the gully while they were coming back from the farm and it took the timely intervention of workers at a building site to save the situation.
According to one of the children Miss Tochi Nwanna 16yrs old, “we were carrying fire wood on that day and the flood was too much and we did not know where to step on and suddenly my younger brother fell into the flood and when I tried to hold him, I did not know how I fell in also”.
“He was inside the flood and I was crying for help until some people working in that building came and helped us” she said. When contacted the duo of the Principal, Secretary to the Anambra state Governor Mr. Willie Nwokoye, the Head of Service Barr. Harry Uduh all sons of Amawbia Community directed reporters to the ministry of works and the commissioner was said to be away on official assignment.
Efforts to reach the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Ozo Victor Oye, also a son of Amawbia community proved abortive as he did not pick his calls.
Speaking with reports yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of TICON SHOPPING CENTER Chief Obiajulu Nwokoye said.“It is sad that my community which is housing the governor’s lodge is road takes you to Nise, Agulu, Agukwu Nri down to Nanka and Ekwulobia”.
“The road is gone and at every election from the days of the former governor, they will come and do one magic and claim to have flaged off the road only to abandon it after the election”.
“Even electric Power Supply is almost non existent. We only enjoy power supply once every week and that is from 2am to 4am weekly. With the types of rain fall this September, only God Almighty can save us from this menace”.
Also speaking the former chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalist from Ezimezi village Amawbia, Mr. Chris Aghanya whose home town has been ravaged by gully erosion said.
“They have sent contractors to this place in 1998 known as KAMAG Construction Firm and what they have done leaves much to be desired.
They work so far done has been swept away by flood and the concrete works are hanging and would soon give way. In fact the entire Amawbia is going down and this is a community where the governor stays as the governors lodge and one wonders if he has ever visited this town to know what we are facing” he said.
Continuing the Director of Community Environmental Media Awareness (CEMA) Mr. Okey Maduforo noted that “Amawbia People and its residents have spent well over N800 Million in the last seven years to fight environmental degradation without the assistance of government”
“As its stands now, the community is closed to enjoying the same status with the Ekwulobia gully erosion as the area shares the same topography with other erosion ravaged communities in Anambra State”