Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu, has vowed to end myriads of environmental challenges in Anambra State if elected to represent his constituency at the House of Representatives.
Awogu made the pledge while addressing a mammoth crowd of Okpoko stakeholders in Okpoko, Ogbaru Local Government Area, Anambra State.
He noted that 16 communities that made up his constituency are currently plagued by multifarious ecological challenges ranging from underwater-coastal erosion, poor channelization of drainage, weak soil texture, perennial flooding, and yearly losses in human, agricultural and material terms.
Awogu regretted that perennial flooding in the state subjects people to harrowing experiences with huge losses on human and material resources, as well as the accompanying discomfort, hunger, and deprivations.
“Devastating flood has taken lives while thousands have been rendered homeless with their properties lost. Several thousand hectares of farmlands have been swallowed by the flood, leaving the farmers in a state of hopelessness and poverty,” he said.
The former Transition Chairman of Ogbaru LG disclosed that the ecological disasters faced by the state especially communities situated along the riverine areas are products of erroneous drainage systems and the government’s reluctance to channel drainage directly to the river Niger.
“Fegge was wrongly channeled into Okpoko which causes the flash flood in Okpoko whenever it rains. Okpoko community is known to experience flash-flood any time it rains. The flood that sweeps people away in Okpoko is not rainwater within Okpoko but the rainwater from Awada, Obosi, Nkpor.
“This is the reason why Okpoko is flooded; once we stop water from Upper-Iweka, Awada, Owerri Road, and Asaba Expressway from coming into Okpoko, Okpoko will no longer be flooded and Sakamori drain will also not be silted as it is used to.”
He also assured he would work with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) to see that all drainages crossing Asaba-Onitsha Expressway into Okpoko and crossing Owerri Road into Okpoko are blocked and rechanneled directly into the River Niger and Idemili canal, instead of passing through Okpoko where it wreaks havoc.
He also said, “time has come to ensure that Ecological Fund created in 1981 through the Federation Account Act to serve as an intervention fund to address the various environmental challenges in communities worked for the remediation of the many ecological challenges witnessed in the state.”