Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
The Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has urged the Federal Government to intervene in the erosion menace that is trying to eat up communities in Anambra State.
Ohanaeze Vice President, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, who spoke in Awka, during the weekend, said the Federal Government intervention was needed to complement what the State Government was doing to tackle the challenge in the state.
Commending Governor Chukwuma Soludo for prompt response to gully erosion that is devastating the Oba axis of Onitsha-Owerri Road, the Ohanaeze VP asked the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, mobilise the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, and other relevant authorities to support the state government’s intervention.
He called for Environmental Impact Assessment to be effectively carried out before the execution of any project and advocated the reintroduction of road camps to be established within ten kilometers of each stretch of road for regular and efficient maintenance of roads to increase their life span and urged individuals and communities to avoid indiscriminate dumping of refuse and building on waterways to ensure free flow of water.
He regretted that the lack of proper maintenance culture and failure of some contractors to channel water to proper discharge points have continued to aggravate challenges of erosion in the state and South-East region which he said is threatening lives and property.
In the same vein, an Environmental Scientist, Professor Leonard Muoghalu, blamed the erosion menace on a lack of consideration for the environment during construction and urban planning.
He said the falling of trees without replacement, the nature of Anambra Soil, and the blocking of drainage channels with solid waste by people are also responsible.
Professor Muoghalu stressed the need for people to change their behavior towards the environment by avoiding activities that aid environmental degradation.
The university lecturer called on Anambra State Government to carry out proper planning of urban areas, encourage tree planting in erosion-prone areas and enact effective laws that will check erosion to reclaim the state from environmental degradation.