by crossriverwatch admin
The heavy down pour that occurred Tuesday July 15, 2014 in Calabar which started in the early hours of the day, about 5am and lasted for over ten hours flooded some areas like Goldie by Target, Ekpo Abasi, Calabar Road, and Ekorinim as observed by our reporter and left a landslide that washed away part of some houses at Ikot Eno-Obong 8 Miles, Calabar.
Opposite Marigold Street/Ekana Gate where three houses were affected, Dr. Ogban Ekpoti, Director Medical Services at Ministry of Health Cross River State whose house is one of the three affected said: “As at the time I acquired this land there was no sign of any problem in 2007 or so, what you are seeing here was a gentle slope and well forested land but then due to increase human activities and poor handling of jobs led to these problem, what I mean by poor job handling is that somebody got a contract from MPP6 now MPP12 as we are told got contract to open gutter and he just engaged quacks and the worst thing is they opened this gutter and stopped on top of the well sloped landscape, they did not channel it properly into the slope and it gave rise to what we have today”.
He added that another case of poor handling of jobs includes “They constructed the Ikot Omin abattoir road by Zenith Construction Company, they constructed gutter and ended half way on both sides and failed to link them up with a culvert, when it rains from beyond the market it washes everything and ends up in this our raven, all remedial effort from 2010 have failed and now it is beyond our capacity. Ministry of Works in 2011, the Commissioner minuted to the director civil and in May I met with him again and yesterday the director civil and his team of engineers came to see for themselves but I was taken aback when even with the situation here we were told until the rain stops nothing can be done here, I am charging all involved to put up a remedial service here until the rain stops”.
As at the time our reporter arrived the scene Dr. Ekpoti and his family had already moved their belongings out of the house to a safe location. He revealed that severally he had drawn the attention of government through the relevant authorities since 2010, “SEMA, Ministry of Works and Environment. World Bank has come here to inspect this place but did not deem it fit to speedily attend to it, like we are told it’s in phase two of the NEWMAP project but looking at the magnitude of the problem now, the three properties that poor civil servants used their sweat to build is threatened, people are still leaving in the other two houses, the one behind my house there is no road into the building, his road before used to be in front of my gate”, Dr. Ogban said.
Also affected at Latter Day Saint street is the fence of a house belonging to the Obong of Calabar, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu (5) as CrossRiverWatch was told by one Mr. Sunny George, a resident in the compound, adding that the fence was pulled down at about 5pm same day.
When CrossRiverWatch called the Director General of State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA Mr. Vincent Aqua on his mobile phone he said, “We have not gotten such report, you are just informing me now, the Emergency Response Center is not doing its job, we established it as a call center where people call and they in turn call the appropriate authority not as they do now that when called upon they will go and show their body. They have vehicles SEMA have just one. They are there to notify us only if the people call them. We don’t have facilities and more so we expect the municipal council to write officially constantly reminding the state government while we do the little we can, if we were informed because you are just telling me and SEMA doesn’t know that such flood occurred if not we would have gone there and if it demands relocation we know what to do not the victims bearing this burden alone. We will spring into action at once”.
Continuing, Mr. Aqua maintained that “The Ministry of Works and Environment ought to have surveillance vehicles to constantly check these areas; most of the flood that occurs in Cross River requires engineering response while SEMA is humanitarian”.
As at the time of filing this report, all effort to speak to the Commissioner of Works, Mr. Legor Idagbo were yet successful.
follow us on twitter @crossriverwatch
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.