By Jonathan Ugbal
Floods to anybody resident in Calabar, the Cross River State capital have become a recurring decimal over the years as ravines and gully erosions have sacked communities with attendant loss of lives and properties running into several hundreds of millions if not billions of Naira.
The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) in a report published in a national daily claimed erosion control in the state had gulped 4billion Naira in addressing five gully erosion sites which left some wondering if there was hope for other gully erosion sites numbering in their tens.
CrossRiverWatch visited several communities within the Calabar metropolis sacked by floods and gathered to access the extent of damage and get reactions from affected person. According to Alhaji Sani Gombe, a resident of Nassarawa Bacoco community one of the affected communities, begins with “the construction of new roads by the government which the contractors do shabbily particularly the culverts and drainages which causes running water to accumulate in such quantity and become disastrous”.
Erosion sites visited include Military way in Nkebre Layout, Ikot Nkebre, Ikot Effanga, System Metal Road in Ekorinim, Behind MYY hotel, Nyak Assang as well as Nassarawa Bacoco community in Calabar Municipal local government area and Ekeya street in Calabar South local government area.
Residents of these communities have continuously cried out to the government for help and with none in sight, some have made one of two decisions; park out or stay back to face the music hoping reclamation works can be carried out soon.
In Nassarawa Bacoco and Ekeya streets CrossRiverWatch gathered that residents combat the menace by planting bamboos and dumping refuse at the edge of the gullies respectively.
CrossRiverWatch discovered residents now live in fear as no one knows when the worst may happen with some even resigning themselves to fate. Some who spoke to our reporter that fear the sluggish bureaucratic process and the pace of the erosion are incomparable and by the time contracts are awarded, the destruction will surpass what will be saved.
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