By Ushang Ewa
A huge ravine caused by erosion is threatening residents in Parliamentary and Akai Effa axis of Calabar with a resident decrying the rapid pace of expansion of the ravine and the danger it poses.
In a post titled “OUR RAVINE IS MOVING TO THE PERMANENT SITE” on Facebook, UD Ofem, a resident of the area said “somebody, anybody, Ayade Media Team should tag this photos to HE (His Excellency), you were not just made a media team to attack those who criticize the governor and his administration, but also to bring to his notice, issues of utmost attention.
“This is a ravine that cuts off Parliamentary and Akai Effa behind God’s Heritage centre. This particular tarred road you are viewing is the road opposite women development centre, Parliamentary junction, where the former Speaker Larry Odey lives, a certain lady called Ikwo Minimah, Hon. Obeten Okorn (the few I know around there) have houses on this road called Etim Edet crescent.
“The untarred road off the crescent is the entrance leading to my abode from where I go in and out in pursuit of my daily bread. Now I will be forced to take a leave of absence from my job till whenever, if the crack finally caves in and movement is impeded; except governor Ayade in his benevolence will decide to give up his chopper to be airlifting me to my place of work.
“Seriously, I use this medium to draw attention of government to this area, it has now become an SOS call before other houses will cave in. With this morning rains, I wonder what will become of the crack upon my return from work. I will keep you posted. Meanwhile, say a prayer, request a mass, do intercessory prayers for me that I and my kids do not become Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s).
The post was uploaded on November 5, 2015 with a concerned citizen forwarding it to CrossRiverWatch which prompted a fact finding mission.
Two visits by CrossRiverWatch to Akai Effa and Parliamentary revealed a massive ravine beginning just after the termination of a culvert at Parliamentary which has already divided the people living along MCC road up till its intersection with the Bypass from those closer to Parliamentary road.
A recurring theme through the ravine was the immediate termination of drainages channelling water which according to residents slowly began creating the ravine due to incessant rainfalls.
The building that was photographed by Ofem could not be found prompting speculations from respondents that it may have been washed away.
They said driving during the rainy season scares them with some filling up some sections of their streets at the eve of the rainy season to make them motorable. Some of the residents who spoke called on government to urgently intervene in their plight to avert a major disaster in the area.
Some houses were no longer accessible by cars and motorcycles as the axis of the road leading to their gates have been badly damaged by erosion.
As at the time of filing this report, CrossRiverWatch was yet to locate UD Ofem to assist our reporter in spotting the other houses in danger while efforts to speak with the Environment Commissioner were unsuccessful as he did not pick several calls from our correspondent.
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