ANAMBRA State is one of the states with the highest cases of gully erosion in the world. In Nigeria, she tops the harsh ranking as she usually experiences heavy flooding during rainy seasons, with gully erosions that scare even the most brave. Bad roads occasioned by flood, among others worsen her environmental problems.
Floods have on many occasions, sacked a lot of people from their homes and comfort zones despite various efforts by government and non-governmental agencies to reduce it considerably
IT IS on record that Anambra has the highest number of active gully erosions and is among the states adversely affected by perennial flooding during rains. Efforts made by the state’s government over the years to tackle erosion gullies in different locations of the state not withstanding, the number of gullies continue to increase with the state having over 1000 active gully erosion sites presently.
IT IS well understood that rainy season comes with various environmental challenges and that it is not actually in human hands to regulate weather conditions. Yet, there are a lot of helpful practices human beings can engage in to keep the environment clean and reduce the impact of such challenges associated with rainy season on society and environment.
INASMUCH as no sane person needs to be told to clear drainage, stop dumping refuse in waterways and sewage ducts as well as keep his immediate environment clean, the state government, through the Ministry of Environment, Anambra State Waste Management Agency (ASWAMA) and the Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment, have provided veritable social and technical tools in form of sensitisation and public enlightenment to buttress the need for clean and healthy environment in the state.
As at 2015, the state employed over 150 road sweepers and gutter cleaners. Earlier this year, she signed a memorandum of understanding with a waste management organisation with the responsibility of removing used plastics and other waste materials within the state.
Apart from these, the government, through its agencies has embarked on clearing of debris and refuse dumps, creation of new dump sites, purchase of new public sanitation vehicles, among others and has ensured strict compliance to the monthly general environmental sanitation day which holds every last Saturday in a month. with the introduction of ‘Operation Dobe Anambra Ocha.’
MORE SO, the government in July, this year, demonstrated its commitment to ensuring good and healthy homes and streets by embarking on desilting exercise across urban and sub-urban centres in the state, which was flagged off at Eke Awka.
FACTORING IN the weatherman’s forecast predictions earlier in the year, that the state, among others, will witness heavy flooding this year, Anambra State has marked up her campaign of environmental sanity and sensitiveness; yet, some people still pay deaf ears and remained intransigent to the duties they owe themselves and the public’s health through the environment.
They continue to dump refuse and dungs anywhere that catches their fancy. They adamantly build on flood channels, not minding whether they expose their communities to environmental hazards. They refuse to obey the weatherman and ignore government’s call.
Now that most communities on the fault lines are flooded, with roads getting worse almost immediately after every repair, even as erosion gullies are increasing, same people have relapsed into blaming the government and making Save Our Souls (SOS) calls, forgetting that it was their indiscretion that boomeranged through massive flooding.
WHILE National Light appreciates the state government for its commitment to ensuring clean and healthy Anambra, particularly for the recent establishment of Anambra State Drainage and Forest Preservation Agency, we want to remind ndi Anambra that the fight against flooding and erosion is not, and can never be for governments alone.
THE society should provide adequate support to the governor by engaging seriously in the desilting and cleaning of dirty gutters, ensuring clean environment and providing alternative ways for rain water.
WATER collation points should be dug to reduce water flows while ridges must be constructed around yam mounds to trap water in farms. All compounds should have shallow wells to collate run off water from roof tops and grounds, with collated waters allowed to filtrate into ground water.
CITIZENS should note that just as they have their rights of passage, water and flood deserve their own right of passage to ensure a safe environment. Else, water will force its way through
WE EQUALLY recommend strict monitoring to ensure compliance, including punishment of incorrigible households by regulatory authorities.
LAST Saturday’s monitoring exercise embarked by the Managing Director, Anambra State Drainage and Forest Preservation Agency, Chido Obidiegwu and his team at Nkpor, Idemili North LGA and other areas is a welcome development that must be sustained.