THE people of Achina in Aguata local Government Area of Anambra State has called on the Federal and state government to come to their rescue as gully erosion threatens to cut them off.
In an interview with National Light reporter an indigene of the town, Anthony Ezenwaka, Npom (Nzedigbo), a retired Permanent Secretary in Anambra State and a community leader expressed his sadness concerning the issue.
He said: “The site is called Okparanwa Erosion site at Ukpaka Amanje in Umuleke Achina, along Achina-Umuchu Road. It started about fifteen years ago and continued to widen due to heavy downpour and steady flood to the site. The community tried to control it by digging catchment pits and dumping materials into the site like bags of sand and planting of trees especially bamboo tree. The effort did not yield the desired result due to the force of the flood water. As a result, the community has continued to appeal for external assistant from the State and Federal government to halt further diverstation and traith to life and property.”
He explained that the people of Achina took certain steps like consulting and interacting with neighbouring communities on the dangers of erosion and they agreed on digging catchment pits in strategic places and also directed every family to dig same pit in their compounds.
Meanwhile, he stated that their appeal yielded positive effort from the state government which awarded the contract for the control of erosion at the Okparanwa site.
He said: “ Happily in May 2014 the state government under the leadership of Chief Willie Obiano in demonstration of his concern for the welfare of the people performed his first tree planting and erosion control campaign in that Okparanwa erosion site.”
However, he explained that the erosion continued as-the contract earlier awarded was not properly executed. He stated: “Today as you can see in the pictures of the site it has expanded and even cut off the road linking Achina and Umuchu, as well as posing serious stress to lives and properties. The seriousness of the problem is that apart from the road leading to Akpo and Ekwulobia we have no other road in Achina.
The Achina – Onneh- Agudu- Ogboji road under construction more than five years now has become worse than ever before, now creating more erosion sites, particularly at Ezekoro Stream, Ugwunganga and St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Achina.
So the community has become an endangered species and as such we are appealing to the State and Federal Government as well as donor agencies to come to our rescue. We are happy that recently Governor Obiano sent an erosion control agency called NEWMAP to inspect the site and also brought some quantities of erosion control plants seedlings like cashew, avocado, palm tree etc, which the town has already planted. We are very grateful for his Excellencies prompt response, but much still need to be done and it is our belief that very soon he will come to our help.”