July 18, 2024

Akwa Ibom community sends SOS to Gov Eno over encroaching erosion

The Afaha Oku Village Council, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has appealed to Governor Umo Eno to urgently intervene on a fast encroaching erosion site which has so far submerged no fewer than 50 buildings in the area.

In a letter tagged ‘SOS: EROSION MENACE ALONG AKAN ETON STREET AND OTHER SOJOURNING STREETS IN AFAHA OKU VILLAGE, UYO’, signed by Afaha Oku Village Head, Eteidung Emmanuel M. Eka and Secretary, Supol Cosmos A. Ebong (Rtd), the community leaders said the erosion has submerged buildings, with many more houses about to collapse.

In the letter dated 6th June, 2024, addressed to the governor and made available to newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday, the village Council said the erosion, which was earlier reported by the community in 2019, had now become a very bad gully.

The village council and host community of the University of Uyo appealed to Governor Umo Eno to award contract to rehabilitate the affected roads for residents to return to their houses.

“We write to remind you of our earlier report to the State Government on the erosion menace affecting Afaha Oku Community in Uyo Local Government Area which has submerged some buildings and many buildings badly threatened to collapse.

“The worst affected areas are Akpan Eton Street, Nabor Street and their sojourning streets.
Akan Eton Street was motorable but today, it is condemned and turned into a very bad gully with some buildings submerged into it.

“Consequent upon the above, we had a survey of erosion site in Afaha Oku in 2019 and herewith attached is a copy of the documentary which was aired by Akwa Ibom Television and Radio, published by Pioneer and some local newspapers.

“It was the documentary that caused the then state government to approve remedial measures for the site otherwise, more houses would have been submerged and erosion worsened. Now that the rains are coming, if nothing is urgently done to control the erosion more houses are likely to go in and the gully worsened. Many Landlords have since abandoned their houses and flee the area.

“The village Council passionately appeals to Your Excellency to award contract to rehabilitate the affected roads for residents to return to their houses,” the letter stated.

One of the affected landlords, Mr Titus Jerome Udoh, a retiree had vacated his home said his house, located at No8 Akpan Eton Street, off Ekpene Ntan Street, became threatened by erosion when a construction company diverted flood water from Urua Ekpa and its environs into Akpan Eton.

He said, “I was forced out of my house as a result of approaching threat of erosion, which has turned Akpan Eton Street into a ravine and the entrance of my house was badly affected. Hence, I relocated and stayed with my dependent family members in a rented apartment.

“You can imagine what life has become for me and my dependent relatives in a rented apartment for almost five years now. So please I am appealing to His Excellency, Governor Umo Eno to please, do anything within his power to restore us to our home.”

Another landlord, Francis Valentine Akpan of Obong Efak, Nabor Street, said the people were entirely cut off and the situation had to be remedied by members of the community, but last weekend’s rain further advanced the gully to buildings.

He expressed concern that some of the buildings are caving in.

“We planted bamboo trees as part of our remedial approaches but now the bamboos are attracting snakes and other dangerous animals into our homes, we wake up to see dangerous snakes inside our homes, we need help to survive this rainy season,” he said.

Mr Andrew Udoukpo, an affected landlord in Atiamkpat Street said the gully erosion along Akpan Eton has continued to pose serious threat to buildings in Atiamkpat as the volume of water emptied into the street does not permit even pedestrians to use the road during the rainy season.

The affected families therefore appealed to Governor Umo Eno to assist them.

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