Gully erosion in several communities in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State has caused a serious commotion in the areas. The erosion swallowed a two-story building and a four-bedroom bungalow after torrential rain that lasted for over 16 hours.
The two-story building belonged to an indigene living outside the country, while the other belonged to another indigene residing in the state.
The affected communities are Amaewu, Umueze, Amamba, and Uzuakoli. It was gathered that the rainfall lasted from Friday 4 pm to Saturday 7 am.
As a result, therefore, the people of the area now live in fear over the gully erosion site which has defied all solutions even after several millions of Naira have been spent on tackling it.
The lawmaker disclosed that the community has consistently made efforts to change the course of the gully site but to no avail, which also lead to the collapse of another four-bedroom bungalow.
He said, “I have reached out to the NEWMAP who came and gave their expert advice, a step that has been followed but the gully persists”.
While stating that more buildings in the community are under threat, Hon. Ndubuisi hinted that the community has commenced fresh palliative work following advice by the NEWMAP team to mitigate the flood impact. The NEWMAP advice he said is for them to “do drainage down to the river so that more buildings will not be threatened, but I don’t know if the money available to the community now can do that.
“What we want to do now is to use sandbags to slow down the speed of the flood so that the devastation will reduce, which the engineers told us will reduce the devastation”.
Hon. Ndubuisi disclosed that the member representing Bende Federal Constituency, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, and the Senator representing Abia North, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, are aware of the challenges of the people, adding “only the state government has intervened through NEWMAP”.
He also noted that efforts are ongoing to get other agencies of government for their intervention.
However, when contacted, the senator representing Abia North, Orji Uzor Kalu, said that though their job at the red chamber is purely legislative, he will send people to go and look at the site to enable him to see how he can talk to federal authorities to come to the aide of the community.
The senator advised that such issues rest with the state government while receiving monthly ecological funds.
Meanwhile, the member representing Bende Federal Constituency, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, said, “I have been there before to inspect the site. I have already presented the matter to the Ecological Fund Office for consideration.”