Senate asks FG to solve problem of gully erosion in S-East

               Pictures like this dot many communities in the southeast

Sucour may have come the way of victims of gully erosion ravaging some parts of  South East States as the Senate yesterday asked the Federal Government to mandate the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, and Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, to as a matter of urgency, come to their rescue.

The Senate asked its Committee on Environment to quickly prevail on the Ministry of Works to construct a road that would reconnect all the affected areas and states, just as it has also called for the restoration of easy mobility of vehicles, citizens, goods and services through-out the affected areas and communities. 

The upper chamber also urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to quickly provide relief materials to the displaced citizens in affected communities of Uturu and Oguduasaa, Abia State as well as the other erosion affected communities of the five LGAs of Abia North (Arochukwu, Ohafia, Bende, Isuikwuato and Umunneochi) which are also in limbo. 

The Senate also urged the Nigerian Ecological Fund and the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP, to urgently collaborate to seek a permanent solution to the endemic gully erosion menace in States like Anambra, Isuikwuato, Uturu and Oguduasaa, all in Abia State  by way of funding and constructing a new route that links the communities with other areas and surrounding states. 

The resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, PDP, Abia North and titled, “The Menace of Gully Erosion in Several Communities of Abia North, Especially in Isuikwuato LGA Communities of Uturu and Oguduasaa.” 

In his presentation, Senator Ohuabunwa told his colleagues that some of the  communities have not only been cut off from the state, but have lost count of the number of houses and farm lands already washed away by  erosion. 

The Senator who noted that more houses may go unless urgent steps were taken to address the menace, said “the affected communities have been facing serious menace of gully erosion partly due to increased rainfall, that exacerbates flooding and which threatens the livelihood and entire existence of many communities. 

The senate in a ruling however asked the Ministry of Works and the Nigerian Ecological Fund to urgently fund the immediate construction of a new route that wil link the affected communities with other surrounding states. 

According to Senator Ohuabunwa,“The Senate is conscious of the need for the preservation, restoration and maintenance of the ecological environment of our local communities, for safe movements of citizens, easy transportation of goods, services, and for the entire peace, security and well-being of citizens, all of which require quick action to restore normalcy to such situations.” 

“Aware that the ecological environment of many communities in the 5 LGAs of Abia North ( Arochukwu, Ohafia, Bende, Isuikwuato and Umunneochi) have all been facing serious menace of gully erosion partly due to increased rainfall that exacerbate flooding, and which threaten the livelihood and entire existence of many communities; 

“Concerned that a recent massive gully erosion that affected Oguduasaa and Uturu communities of Isuikwuato – the major agricultural food baskets of Abia State, and the connecting routes to Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi States has completely separated contiguous communities of Oguduasaa and Uturu communities from reaching the Isuikwuato LGA and beyond. 

"Thus affecting the entire people of Isuikwuato LGA, and resulting to loss of lives, property, and especially hindering access to crucial farmlands and limiting the evacuation of food crops at important period of the harvesting season; 

“Persuaded that this erosion tragedy at this time, has the capacity of collapsing the entire rural agricultural economy of a thriving food basket areas of Isuikwuato and Abia North, especially the communities of Oguduasaa and Uturu, with the consequent loss of valuable agricultural products and property, and with the attendant results of food insecurity both locally and beyond the state; all of which require urgent intervention to arrest the situation before another heavy rainy season sets in.” 

In his remarks, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki commended Senator Ohuabunwa and other senators who spoke on the motion. 

Meanwhile, Senator Ohuabunwa is the chairman, Senate Committee on primary health and communicable diseases will be awarded honourary Doctorate Degree in political science by the famous Gregory University, Uturu in Abia state.    

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