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GULLY EROSION IN OWERRI: ALADINMA RESIDENTS CRY OUT FOR HELP

By NBF News
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The residents of Aladinma Northern Extension Layout (ANEL) are now living in apprehension, praying that the rains should not come again. The residents of this compact new layout lying between Okwu Uratta road to the North and Owerri Club to the South are afraid as they watch erosion eat deep close to their houses.

The residents had in the past made concerted efforts to save their homes from the rampaging erosion, but to no avail.

As the Governor Ikedi Ohakim government begins massive construction of roads in Imo, the residents have appealed to the governor to come to their rescue before the rains set in again as they will not be able to bear the impending devastation.

Thus the Chairman of ANEL Neighbourhood Association, Chief Zebulon Aliche and ANEL Secretary, Dr Sylvanus Ikerionwu who narrated the plight of the residents of the estate to Daily Sun believe that Governor Ohakim is unaware of their plight, saying that was the reason they decided to draw his attention to it.

They also told the story of their layout, saying that most of them have fled the neighbourhood owing to the erosion menace, leaving the estate now for mainly students. Excerpts:

Our layout
The Aladinma Northern Extension Layout (ANEL) is a compact new layout lying between Okwu Uratta road to the North and Owerri Club to the South.

This layout has only one major road leading from Okwu Uratta road through several plots and terminating as a close near the road running behind Imo State University and Owerri Club.

The problem
This only road could sensibly have been drained into major gutters draining the Owerri Club road, but unfortunately, the planners of this layout did not envisage the necessity to lead this only road to the major road and drainage gutter in front of Owerri Club.

Our plight
In the last three or four years, the inhabitants of this layout have witnessed serious flooding along this only road which has led to serious gully erosion on this road to the extent that some of the houses in the layout have been cut off from the road and can only be reached by foot or Okada. The gully erosion is extending rapidly, and may involve many of the buildings in the area. Already, some of the walls close to the end of this road had collapsed under the pressure of the floods causing distress to the occupants of the plots. These walls had to be rebuilt to maintain some security within the said plots.

Efforts made to check the menace
Many efforts have been made by individuals and collectively to control the flooding and retard the growth of the gully on the road. Tipper loads of sand had been deposited in places, sand bags have been used in many areas, and elephant grasses have been planted on the road to slow down the flood and check the gully with no effect. More serious attention is required to avert impending disaster on the road, as the gully graduates to ravines and the destruction of the modern buildings in this layout become real. There may be a short breathing space this dry season before this impending disaster descends on us.

The inhabitants of this layout in 2007 formed ANEL Neighbourhood Association to try and combat this menace. They have brought this issue to the attention of the authorities in Owerri Capital Development Authority who gave the impression that something may be done to improve the road and the drainage.

The Ministry of Works had been approached and on one of the occasions we were asked to deposit money to fuel a bulldozer which will grade the road and fashion drainage to the road. Some money was deposited and yet nothing was done.

Our appeal
The residents of this layout will be most grateful if the government can step into this road problem and save our homes from destruction. We believe that the government which is now carrying out roads rehabilitation and construction will remember us and save us from impending disaster that might struck in the coming rainy season.