Ebenator Community Seeks Govt's Intervention As Erosion Gully Tearsup Inter-state Road

By Izunna Okafor
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The people of Ebenator Community in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State have called for government's urgent intervention, as erosion ate up a huge portion of an inter-state road in the community.

Recall that a video recently started trending on the social media, showing where a portion of the road, which links Anambra State and Imo State through Amichi—Osumenyi—Ebenator—Ezinifite—Amaruru/Lilu, has been dangerously eaten by erosion, following a heavy downpour that badgered over the weekend.

The affected portion of the road is located off Ebenator Junction (also know as the Amannalu Junction) and very close to Professor Sam Uzochukwu's Residence. The portion of the road was said to have have been long threatened by the Ebenator Erosion Gully (popularly known as Ibo Ebenator), which is unarguably the deepest and most dangerous erosion gully in Anambra State and the south east at large.

It was gathered that the affected portion of the road is also the ‘head’ of the Ebenator Erosion Gully and major gateway or channel through which floods from other neighbouring communities, such as Osumenyi, Amichi and others, flow into the Ofara River through Ibo Ebenator.

The gully was also said to have carved in and destroyed many houses, economic trees and crops in the community, wasted many lives, and also recently started escalating the Ebenator Central School, without government's intervention.

Speaking with newsmen, the President-General of the Community, Dr. Anthony Okechukwu described the erosion menace in the community as a very terrible one, which has troubled the community for decades.

He highlighted some of the self-help efforts of the community leadership to ameliorate the situation, which only proved to be a minor and insignificant scratch on it, owing to its huge size.

He further enumerated some of the steps his administration had taken to draw government's attention to the situation earlier before now, including writing letters to the then Governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano and the then Commissioner for Works, Engr. Marcel Ifejiofor, which never received any response nor yielded the expected result, till the expiration of that administration.

He noted that the recent escalation of the erosion to the road has not only exposed the residents to a very huge risk, but has also made it impossible for two cars to pass through that section of the road at the same time; and even made it very risky for one car to successfully pass through the section without slowing down and being very meticulous.

The PG also speculated that underneath of the road may have possibly been eaten up by the erosion; and advised the residents and other road users to be very careful on how they ply or use the road for now, pending when the situation is salvaged.

He regretted that the would-have-been alternative route to the erosion-threatened federal road, which is the major access road to the community (through Ebenator to Ukpor) Junction, is in a very deplorable state now, in which it has also been for decades, without government's intervention.

“If that road is good noy, it would have been the best and shortest alternative for now, pending when government fixes this one,” he said.

While assuring that the community and its leadership would not relent in making concerted efforts to attract government attention and intervention to the area; Dr. Okechukwu also promised to step-up the move; even as he reiterated his call on government at all levels to urgently to come to the community's rescue, to avert any impending doom or further aggravation of the situation.

He also urgently called on the state's Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Felix Odimegwu, who coincidentally hails from Ezinifite, a neighbouring community also connected by the threatened road, to urgently wade into the situation and the menace of erosion gully ravaging the community.

“This situation has gone beyond community self-help efforts. We urgently need state and federal governments' intervention,” Dr. Okechukwu added.

Efforts to the the reaction of the state's Environment Commissioner, Engr. Felix Odimegwu on the situation, were unsuccessful, as his phone number was not connecting, as at the time of this publication.