I received recently the Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Dr. Willie M. Obiano (Akpokodike) who inspected the ongoing 100-Foot Road Nnewi Erosion Control Project.
100-Foot Road Nnewi was one of the major entrance to Nkwo Nnewi, a market that has an estimated annual turnover of $1billion, before it was seriously affected by erosion which swallowed the road, residential and commercial buildings.
While it may be a surprise to many, the erosion started way-back in the 1970s and only got worsened last year.
The visit of His Excellency, which was primarily to ascertain the pace of work, afforded me the opportunity to express my appreciation to the Governor for acting promptly by engaging the services of an International Reputable Construction Company, Infrastructure Development Company (IDC), for the reclamation of 100-Foot Road Nnewi Erosion Site.
It would be recalled that one of the first motion I moved after I was sworn in as the Lawmaker representing Nnewi North in Anambra State House of Assembly, was the motion in which I raised alarm on the erosion which has cut-off 100-Foot Road and is posing a serious threat to Nkwo Nnewi Market.
With the involvement of other stakeholders, we reached out to His Excellency, in our different capacities calling for his timely intervention to save our town from the devastating effect of the erosion.
The Governor being proactive, despite the pressure on the state budget, awarded the contract for the control and reclamation of the erosion.
The ongoing construction works on the Storm Water Diversion Deep Channel on the Fifty (50) Feet Deep 100-Foot Road Gully Erosion, Uruagu Nnewi, will bring lasting solutions to the problems of erosion menace in the area.
The project which will cost N4bn has succeeded in almost reclaiming the gully through the importation of laterite and compaction with careful channelization of the stormwater in a number of drains.
While we commend our Governor for this great effort, it is time for us to open discussion on the need for community participation in the management and protection of the environment from erosion.
Erosion does not just develop overnight, there are processes leading to them and this can be averted at the community level.
Although some gullies are caused by natural cracks in the earth and nature of our soil, most gully erosions in Anambra State are unnatural and can be averted. Most of the causes of erosions are traceable to bad management practices such as roads without proper drainage or catchments pits, blocking drainage channels with refuse, deforestation, unsustainable farming and mining of sand.
It is time for us to create institutions and implement policies that will guarantee a sustainable environment.
Hon. Nonso Smart Okafor,
Nnewi North Constituency,
Anambra State House of Assembly.