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Mudslide: Church Worships In Fear



While residents in some areas of the FCT are already grappled with fear following a recent report by NASRDA identifying the FCT as one of the epicentres of major earthquake, erosion mudslide is already threatening other parts of the nation’s capital, writes EMAMEH GABRIEL

The report of erosion and mudslide occasioned by heavy rain fall in Nigeria has continued to raise concern and fear across the country. News reports characterised this year’s flood as one of the worst in more than 40 years in the country as some areas are already vulnerable to these disasters.

While across the country, the heavy rain fall has in the last few weeks led to the loss of hundreds of lives and property worth billions of naira with families in thousands already displaced, experts have warned that as the rains increase, there is the likely occurrence of disaster such as collapse buildings, mudslide/landslide and flooding with attendant negative impact if precautions are not taken by authorities to manage the situation.

The attention however has only been focused on residential area but unfortunately churches are not also spared as the Anglican Diocese of Gwagwalada, St Augustine Church, Zuba, has raised the alarm over erosion mudslide threatening not only to collapse its over half a billion naira structures but also sweep away its portion of the land in the area.     

While speaking with Leadership at its cooperate headquarters, Ven Olawuni, Vica/Archdeacon of the church called on the government and concerned Nigerians to save the church from imminent threat posed on its buildings by erosion and mudslide following the increase of rain fall in the last few years.

Also in a letter: Save Our Soul, earlier written and signed by Ven Olawuni Julius, the church noted that it has been grappling with the problem of gully erosion and mudslide for about fifteen years now and efforts to get the authorities to salvage the situation has not yielded the needed result.

The church said it has found itself in a precarious situation as a result of heavy erosion that flows from the slop of Madella (Niger State) and Zuba (FCT) into the gutter behind the church’s perimeter fence.

The letter noted that, the current rainy season has worsen the already bad situation, saying the church building, the vicarage and the multipurpose hall of the church are seriously under threat of imminent collapse as part of the perimeter fence has started collapsing, saying a huge sum of money is needed to control the erosion, construct retaining walls, standard drainage system and land reclamation.

In the letter, the church revealed that it has written several letters to government agencies such as the Federal Ministry of Environment and Environmental Protection Board but to no avail.

‘‘We found ourselves in this situation about a decade ago’’, said Ven. Olawuni while explaining how it all started.

‘‘It just started like a small gutter and because of the continues rain fall and the absent of proper drainage in that community, before you know it, the effect of the erosion started itching towards our fence and it has now gotten to a situation where it is now life threatening’’.

‘‘After several letters to appropriate authorities without proper response, we were left with no choice but come with an SOS letter to the media to help us reach out the authorities and concerned Nigerians to come to our aide before the situation gets out of hand, said Ven Olawuni who was speaking on behalf of the Bishop of Gwagwalada.

He noted that after pressure on the Ministry of Environment and Environmental Protection Board five years ago, they got a response from the ecological trust fund who gave them a trailer load of cement as a palliative measure, promising to come in full force to curb the encroachment of the flood.

While calling on Nigerians to come to their aide, he said the church is at the verge of losing an estimated half a billion naira if nothing is done about the situation, saying they now worship in fear as no one can predict what happens next if the rains persist as predicted by experts who continue to warn of the dangers to come.