BY RICHARD NDOMA |
About 200 residential houses in six communities of Cross River State have been washed into the ravines by flood water from gully erosion in the last five years.
Clan head of Akai Efa community who spoke on behalf of the affected communities, Her Highness, Henrietta Efa Akpera, disclosed this while addressing journalists on the issue at Akai Efa gully erosion site in Calabar Municipality LGA of Cross River State at the weekend.
The traditional ruler, who expressed displeasure over the havoc wrecked by gully erosion in the six communities of Akai Efa, Ikot Enebong, Enima Omin, Good Luck Jonathan Bypass, Ekeya in Calabar Municipality LGA and Agiga Community, Ogoja LGA of Cross River State, called on the World Bank not to turn its back against the affected communities.
“In some cases the entire community is about to be ravaged by the gully erosion, while our children can no longer go to school during rainy season due to heavy flow of storm water.
“Our women too who are predominantly farmers, depending solely on their vegetable farms have also been deprived of their only source of livelihood and are now faced with abject poverty,” Akpera lamented.
The monarch urged president of World Bank to direct the Nigeria country officer to rescind the decision to halt the proposed gully erosion works in the six communities affected by gully erosion.
“We strongly believe that the decision of the World Bank to request Cross River State Nigeria Watershed Management Project to return monies meant for our erosion projects to enable the bank redeploy same to other states of the federation was not taken in good faith,” he said.
The clan head maintained that, such decision is a product of external influence, that is not transparent and does not mean well for affected communities and Cross River as a whole.
The gully erosion affected communities called on the World Bank to come to their aide as they had always done in several places rather than turn its back against them especially now that they are in dire need of help to fight the erosion menace.
Also speaking on the issue, a 58-year old Eno Ekapong who owns one of the buildings that is at the verge of being swallowed by the gully erosion, called for quick intervention by the World Bank.