I lost everything in A’Ibom flood– Victim
| credits: Etim Ekpimah
Owner of the building that collapsed following Sunday’s downpour in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Emmanuel Edem, said he lost everything, including the house he built 16 years ago.
Edem, a carpenter, whose house collapsed into the ravine, blamed the flood on gully erosion that went unchecked.
Edem, said when he moved to the area, there was no gully, adding that what later developed to become a gully occurred less than two years ago.
He explained that the little crack on the ground, which they tried to check using sandbags, later grew to become the ravine.
Edem said, “My brother, what I lost to the gully is, to be sincere,not less than N8m. The whole house and everything in it are gone. I need help.”
Edem said he and his family were away to Ikot Mbon to bury his mother, when the flood water caused the house to collapse into the ravine on Sunday morning.
Edem’s wife, Imaobong, a seamstress and trader in clothing materials, said her work tools and her goods including the primary school certificates of her five children had all beenl swept away.
The village head of Iquita, Chief Etim Obiosio, said the communities had written many letters to both the state and federal governments to come to their aid.
He stated that Oron Road, which belonged to the Federal Government, was not safe as the ravine had eaten up large part of the road.
He said, “There was a time members of the state House of Assembly came to see the ugly site by themselves and they did promise that something would be done. As it is now, nothing has been done. Some buildings here had been eaten up by the gully.
“Now, Oron Road has become a danger zone. Anytime from now, the road will be cut off as the ravine has already eaten up large portion of the road.”
A tenant in the house, Mr. Etim Akpan, said he had nowhere to go. He stated that he had only lived for four months out of the two years rent he paid.
Similarly, a widow, Mrs. Iquo Umo, said, “I came here five months ago, now we can’t sleep at night because of fear of gully overtaking our house. I don’t have anywhere to go. I am a widow. I am pleading with the government to come to our aid.”
The Commissioner for Environtment, Mr. Enobong Uwah, said the state had alerted the Federal Government and had sought help to tackle the erosion menace, adding that there had been no response.
He said, “We have appealed to the Federal Government to come to our aid as many parts of the state are being threatened by gully.
“The governor, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, has tried to do some, but the state’s resources cannot permit him to tackle all the problems.
“First thing tomorrow morning, I shall visit the site. I had spoken with the local government chairman of Oron about the place. We are going there tomorrow.”