Metro & Crime

Enugu community struggle against erosion, flood

Flood has destroyed houses, farmlands, electrical installations, hospitals and schools at the Obinofia community in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The people of Obinofia Ndiuno have reportedly been suffering in silence in the past five years due to gully erosion.
The erosion-induced flood has continually cut of some members of the community from their ancestral home land.
The erosion, it was gathered, was caused by the diversion of floods from neighbouring communities of Nachi, Umumba, Obeleagu and Amokwe, which had wreaked unimaginable havoc on Obinofia Ndiuno community.
Economic and social activities of once-bubbling community have been crippled because of the erosion, as residents of the area no longer move freely to avoid being swept away by floods whenever it rains, according to indigenes.
Narrating her ordeal, an 80-year-old indigene of Okposi Obinofia Ndiuno, Mrs. Victoria Ozoilo, said the flood had made life miserable for her and the community as they lived in great fear and uncertainty, especially during rainy season.
She noted that the rain, which ought to be a blessing, had become a source of sorrow to them.
Ozoilo, who wept uncontrollably, expressed regret that aside submerging their houses, the flood also destroyed their farm produce, making them not to harvest even a tuber of yam from their farms during harvest season.
Aside from many residential buildings, schools and electrical installations which have collapsed into the gully; the owners of the houses had to run to a neighbouring community for safety.
The road leading from Nkwo Ezeagu junction to the community, which is still under construction by CGC Company, is no longer motorable as a greater part of it has been cut off entirely. The flood has taken almost all the top soil with deep gullies measuring up to 20 feet on the road, which has been abandoned for more than eight years.
Another resident, Mr. Joseph Uzoma Ozoilo, said all the property and equipment he came back with had been destroyed by the rampaging flood.
A motorcycle rider in the community, Mr. Toochukwu Obi, said the bad road had negatively affected his business as fellow commercial motorcycle riders did not operate once it started raining.
Obi explained that a journey that cost passengers N200 or N300 previously now cost over N1,000.
A pregnant woman, Mrs. Nnenna Udegbunam, also observed that the bad road caused by gully erosion had made it difficult for her to attend anta-natal, saying she no longer sent her children on an errand.
The President General of Obinofia Ndiuno Town Union, Ogbuefi Livinus Umeh, lamented that the construction company handling the road failed to complete the road in the last seven years, thereby making it easy for the flood to damage the road more.

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