Erosion threatens Abaji
Gully erosion has been recognized as one of the major global environmental problems. Many states in Nigeria are currently under the threat of this phenomenon, especially in the south-eastern part of the country and Edo State. Abaji, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is also been degraded by erosion.
For residents of Ayaura community in Abaji Area Council, gully erosion has been threatening their houses for over 14 years, but they lamented that government has not given attention to the problem ever.
A former vice chairman of Abaji Area Council, Alhaji Usman Idris Mawogi, who resides in the area, took Aso Chronicle to the erosion site and expressed concern over the threat the erosion has posed to his house and other persons’ houses in the area for years.
He said some houses have already collapsed while some are on the verge of collapsing, and explained that the erosion also could be a trap for children who normally go there to dump refuse, saying children had on different occasions fallen into the gully resulting in dislocation and fracture.
According to him, every rainy season residents of the area become worried as they fear for the survival of their houses, even as he said some residents who lost their houses to the erosion are still battling to secure land to build new ones due to economic hardship in the country.
“And as you can see, all the people that reside in this area always come to dump refuse here. Children also excrete there and whenever it rains, the water will push all the dirt down to the stream from where those residing close to the stream fetch water to drink which in turn affects their health,” he said.
He noted that about seven years ago, an attempt was made by the FCT Administration to control the erosion. He said the Administration visited the area and later came with their equipment to carry out some construction at the site, but the work was later washed away by heavy flood that year and since then nothing has happened there.
He said some residents always fill sand in used bags of cement and block some areas, especially whenever it was raining, in order to stop the erosion from affect their houses, emphasizing that the erosion control is beyond the capability of the area council.
“But, as you can see, everybody is fed up. Filling it (gully) with sandbags is not so effective and people are giving up because the level of devastation of the erosion is increasing on daily basis,” he said.
Mawogi, therefore, appealed to the incoming FCT Administration to come to the aid of residents of the community and tackle the erosion, which has been threatening the lives of people in the area before the start of rainy season in 2016.
He said the community is so worried that its elders, about two months ago, mobilized themselves and met with the council chairman, Yahaya Garba Gawu, and lodged a complaint to him over the gully erosion threatening residents of the area.
A gully erosion at Unguwar Ayaura community in Abaji town of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Photo Abubakar Sadiq Isah