Ero­sion threat­ens Abaji

Daily Trust - - ASO CHRONICLE - By Abubakar Sadiq Isah

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

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