Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
The people of Oregbeni community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State have cried out to the state government over the devastating effects of gully erosion ravaging their environment.
The community have also appealed to the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to come to their aid, saying the aftermath of the gully erosion in the area has destroyed a two kilometre street.
The appeal for help to reclaim and restructure the street was made yesterday by the Secretary of the landlord association of the area, Mr. Bello Imasuen, who spoke on the erosion challenge, saying several houses as well as lives have been lost to the effect of the gully erosion that began in the 1990s.
He said not even the self-help initiative of the residents of the street, through palliative measure to mitigate the destructive effect of the erosion, has in anyway reduced the destructive effect caused by the gully.
The septuagenarian stressed that unless the government comes to their rescue, more damage would be recorded by the residents of the area.
According to him, “I have lived here for over 25 years and I am afraid that the houses some of us have suffered to build may be lost to the menace of gully erosion.
“As you can see, some houses are already gone and last July, a boy of 12 was washed away by the erosion.
“This problem did not just start today, but in the 1990s and we have written series of letters to successive governments in the state, including the present governor.
“I daresay that Obaseki responded positively to the one written to him by not only sending a team of experts to carry out an assessment of the problem, but also work out the cost implication.”
Imasuen, who stated that the residents of the street have resorted to taking longer route to access their houses because of the erosion menace, added that nothing has been heard from the state government since the exercise was carried out.
Also, calls and messages sent to the state Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Ms Omua Oni-Okpaku, to respond to the issue were not answered as at press time.