At least two buildings were swallowed after a gully erosion that tore through several communities in the Bende Local Government Area of Abia State.
Caused by a 16-hour torrential rain, The PUNCH reported that the erosion affected a two-story building and a four-bedroom bungalow.
Reports revealed that the two-storey building belonged to a native of the community living abroad while the other building is owned by a member who is currently residing in the community.
It was also gathered that the communities affected by the erosion are Amaewu, Umueze, Amamba, and Uzuakoli.
It was gathered that the rainfall lasted from Friday 4pm to Saturday 7am.
As a result, therefore, the people of the area now live in fear over the gully erosion site which has defied all solutions even after several millions of Naira has been spent in tackling it.
According to the member representing Bende South constituency in Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Emmanuel Chinedu Ndubuisi, the erosion site has resisted frantic efforts to bring it under control.
The lawmaker disclosed that the community has consistently made efforts to change the course of the gully site but to no avail, which also lead to the collapse of another four-bedroom bungalow.
He said, “I have reached out to the NEWMAP who came and gave their expert advice, a step that has been followed but the gully still persists”.
While stating that more buildings in the community are under threat, Hon. Ndubuisi hinted that the community has commenced a fresh palliative work following an advice by the NEWMAP team to mitigate the flood impact.
The NEWMAP advice he said is for them to “do a drainage down to the river so that more buildings will not be threatened, but I don’t know if the money available to the community now can do that.
“What we want to do now is to use sand bags to slow down the speed of the flood so that the devastation will reduce, which the engineers told us will reduce the devastation”.
Hon. Ndubuisi disclosed that the member representing Bende Federal Constituency, Rep. Benjamin Kalu and the Senator representing Abia North, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, are aware of the challenges of the people, adding “only the state government has intervened through NEWMAP”.
He also stated that efforts are ongoing to get other agencies of government for their intervention.
However when contacted, the senator representing Abia North, Orji Uzor Kalu, said that though their job at the red chamber is purely legislative, that he will send people to go and look at the site to enable him see how he can talk to federal authorities to come to the aide of the community.
The senator advised that such issues rests with the state government who receives monthly ecological funds.
Meanwhile, the member representing Bende Federal Constituency, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, said, “I have been there before to inspect the site. I have already presented the matter to the Ecological Fund Office for consideration.”