Imo Erosion: Senate urges inter-agency intervention to safeguard residents

Sharon EboesomiJuly 6, 20233 min

Sponsor of the motion said the gullies and floodwaters, which have become treacherous, have led to the loss of human lives, properties worth over N4 billion.

 

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The Senate has urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to urgently implement a community resettlement plan, where necessary, to relocate residents from high-risk areas, providing them with adequate housing, livelihood support, and necessary amenities.

Concerned about the effect of persistent erosion in parts of Imo State, the Senate on Wednesday called on the Ecological Fund Office, EFO and the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to jointly and urgently engage relevant experts, including geologists, hydrologists, and environmental engineers, to conduct the assessment and Implement measures such as slope stabilization, gabion installations, terracing, re-vegetation, and construction of retaining walls to prevent further losses and minimize the risks to nearby infrastructure, communities, LGAs and states.

It further urged NEMA and EFO to establish community-based initiatives to enhance resilience, such as emergency response teams, evacuation plans, and the formation of local task forces focused on disaster management; outlining the achieved milestones, challenges encountered, and plans for future actions every four (4) weeks.

 

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These resolutions follow the adoption of a motion sponsored by Senator Osita Izunaso (APC, Imo West) on the “Urgent Need to Carry-Out Remedial Work on Obodoukwu, Urualla, Akokwa, Umumaisiaku, Umuchima and Umueshi Gully Erosion Sites in Ideato North and Ideato South LGAs, Imo State.

Presenting the motion, Senate Izunaso noted that “the total collapse of the Obodoukwu, Urualla, Akokwa, Umumaisiaku, Umuchima and Umueshi Gully Erosion sites in Ideato North and Ideato South Local Government Areas of Imo State; and that the gullies and floodwaters have become treacherous which recently led to the loss of human lives, properties worth over four billion naira (N4b), and inflicted severe injuries.

“Notes the economic impact of the continuous loss of lives, businesses and properties of individuals, NGOs and the government as flood is burying them under debris day after day.

“Observes that the total number of affected communities are twelve (12) and that the two LGAs share border with Anambra, Enugu and Abia states.”

 

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The lawmaker worried that the gullies and floodwaters are now beyond the Imo state government. Hence, the need for federal government’s presence and urgency to undertake immediate remedial work (to mitigate the risks and prevent further loss of lives, properties, and environmental degradation) in the affected areas; and

He added that by taking immediate action and working together, lives will be protected, communities will be preserved, and a safer and more resilient future will be assured.

Sharon Eboesomi

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