By Nnamdi Ojiego
Member representing Nnewi North constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Nonso Okafor, has applauded the State Governor, Willie Obiano, for his timely intervention to control the gully erosion ravaging the 100-Foot Road leading to Nkwo Nnewi market.
The 100-Foot Road was one of the major entrances to Nkwo Nnewi, a market that have an estimated annual turnover of $1billion. The erosion which started way-back in the 1970s but got worst last year, has swallowed large portion of the road, residential and commercial buildings around the area.
Okafor who spoke during the inspection of the ongoing project by Governor Obiano thanked the state government for engaging the services of reputable construction company, Infrastructure Development Company, IDC, for the reclamation of the erosion site.
He recalled that one of his first motions as a lawmaker was to raise alarm on the erosion which was posing serious threats to Nkwo Nnewi Market.
“With the involvement of other stakeholders, we reached out to His Excellency, in our different capacities calling for his timely intervention to save our town from the devastating effect of the erosion. The Governor being proactive, despite the pressure on the state budget, awarded the contract for the control and reclamation of the erosion area,” Hon. Okafor recalled.
He expressed optimism that the ongoing construction works which is estimated to cost over N4 billion would bring lasting solutions to the problems of erosion menace in the area.
While calling for the creation of institutions, as well as strict implementation of policies that would guarantee a sustainable environment, he stressed the need for community participation in the management and protection of the environment from erosions.
“Erosion does not just develop overnight, there are processes leading to them and this can be averted at the community level. Although some gullies are caused by natural cracks in the earth and nature of our soil, most gully erosions in Anambra State are unnatural and can be averted.
“Most of the causes of erosions are traceable to bad management practices such as roads without proper drainage or catchments pits, blocking of drainage channels with refuse, deforestation, unsustainable farming and mining of sand, amongst others”, the lawmaker noted.