Residents of Okpuno Nsude in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State last week called for urgent help from relevant authorities to checkmate the erosion menace currently ravaging the area. Some of them spoke in an interview at a forum which they held to mark the end of 2019 and their expectations in 2020.
Investigations show that the agrarian village has been cut into two by the erosion, and all efforts to curtail it by the villagers who plant trees, dig holes, build barriers and adopt various measures to fight the scourge on a yearly basis are gradually being outwitted by the natural disaster.
Mr Titus Ozoani, from Okpuno Nsude, said, “We live in fear every day. Through communal efforts, we planted bamboo trees to ameliorate the situation. Although it curbs the excesses, a lot need to be done. There was a time the authorities of the World Bank came to supervise it. Ever since then, we have remained expectant. They are yet to return again. This erosion has killed our farming activities. The effect is devastating.”
For Ogbuzuru Oliver Eze, chairman of Okpuno village, “We are the most affected erosion zone at Nsude. The whole waters pass through our village. Our efforts have been at the community efforts. We have also contacted relevant bodies for assistance. We contacted the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP, which informed us that they were not coming to solve the problem too soon; that we should seek other interventions.
We also contacted Enugu State Erosion Control authorities. It is pathetic because presently we are overwhelmed even when we have not got to the peak of the rains. By the time the rains properly start, our road networks would not be motorable. I know our able governor. He has promised us that we would not regret at all. That is at the state level. At the federal level, President Muhammadu Buhari is an upright person. He is the president of our country. We seek his help because this is getting out of hand.”
Engr Nickson Eze, secretary of Okpuno village, said, “I advise everybody to join hands in controlling this erosion, and we should not do anything that will escalate it. We should contribute funds and labour in this fight. We are optimistic that the relevant authorities will come to our aid very soon.”