A CLARION CALL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA

 

Capturess

Environmental Degradation as an Economic Albatross with National Security?Implications

A CLARION CALL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA

ENUGU STATE COMPONENT

Research Team led, and report written by Matthew Abah

When the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the first Earth Summit, took place in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in June 1992, Development Analysts and historians, for obvious reasons, never gave the event any special positions in their working diaries. The Environment, as an issue, was not bound to attract any eye-brow-raising attendance nor attendants.

This was for the simple reason of the fact that the world?s economic supper-powers were not ready to engage in any conscientious dialogue on the issue. The signs were all over the place. But what the 1st Earth Summit did not lack was the feverish expectations that the collision between third-world countries and developed nations was going to bring into effect at the diplomatic fronts.

At the end of the Summit, almost all watchers of the near-treacheries that had marked the history of international relations when it had anything to do with the economies and living standards of the various peoples of the various economic blocs of the world were caught wondering whether they should utter an applause or a sigh of desperation. Third world leaders and their representatives felt a great sense of betrayal at the traditional insincerity of the industrialized nations on the issue of the Green House Gas Emission. President Bush had put his foot on the table and made a U-turn on America?s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.

But impoverished nations also came away with a sense of victory as the Summit gave birth to the all-important United Nations Agenda 21, which is an all-bounding international commitment to make Sustainable Development plans an integral part of all development policy plans at the Local, National and International levels, which realization must engage the attentions of those levels of governments, the Private Sector, all Major Economic Groups and Nongovernmental Organizations world-wide.

A major section of Agenda 21, which Nigeria is a signatory to, alongside more than 155 other countries, is the one that requires all professional groups, especially the Mass Media, the various levels of government and nongovernmental organizations to collate and disseminate valid information on the state of the Environment world-wide for the purpose of using such information for the purpose of planning for their protection.

Coming home to Nigeria, Environmental degradation has come to establish a popular close link with state security. In the Niger-Delta region, the security risk that arose from the oil exploration and exploitation Environmental problems of the area and their economic implications nearly brought Nigeria to her kneels. Water pollution and land degradation acassioned by irresponsible oil exploitations by oil companies under the supervision of the federal government drove the youth of the region into the creeks to wage a costly guerilla war against the nation for years.

The federal government of Nigeria eventually entered into teeth-gritting negotiations with the youth of the area and an amnesty was granted to thousands of the militants to the economic relief of Nigeria and Nigerians. The creation of the Ministry for the Niger-Delta Area, the continuous funding of the Niger-Delta Development Commission and the special Allocation Policy in favour of the Oil Producing States are all palialative measures being offered to the Niger Delta region of Nigeria as deserved. The security cost of the Niger Delta land degradation and water pollution problems to the Nigerian state before it got the problem solved through the amnesty and reparation approach cannot be quantified and is therefore better left to be imagined.

The Desertification problems of the Northern region of Nigeria, which many believe to be the original breeding ground for Nigeria?s Boko Haram sect, whose activities have cost the country thousands of lives and billions of naira in economic losses has gained international attention. The poverty level the desert has imposed on the hard working farmers that populate the? vast land area it has devastated makes the international community to think that the earlier Nigeria pointedly addresses her desertification problem, the better for its security problems.

As a matter of fact, the Federal Executive Council?s approval of the implementation of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara project in 2012 which was later backed? by the approval of the National Economic Council, the highest Economic Policy Advisory body in Nigeria is an indication that the Federal government has decided to tackle the desertification problem of Nigeria with the seriousness it deserves. The Great Green Wall Nigeria Project which has the European Union, African Union, the FAO arm of the United Nations and other international organizations as participating partners has a budget outlay of hundreds of billions of dollars which can be said to be back-breaking for Nigeria to implement all on its own, hence the multilateral approach. But it is a burden the Nigerian government has decided to carry for the economic and security advantages the nation stands to reap from it.

In view of the Federal Government of Nigeria?s conclusive, albeit financially burdensome, decision to tackle the land Degradation problems of the Niger Delta and its Northern regions for good economic reasons that are directly linkable to State Security, the question conscientious watchers are asking now is: what about the equally economically costly and security-risky gully erosion problems of Eastern Nigeria? While the Niger Delta land degradation recovery project is at its full throttle, and the ???? Great Green Wall Nigeria Project to address the desertification problems of the north is only probably on momentary hold for one temporary reason or the other, the gully erosion problem of Eastern Nigeria as well as other Environmental disaster-prone areas of the country need to be acted upon before they bring their own individual doomsdays upon the nation.

The truth that stares every concerned mind on Nigeria?s Environmental rights issues is the fact that the Nigerian Mass Media, and indeed the international Mass Media do not find it lucrative enough to report the effects of the Gully Erosion Problems in Nigeria?s Eastern region as it did the oil exploitation related problems of the Niger Delta because the oil companies and the oil-producing state governments spend unquantifiable amounts of money on a continuous media war that ensures the Media Executives and reporters smile to the banks on daily basis. The same lack of media interest in the desertification problems of Northern Nigeria is largely responsible for its neglect up to the time it found its way into the Development Agenda list of the government, the International Development Agencies and Nongovernmental Organizations partnering with it on the Great Green Wall.

It is in view of the above reality and the fact that Environmental problems Baseline Information is unavoidably necessary for the purpose of planning for their control, that Wind-Sound Africa, has gone to the grounds in the Gully Erosion ravaged rural communities in Eastern Nigeria to research into, document and make available to those who need it, the graphic details of the land and other Infrastructural Degradations that prevail in the areas, even as the states and Local Governments spend the most they can afford at cushioning their effects.

IGBO-ETITI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Igbo Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu state is a rural-economic dependent Council Area with almost 100% of its population practicing subsistent Agriculture. The leadership at the local government level is very conversant with the economic aspirations, problems and prospects of the rural populace it leads. The area?s population figure of 209248 struggles daily to rise above the very daunting poverty imposed on them by the natural degradations that ravage their farmlands and other economic infrastructures put in place by the state and local governments.

The worst-hit areas that needs very urgent attention in addition to what the state and local government are already doing or can afford to do to cushion their problems are as follows

1.Ukpata Community

A major economically incapacitating land and infrastructural degradation occurs here and has inflicted costly damages to the rural road that links farming settlements in Agu Ukehe which is a major food basket to not only the Igbo-Etiti council area but also a good fraction of Enugu South Senatorial zone. The road is 10 kilometers long from Unwankwo Ukehe to Agu Ukehe and on to Ugwu Ogonike/Opi newly constructed road. Largely due to the gully erosions that has ravaged the 10kilometers road, it construction contract which was awarded by the state government nearly five years ago has been abandoned.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 7 meters deep, 4000 meters long while one stream along the road will need a culvert to measure 5 meters across the road by 3 meters wide and 2.5 meters deep. The population of rural dwellers that depend on the road for their economic and social lives is put at 20, 000 people. Soil sample analysis of the area?s top soil showed high fertility content but weakened stickability because of prolonged erosion. Cost of problem control structures needed in the area is still being worked upon by those who were presented with their details for advice. Hon. Augustine Ike.

2.Ogbuenyi Aguoekwegbe Road Gully Site

Another rural road with very similar economic relevance and problems implications with that of Ukpata Community?s. The road links Ozachara to Aguoekwegbe through its 14 kilometers stretch. The total population of up to 23,000 people made up of about 5000 people in Ozacha, 7000 in Amofu and 11000 in Aguoekwegbe all depend on the gully erosion devastated road for their socio-economic lives.

Problems Profile: Gullies measured 4 meters deep by 11 meters wide for ? of the road?s total distance of 14 kilometers. Two streams along the road needs culverts to measure 5 meters wide across the road by 6 meters wide to contain the stream waters and 3 meters deep. Total population of the road users is 23, 000 people. Soil sample analysis shows high nutrient content but very weakened stickability content due to prolonged surface and gully erosion. Problems control structures needed were still being costed as at the time of this report. Hon. B. Venatus who spoke to our Team on the problems in the area lamented the situation in his constituency and requested for external assistance in addition to what the state and local Governments can do. Crude oil is said to have been discovered in the area though Wind-Sound Africa has not confirmed that from other sources as that was not part of its mission to the area.

3.?Afia-Ofu to Ago Okwegbe Road

The road is the only socio-economic source of communication by three big settlements quarters in Ekwegbe and connects Amu Onitsha, Amu Udu and Ohumofia which are all great farming settlements. The road is ridden with gully erosion.

Problems Profile: Gullies measured 6 meters deep by 3.5 meters wide in up to ? of the 15 kilometers road that needs sand filling and stone pitching around residential homes. Soil samples analysis also shows high loss of stickability content because of consistent erosion menace. Costs of problems control structures needed in the areas were still being worked upon as at the time of this report.

It is on record that in 1986, pupils from Agu Ikegbe School who came to participate in an official event had their vehicle fall into one of the gullies and many of them died. Nsuka and Igbo-Etiti used to maintain the road until it became too expensive for them to continue to do so. The area produces major cash and food crops too numerous to mention.

4.?Ozala Community

The road leading from Ozala to Ohado, from Ozala to Aku and Nkpologwu in Uzo Uwani Local Government area is highly devastated by gully erosion to the point of rendering them almost unusable. In view of the high quantum of food and cash crop produced in the areas that have been cut off by the gully erosion menace, the road needs urgent rehabilitation but the cost of doing this is said to be beyond affordability of the state and local governments alone.

Problems Profile: Gullies measures 6 meters deep by 4 meters wide in up to 1/3 of the 8 kilometers distance to Aku. Population of farmers and their families whose socio-economic lives depend on the road is put at 90,000 at Aku, Ohudu and Ozala. Costs of problems control structures needed in the areas were still being worked on as at the time of this report while soil sample analysis showed high nutrient content but low compatibility due to constant erosion menace

5.?Aku Community Rural Road

Aku community has been disconnected from its neighboring communities due to the menace of gully erosion. It has a densely populated rural area which had its major socio-economic potentials badly retarded as a result of the gully erosion menace that is facing the area. The most damages have occurred between Aku and Igbo-Etiti on one part and Lejja, a host community in Nsukka local government area.

Problem Profile: gullies measured 7 meters deep by 4.5 meters wide in most of the 11.7 kilometers length of the gully ridded roads that need urgent sand fillings, stone pitching and drainage systems to channel erosion waters away from the roads and residential homes. Soil sample analysis carried out showed less than 20% compatibility content due to erosion menace. Costs of problem control structures needed were still being worked upon by analysts who were presented with their details as at the time of writing this report.

Economic Impact Conclusion

Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area, whose geographical location makes it an Agriculture-dependent Council Area, suffers extensive economic deprivations as a result of the state of the Ecological system in the area. When the quantum of Agricultural products that are produced by the area?s farmers from their vast fertile lands are analysed side by side with that of their counterparts in other parts of the community, it was discovered that the people and government of Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area lose as much as 573 million naira annually to perished farm-produce, undervalued pricing, wasted investments and consequent losses in internal revenue base. This retards the living standard of the people by as much as 60% of deserved rate, and quite unacceptable.

The State and Local Governments, based on their known revenue bases can only do as much they are already on record to be doing, of course with room for possible improvement in the future. In a Global Village where the economic where-withal of the people of one area influences the economies of other areas, the rural dwellers in Igbo-Etiti need helping hands from outside their immediate social environment.

 

Signed ———————————-

Matthew O. Abah,

Research Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief/CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

UDENU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Udenu Local Government Area is a semi-urban Council Area whose main source of economic sustenance is farming. The North-East federal highway which passes through the local government area confers the statue of a semi-urban Council Area on it. The team of elected and appointed grassroot leaders that run the affairs of the council government are well grounded on the economic aspirations, problems and prospects of the rural dwellers who look up to them for their socio-economic leadership. Only a very close scrutiny of the leadership attitude of the councilors would reveal the need for some urgent impartment of essential Best Standard attitude through seminars and workshops. The perfectly operating system that originates from the Mayor?s office and penetrates all departments of the council government through the office of the secretary to the Local Government adequately makes up for any noticeable inadequacy. It was the consensus of all levels of the leadership that Agriculture being the mainstay of the area?s economy would be boosted if the ecological system receives needed care and balancing. Wind-Sound Africa inter-acted with the grassroot through the local leadership to identify the area?s land and infrastructural degradation points for their base-line data collection.

1.?Umu Osigide by Ubollo-Orie road in Ubollo Etiti ward.

This is a highly devastated gully erosion site that has almost over-run the very important Ubollo Etiti-Eha-Mafu road which is also known as the Obollo-Nkem road. A badly needed rehabilitation work that had been started on the road had been abandoned as at the time of our Team?s visit most probably because a fresh gully had eaten up to 6 meters into the middle of the road. The main source of the high velocity flowing water that aids the gully formation is from Obollo-Afor hills and needs proper channeling of up to 4,000 meters from the source.

Problems Profile: Gullies measured 7 meters deep x 28 meters wide x 1,000 meters long. Soil sample analysis of the area?s top soil indicated the presence of high fertility nutrient content but has lost most of its stickability due to the prevailing erosion. Control structures needed in the area is being costed as the time of this report.

2.?Amo Ogbele Village

Here, up to 15,000 square meters of farm land has been devastated by rampaging gully erosion and the very important road that links the village to Igboneme and into Ohulo and Amagu in Ezino community has been rendered virtually unusable. The road is 20 kilometers distant and up to ? of the road is riddled with gullies and need urgent sand filling and stone pitching.

Problems Profile: Gullies measured 35 meters deep x 22 meters wide at Akpunge end and most other parts of the road. Soil sample analysis of top soil in the area indicated high content of nutrients but also showed low stickability. Costs of need problems control structures needed in the area is being worked upon by those who were presented with the facts and figures of the problem sites as the time of filling this report. Up to 10,000 people are affected by the problem.

3.?Ohebe Orba Village

This community suffers from an emergency graded level of gully erosion problems. A total land area of up to 25,000 square meters is badly devastated, leading to complete breakdown of transportation system between residents of Ohebe and the rest of the world during the rainy seasons. The land degradation rate in Orba is so severe and menacing as to have prevented the Councilor representing the area, Hon. Ugwu Oke Celina from being able to drive to her home town since her assumption of office. The area can only be accessed by the use of motto-cycles most part of the year. The area needs urgent rehabilitation which cost is definitely beyond the affordability of the State and Local Governments in the near future based on the state?s known revenue base.

Problems Profile: Gullies measured 12 meters wide x 4 meters deep in most part of the area. Soil sample analysis indicates a comparable loss of nutrient content as well as its stickability content due to the prevailing rate of surface and gully erosion. Over 10, 000 people are affected by the negative economic effects of the problems. Costs of needed rehabilitation and amelioration structures were still being worked upon as at the time of this report. Cattle rearing by Fulani are known to be a major contributor to the rate of surface and gully erosion that prevails in Ohebe/Orba community.

4.?Umudu Community

Extensive gully erosion has rendered the road that links Umudu with Ezino ward, thus dislocating economic activities between the two major farming communities while also cutting off from Obollo Affor, the economic centre of the local government area and exit link to the rest of the state and the world. The area needs urgent road upgrading and recovery through extensive sand-filling and stone pitching as well as drainage system.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 6 meters deep x 16 meters wide in most of the area while up to 15,000 people are negatively affected by the negative effects of the degradation. Soil tests showed loss of nutrient content and stickability compared to non-degraded areas in the locality.

5.?Ukporogwu in Umunde Community

Extensive rampaging gully erosion has led to many residents of the area to relocate their family homes while many others who cannot afford it are waiting for whatever calamities that are bound to visit them any time. Ukporogwu used to be a hilly town in the past but the leveling gully erosion has reduced the area to a low land area that is at the receiving end of blasting gully erosion forming waters.

Problems Profile: Gullies measured 10 meters deep x 5 meters wide and intermittently covers a total land area of 3,000 square meters. Soil test showed loss of essential nutrient and stickability contents.

6.?Umezejor Obollo Afor

This is a major gully erosion site that poses a menacing threat to the North-East Federal highway also known as the Enugu-Makurdi road. Many residential homes are also threatened by the fast-expanding gullies. The area needs urgent sand-filling, stone pitching and widening of water channels. An urgent awareness campaign on indiscriminate refuse dumping is also needed around Obollo Afor to market traders and residents who are contributing to the blockade of existing water-channels.

Economic Impact Conclusion

Udenu Local Government Area, whose geographical location makes it an Agriculture-dependent Council Area, suffers extensive economic deprivations as a result of the state of the Ecological system in the area. When the quantum of Agricultural products that are produced by the area?s farmers from their vast fertile lands are analyzed side by side with that of their counterparts in other parts of the community, it was discovered that the people and government of Udenu Local Government Area lose as much as 492 million naira annually to perished farm-produce, undervalued pricing, wasted investments and consequent losses in internal revenue base. This retards the living standard of the people by as much as 60% of deserved rate, and quite unacceptable. The State and Local Governments, based on their known revenue bases can only do as much they are already on record to be doing, of course with room for possible improvement in the future. In a Global Village where the economic where-withal of the people of one area influences the economies of other areas, the rural dwellers in Udenu need helping hands from outside their immediate social environment.

 

Signed ———————————-

Matthew O. Abah,

Research Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief/CEO

 

 

 

NSUKKA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu state is a highly urbanized Council Area with a vast attachment of rural communities in terms of land mass and population, the Local Government Area is arguably incomparable with any other of its counterpart in any part of the country. The socio-economic and political leadership of Nsukka was observed to have a firm grip of the mountain of responsibilities that stares them in the face, taking into consideration the equally observable high level of political consciousness that prevails in the Area. It could not have been other-wise, as one of Africa?s octoperian Academic Establishments, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, bestrides the land and seems to dare the people especially the leadership to anything else other than the best amongst equals. Wind-Sound Africa?s inter-actions with all segments of the human resource capital of Nsukka confirm the saying that the Environment makes the man.

From the obviously time-conditioned, people-blended and intellectually fortified disposition of the Mayor of the Council government through the quick minded councilors and on to the eloquently grounded rural community leaders our team inter-acted with, it was confirmed that while there are rooms for improvements here and there as there would always ever be in a fast-changing world, the whole gamut of the citizenry of Nsukka Local Government Area are motivated by the prospects of their natural endowments while at the same time remain challenged by the socio-economic problems that gnaw at their minds is the ferocious, emergency-graded and internationally undisputable level of land and infrastructural degradations that Environmental conditions have, overtime, imposed on their Area.

Wind-Sound Africa went to the grounds in the Council Area to research into the Ecological dilemma that assaults the land and its people. The highlights:

1.?Ehallumona-Ehandiagu Road

By every standard of definition in any environmentally conscious community in any part of the world, the level of infrastructural and land degradations that prevails on the farm lands across the two wards and the sixteen kilometer road that traverse the land and links them with the rest of the world qualifies to be termed as an EMERGENCY rated economic problem. The sixteen kilometer road is actually better called a tunnel than a road because gully erosion has sunk it four meters below the earth surface almost all of its 16 kilometers distance. Our team met women and children who were said to have waited for two days to convey their farm products to the nearest markets without any luck as most vehicles avoided the road for fear of being stuck in the consuming sea of sands that gully erosion has the ?tunnels? called roads into.

A community leader who spoke to our Team, Chief Elexander Ossai E. who is the Chairman of Eha Ndiagu Development Committee and political leader told us that the dilemma of the people is better imagined than described. The sheer size of the land and population of the people that depend on the land and road for their economic where-withal and who would have made food cheap and affordable to the whole of Nsukka is mind bugling.

Problems Profile: Gullies measured 5 meters deep x 18 meters wide along the road that actually measured 14 meters wide for almost all of the 16 kilometers distance of the road. Eha Ulor has three autonomous communities with a total population of 19,000 people while Eha Ndiagu has five autonomous communities with a total population of 29,000 people. Soil tests carried out on the top soil of the area showed near zero level of its stickability content while still retaining its high fertility nutrient content.

The road was once the only motorable road that linked the people to the rest of the world but got ravaged by gully erosion over time.

2.?Nsukka Town Flood Inflicted Gully Sites

Nsukka town is actually quarantined by gully erosion tracks that expand by the day, threatening economic infrastructures as roads, water-pipes and all categories of buildings. It extends from Enugu road, gobbles up parts of the main market, penetrates the premises of the University of Nigeria and on to Oniyi and Alor-Uno, all of a distance of 10 kilometers.

The Enugu road menace has been controlled, another nightmare bare its teeth from around the University compounds and ravages other parts of the town as the Enugu road flood waters which was directed to the University tunnel has turned into the beginning of the new expansions.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 17 meters wide x 15 meters deep at the UNN gate/secondary school points and along most of its routes into the town. Up to 30 residential homes threatened while a total of 30,000 people are affected across the length and breadth of Nsukka town. Soil test showed 70% weakening of its stickability contents. Analysts were still working on the possible costs of needed control structures as at the time of packaging this report.

3.?Ibeziakor Street Gully Site

This is a quintessential example of the ravages gully erosion is inflicting on Nsukka town residential areas. Very opulent residential homes built by owners when the area was far from fangs of gullies have been over-whelmed and the occupants of the buildings are only still occupying them for the lack of where to relocate to in the pressure of un affordable costs of accommodation in the University town.

Problems Profile: Gullies measured 5 meters deep x 7 meters wide in most parts of the area which covers up to 6,000 square meters of land area

4.?Alor-Uno Gully Site

This area is mainly residential and is at the receiving end of the rampaging gully erosion water from other parts of the town. Up to 20 residential homes are in urgent danger from the menace. It is the consensus of the people who spoke to our Team that a big capacity dam in the area would go a long way in ameliorating the gully erosion problems of not only Alor-Uno but that of the entire Nsukka town. The cost of such a dam is still being worked upon by analysts who were consulted.

Economic Impact Conclusion

Nsukka Local Government Area, whose geographical location makes it an Agriculture-dependent Council Area, suffers extensive economic deprivations as a result of the state of the Ecological system in the area. When the quantum of Agricultural products that are produced by the area?s farmers from their vast fertile lands are analyzed side by side with that of their counterparts in other parts of the community, it was discovered that the people and government of Nsukka Local Government Area lose as much as 675 million naira annually to perished farm-produce, undervalued pricing, wasted investments and consequent losses in internal revenue base. This retards the living standard of the people by as much as 60% of deserved rate, and quite unacceptable. The State and Local Governments, based on their known revenue bases can only do as much they are already on record to be doing, of course with room for possible improvement in the future. In a Global Village where the economic where-withal of the people of one area influences the economies of other areas, the rural dwellers in Nsukka need helping hands from outside their immediate social environment.

 

Signed ———————————-

Matthew O. Abah,

Research Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief/CEO

 

 

IGBO-EZE SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area is what is referred to as a traditional rural economy targeted creation that derives its existential relevance from transforming its people?s grassroots-powered economy into a fledging one that afford the people the opportunity to rise above all foreseeable and unforeseeable challenges. Not unexpectedly, one of the challenges that stand face to face with the grassroots government of Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area and the strong-willed leadership that drives development initiatives is that of land and infrastructural degradations which environmental problems have imposed on the area.

Wind-Sound Africa, in the company of a crop of the local leadership penetrated the nooks and crannies of the Local Government Area to research into and appropriately profile the Environmental Ecological problems of the area in partial fulfillment of the spirit and letters of the United Nations Agenda 21, the UN document that seeks to integrate Sustainable Development into all aspects of Development plans and their implementations and which makes the achievements of its noble goals the unshakable duties of all UN funded Agencies, all levels of governments, Major Groups and the Private Sectors across the globe. The report:

1.?Ishiagu/Ibagba Gully Erosion site

This is a gully erosion menace site that affects farmlands, residential areas and most importantly, the road that links the two villages which are major producers of food and cash crops. During rainy seasons the road becomes very impossible to use for the transportation of farm products and other purposes such as the evacuation of the sick to medical facilities where doctors would be available to attend to them. The two communities have suffered untold economic losses due to the condition of the road. Uburu, Enugu Ezike depend on the road for their economic lives.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 20 meters deep x 11 meters wide in most areas. Total population of affected people is 9,000 people. Soil sample analysis showed high loss of stickability contents which need some measure of augmentation for future high crop yields. Control structural costs for needed problems control structures were still being worked upon as at the time of this report.

2.?Umulolo Amogu Street in Ibiagbaka Town

This problem site in the Local Government Headquarter affects residential homes and community farmlands. More than 60 residential homes are presently under serious threat. Some families? homes are already sitting virtually on top of menacing gullies. Families like those of Mr. John Ugwu Anyi are already overtaken by gullies.? Madam P.C. Atteze was met erecting self-help gully erosion control structures around the threatened home of a widow, Mrs. F.N. Idike who single handedly caters for her five children and was said to be spending an average of N200,000 to stone-pitch a distance of about 15 meters around her threatened home.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 3 meters deep x 2 meters wide for most of the distance of 2 kilometers from Old Ukwo Ibagba to Amogu road. Problems control costing is still ongoing while soil sample tests showed high level of degradation and loss of essential nutrient contents.

 

3.?Ibagwu Aka to Imilike Road

This a gully erosion ridden road that links economically important communities such as Okpaligbo, Ago-Onitsha, Ikpede and Ezegwu whose population combines to be 10,000 people. The Community Primary Schools, Imilike has been destroyed by the problem.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2 meters deep x 3 meters wide in most of its 2000 meters distance. Control structural costing was still in progress as at the time of this report.

4.?Ibagwu-Aka-Idu, Nkalagu, Unado and Unagu Communities Gully site

This is a gully erosion ridded road that has very negatively affected the economic lives of the communities because the damaged road is not only the major route of transportation of their food and cash crops to other parts of Enugu state but also limits these communities to Kogi state. Part of the road which reconstruction was being worked upon has been asphalted, but the gully erosion menace whose control is believed not to be part of the roadwork contract is posing a serious threat to the successful completion of the road work.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2 meters deep x 2.5 meters wide. Local population of up to 15, 000 people depend on the road while control structural costing of the needed water channels on both sides of the road for most of its 18 kilometer distance is still being worked on as at the time of this report.

5.?Eburu-Miri Ibagwa Gully Site

This is another gully site with similar effects spread as that of number 4 above. The two major religious worshiping buildings in the town, the Catholic and the Anglican churches are badly threatened just as residential buildings around neighborhood and farmlands also lay devastated.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.3 meters deep x 3 meters wide around most parts of the threaten zones, while soil samples showed severe effects of erosion menace as it has lost its stickability content. Control structural costs were being worked upon as at the time of this report.

6.?Ihakpoka Gully Site

This affects the link road between Ihakpoka Agu and Ihakpoka Ulo and seriously retards their economic aspirations. Community Secondary School, Ihakpoka?s premises and other residential buildings are affected.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.8 meters deep x 8 meters wide in most of the affected areas of the link-road which has a distance of 2 kilometers. Up to10, 000 people depend on the road for their economic aspirations. Soil test indicate serious effects of erosion while control structural costs were on-going as at the time of packaging this report.

7.?Oha-Agu in Oroko Community/Orie Igbo-Eze Gully Site

In Oroko area, Umu Ugbabe village, Umu Jioha, Umu Okome and Iheaka? communities are all highly devastated areas whose residential buildings and farmlands are all riddled with ravaging gullies. Orie Igbo-Eze market is also an economic nerve centre of the LGA which is under serious threat from the gullies.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 3 meters deep x 1.8 meters wide in most parts of the affected villages. Total population affected by the problem across the villages is 30,000 people, consensus solution is the construction of a dam at Umu Okome to receive Gully erosion causing flood mater from the collection off villages, and water channeling across the 5 kilometers distance.

Economic Impact Conclusion

Igbo Eze South Local Government Area, whose geographical location makes it an Agriculture-dependent Council Area, suffers extensive economic deprivations as a result of the state of the Ecological system in the area. When the quantum of Agricultural products that are produced by the area?s farmers from their vast fertile lands are analyzed side by side with that of their counterparts in other parts of the community, it was discovered that the people and government of Igbo Eze South Local Government Area lose as much as 424 million naira annually to perished farm-produce, undervalued pricing, wasted investments and consequent losses in internal revenue base. This retards the living standard of the people by as much as 60% of deserved rate, and quite unacceptable. The State and Local Governments, based on their known revenue bases can only do as much they are already on record to be doing, of course with room for possible improvement in the future. In a Global Village where the economic where-withal of the people of one area influences the economies of other areas, the rural dwellers in Igbo Eze South need helping hands from outside their immediate social environment.

 

Signed ———————————-

Matthew O. Abah,

Research Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief/CEO

 

UZO-UWANI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

?Uzo uwani Local Government Area is a rural economy based Council Area whose population is 98% dependent on their Agricultural output. The crops of grassroot leadership that stare the affairs of the council government are fully conscious of the implication of this fact and make it their duties to encourage balanced and productive Agriculture in the rural areas. However, the most consistent challenge that stands on their way and the ways of the mass of rural dwellers that look unto them for improved living standard is the various forms of Lands and Infrastructural degradations that unfavorable Environmental condition has imposed on them. Wind-Sound Africa penetrated the nooks and crannies of the rural areas to profile the problems. The report:

1.?Ngene Ude in Akiyi Umulokpakpa Community

This gully site affects the Akiyi-Eziora-Ogbosu road which is a major route of transportation of their Agricultural produce from their farms and into profitable markets. The area needs extensive water channels.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.8 meters deep x 10 meters wide x 2000 meters long from Akiyi to Amulu village. Total land area of 10,000 square meters belonging to 4,5000 people affected. Soil tests showed extensive loss of essential nutrient content due to prolonged erosion.

2.Eke Market in Akiyi Umulokpa

This problem affects Akiyi-Eze Ora-Ogbosu road and out laying farmlands as well as the road that links the area with Umioba community in Anambra state.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 4 meters deep x 3 meters wide x 1,500 meters long. Soil tests showed extensive loss of essential nutrient content due to persistent erosion.

3.?Amokiyi/Umulu Road

The best part of the entire road has been destroyed by gully erosion and needs urgent water-channeling, stone pitching and resurfacing.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.5 meters x 2 meters deep and 1500 meters long. Problems control costing of the devastated area was still on-going as at the time of packaging this report.

4.?Ugwu Otuji in Ukpata Community

Gullies affect the road that links Umulokpa with Adaba Ukpata Akpologwu road. The vast dimension of the problem in this area makes it to qualify as an emergency graded problem that needs urgent control attention.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 8 meters deep x 12 meters wide x 1500 meters long. The total land Area under this emergency degradation menace is 12,000 square meters. Soil tests showed extensive loss of nutrient and stickability contents. Problem control structures were still on-going as at the time of packaging this report.

5.?Enugu Nimbo/Ebor Gully Site

This is a flood zone that has been forming very penetrating gully erosion which affects homes, farmlands and the rural road that links the area with other parts of their neighborhoods.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.5 meters deep x 26 meters wide. Has over flooded a honey farm belonging to FADAMA and sacked the Catholic Priest, Rev. Joseph Okeke from his home. Soil tests showed extensive loss of nutrient contents prevalent in other areas not subject to the flooding and gully menace.

6.?Eke-Ukporogwu Road Gully Sites

This is an emergency-graded gully erosion site that covers land area of up to 2000 square meters and needs a complete refilling stones pitching and water channeling the total cost of which is being worked upon as at the time of this report.

Economic Impact Conclusion

Uzo Uwani Local Government Area, whose geographical location makes it an Agriculture-dependent Council Area, suffers extensive economic deprivations as a result of the state of the Ecological system in the area. When the quantum of Agricultural products that are produced by the area?s farmers from their vast fertile lands are analyzed side by side with that of their counterparts in other parts of the community, it was discovered that the people and government of Uzo Uwani Local Government Area lose as much as 482 million naira annually to perished farm-produce, undervalued pricing, wasted investments and consequent losses in internal revenue base. This retards the living standard of the people by as much as 60% of deserved rate, and quite unacceptable. The State and Local Governments, based on their known revenue bases can only do as much they are already on record to be doing, of course with room for possible improvement in the future. In a Global Village where the economic where-withal of the people of one area influences the economies of other areas, the rural dwellers in Uzo Uwani need helping hands from outside their immediate social environment.

 

Signed ———————————-

Matthew O. Abah,

Research Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief/CEO

EZE-AGU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Eze-Agu Local Government Area is a rural-economy based Council Area where Agriculture forms 99.5% of the people?s economic mainstay. The natural endowment of the area in terms of soil fertility and able-bodied human resources are supposed to be a complimentary gift from God to enable them achieves maximum gains from their agricultural investments. The socio-political leadership of the area was observed to be fully sensitive to their responsibilities of creating the most achievable enabling environment for the people?s self development ambitions. The intractable problem that stands between the people, their leaders and deserved improved living standard is the state of Land and Infrastructural Degradation that Environmental problems have imposed on them as profiled by Wind-Sound Africa. The details:

1.?Onuogbu-Unwankwo Square Gully Site

This problem site affects residential homes, community road and farmlands. During rainy seasons, lives are threatened because of the inaccessibility of the area and this life-costing situation was the popular reason for the on-going establishment of a private hospital in the area by one Brigadier General Okafor whose heart is said to be with his people at the worst of times during the rainy seasons. Many residential buildings including the hospital under construction are under threat.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 8.4 meters wide x 1.5 meters deep and affects a population of 5000 people. Soil tests showed extensive loss of essential contents such as nutrient and stickability contents. Needed control structural costings were still on-going as at the time of packaging this report.

 

2.?Mopol Juction-Ogwofia

This gully erosion site affects St. Patrick Catholic church square and the road from the high way to Egede village is under the serious menace which has almost rendered the road impassable during rainy seasons. The civil center which comprises a Post office, a Health Center and Market is seriously degraded and the structures are merely counting their days to their collapse.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 6 meters wide x 3 meters deep while soil tests showed the fragile state of soil as a result of the prolonged erosion menace. Control structural costing of needed control structures were on-going as at the time of this report.

3.?Hospital Road Amadim/Ollo Community Gully Site

This ugly gully erosion site threatens the very economically important federal highway that passes through the area and the youth-employment enhancing AMA Brewery all through to Umulokpa.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 12.5 meters wide x 4 meters deep x 3000 meters intermittently long while the problem control structural costing was still on-going as at the time of writing this report.

4.Ugwu Orie/Agbagbo/Oha Imezi Gully site

This very menacing gully site has cut off Agbagbo Oha Imezi from Oha Ndiagu, Ogwofia and Ikenge Imeri.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 4 meters deep x 10.5 meters wide, affecting a total population of up to 12000. Soil tests proved loss of essential fertility content due to prevailing gully and surface erosion menace.

5.Emama Iwollo Community Gully Site

This gully site affects the road that links Emama Iwollo to Emama Ndibunagu, two major farming communities that suffer serious economic loss annually due to the worsening slate of the roads.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 3.5 meters wide x 1.5 meters deep with the problems negatively affecting a total population of 3000 people. Soil tests proved high loss of nutrient contents due to the degradation while control structural costing of needed structures were still on-going as at the time of this report.

6.?Ajalo Road In Agu, Obu-Owa, Umu Ojo/Umu Gwori

These are other highly gully erosion riddled rural communities in the local government that need urgent interventions. Flooding zones and flooding waters have become the economic albatross of these communities.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 20 meters wide x 12.5 meters deep in most parts of the area while a total population of up to 30,000 people is affected.

Economic Impact Conclusion

Ezeagu Local Government Area, whose geographical location makes it an Agriculture-dependent Council Area, suffers extensive economic deprivations as a result of the state of the Ecological system in the area. When the quantum of Agricultural products that are produced by the area?s farmers from their vast fertile lands are analyzed side by side with that of their counterparts in other parts of the community, it was discovered that the people and government of Ezeagu Local Government Area lose as much as 481 million naira annually to perished farm-produce, undervalued pricing, wasted investments and consequent losses in internal revenue base. This retards the living standard of the people by as much as 60% of deserved rate, and quite unacceptable. The State and Local Governments, based on their known revenue bases can only do as much they are already on record to be doing, of course with room for possible improvement in the future. In a Global Village where the economic where-withal of the people of one area influences the economies of other areas, the rural dwellers in Ezeagu need helping hands from outside their immediate social environment.

 

Signed ———————————-

Matthew O. Abah,

Research Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief/CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

NKANU EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

The Prognosis Of An Unattended Ecological Debacle-

The ironic outcome of the numerous Developmental Polices that have been formulated and oftentimes haphazardly implemented in the Development History of? Nigeria is a screaming signpost of the great nation God mills Nigeria to be, on one hand and the serious determination of an insignificant few but over-powering hands to keep it on a permanent reverse gear. This untastly irony succinctly etches itself out on the walls of the implementation as it relates to grassroots development in Africa?s most populous and crude oil rich nation. It is an internationally acclaimed fact that the most revered development engine rooms in the United States and Europe go green with envy at the qualities of Policy Documents that exist in land emanate from Nigeria on virtually every aspect of life, thanks to her intellectual wherewithal.

Policy-wise, the Ecological Funds, into which a mandatory fraction of Nigeria?s national revenue derivation must be paid and the continuous creation of Local Governments over time is all geared towards the economic emancipation of the nation?s rural areas. No nation could have had a better plan for its deserving citizenry. However, no nation arguably speaking has been tethered so far away from harvesting the fruits of its own endowment as Nigeria has been.

For the purpose of clarity, the present bureaucratic leadership of the Ecological Fund Office of The Presidency, in view of its recency and the comforting records of the antecedences of the individuals that presently hold sway there is not the subject of this enlightening endeavor. Deserving of credit as they are known to be, developmental archives need the kind of ventilation this spotlight is aimed to bring about.

Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu state is a model Council Area in the context of the Nigerian grassroot development dilemma. There are many reasons. The first and the one that present leadership in Nkanu East Local Government and other informed office holders in the state would want to be put on record in view of it truthfulness is the fact that Enugu state is one of the very few states in Nigeria where local Government monthly allocations go straight to them without any strings attached. The second reason as confirmed by Enugu state intellectuals during our research visits to the nook and crannies of the rural and urban areas of the state is that the quantum and quality of the economic infrastructures the administration of Governor Sulivian Chime has put on the ground in the state since his assumption of office surpasses the ones that were put in place by the combination of all previous administrations before his own since the advent of the nation?s third republic. At the level of grassroots administration, Nkanu East was confirmed to be the place where the Mayor (as the council bosses are known in Enugu state) and his team of councilors are known to have made council administration look like a big family affair in which the citizenry, the career civil servant and traditional leadership are al wholesomely carried along in how the councils funds are allocated and expended.

According to a resident of the area to whom our Team expressed its curiosity on how it was possible for the Mayor to be calmly seated in office when we visited without the usually desperate crowd hanging on his office door and premises as is usually the case around Council bosses offices across Nigeria, the Pastor Mayor makes himself available to the people most days in the week and holds religious/moral crusades in the open grounds of the secretariat. Accordingly everybody feels like a part and runner of the rural government and knows where their monthly allocation goes to on monthly bases. Under such an environment, the air of desperation that usually prevails under an atmosphere of exclusivism cannot and therefore does not apply.

Therefore, in Nkanu East Local Government, the effect is expected to be massive infrastructural opening up that should make it difficult for a visitor to draw the line between the state and the local government headquarters. Hence is the rueful irony, the type should make any observer sit with angers as it did to our Team. Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu state is a quintessential hostage of its Ecological problems in a state that for very curious reason(s) presently does not asses the Ecological Funds according to very reliable information at our disposal.

Our Team was in Nkanu East and the facts speak for themselves.

1.Ohubo Village in Amankanu Community

Ohubo village constitutes a heart bleeding scene of an Ecological war-front whose victims, the poor rural dwellers have had more harrowing experiences the most victims of frontal war-fare in many parts of the world. Up to 450 households with a conservative figure of 2550 family members roaming the land homeless as at the time of our visit to the Area. The total land area under constant flooding devastations from the rampaging waters of River Ora which has its origin in Opi, Nsukka L.G.A. of the state is 17 kilometers in circumference.

The level of poverty and other deprivation the people of the area suffers yearly is estimable. The state and local government annually affordable problems amelioration allocation whose evidences were visible on the grounds is actually a drop in the oceans in view of the vagaries of revenue allocation and generation. At Idume up to 15 square kilometers of land Area had been abandoned since as far back as 2010. Curiously, there are two Ora Rivers whose main pre-occupation seem to be the? infliction of economic damages in Ohube. They are simply identified as Ora-I and Ora-II. The local government under the present leadership has constructed a bridge each across the two river Oras at very prohibitive costs.

Consensus of all observers of the inhuman situation on the ground is the channelization of the flood waters from the two river Oras to river Eme in Ishieto in Ebonyi state a distance of 50 kilometers away. Neither the state nor the local governments can afford these expenditures in view of the competing needs of the governments. During the rainy seasons, River Ora flood waters devastate the village for as wide as 2 kilometers into the out laying areas of the village from its ever expanding borders. The effects and dimension of the problem in Ohube qualifies it to be termed an Emergency Economic Disaster Zone anywhere in the world.

The problem qualifies for International Intervention in the spirit and letters of the United Nations Agenda 21. The economic losses being inflicted on the people of Ohabe by the River Ora Ecological problem is worth more than 400 million naira per annum. The length of the road that needs to be URGENTLY reclaimed from the floodplain is 3 kilometers, the cost of which is bound to be five times more than that of a normal roadwork is still being worked upon as the time of packaging this report.

2.?Omulo Village in Ubahu Community

Omulo is another Emergency graded flood zone whose Idodo River wreaks untold disaster on the residential houses and farm lands. The total land area under the siege of River Idodo flood water is 27 square kilometers covering other villages as Amagu, Iyiogwe, Obinagu, Ihe-Okparogba and Ndiagu Idodo with a combined population of 7000 people. The major food and cash crops that are produced in great quantity in the villages includes palm produce, ogbono seeds, mangoes, oranges, banana, cashew-fruits and pineapple, more than half of which perish in their sites of production because of the impassable state of the roads that lead to the villages most part of the year.

The same problems overwhelm Idodo land covering Obahu, Owo and Amechi-Idodo with the flood water emptying in Ebonyi River. Idodo Bridge across Idodo River is the only hope and source of communication across the land and again the local government under the present administration has nearly completed the bridge. The fear however, is that the bridge stand the risk of being overwhelmed by the rampaging flood water in the nearest future if the desired channelization work is not done soon enough. The all important road from Ndegu to Ubalu main town that will give the areas an economic opening-up is 24 kilometers long and this is where the people need and deserve the intervention of the world starting of course from the Ecological Fund Office of the presidency. The 24 kilometer road has been bulldozed and graded by the present administration of the local government but it cannot afford to go further than that and the work stand to be overwhelmed after one or two heavy down pours due to the state of the terrain.

3.?Amuzan Village

This is unquestionably another Natural Disaster Emergency-prone flood zone. A total land area of 33 square kilometers is under siege in Amuzan and its neighboring villages of Ngene, Nfu and Ogodo with a total population of up to 8,500 people. Inyama river, the sole source of the flood waters is 70.05 meters wide and 4 meters deep. The Amechi Idodo to Ishe Amaganze road, the administrative headquarters of the local government, is 33 kilometers long and cries out for assistance. The mysterious nature of River Inyaba manifests itself in the way the river has meandered around the land, which is the only economic capital possession of the people, rendering farmlands and people?s residential homes useless and dangerous to life. The world needs to join the vanquished people of the area to win this war of existence. The frightening size of the river where it pools itself into a semi-?Atlantic? Ocean in Ngene Nfu is a sight to behold.

4.?Amagu Ugboka Community Gully Erosion Site

This devastating gully erosion site affects the road that links Agbani/Amagu/Ishienu to Nara community. The road is of a major economic relevance as it links Nkanu East with Nkanu West Local Government Area. The road is 15 kilometers from Amagu to Nara.

Problem Profile: the totality of the Ecological problems that exist in Nkanu East Local Government Area combine to qualify for the area to be declared a Natural Economic Disaster Emergency Zone and treated as so. Soil tests carried out on the top soils of the area showed high content of crop yielding nutrient qualities but complete loss of these contents around the flood beds and gully erosion sites. A combination of more than 20,000 people is traumatized by the number of Ecological disasters that stare them in the face for most of the year.

Economic Impact Conclusion

Nkanu East Local Government Area, whose geographical location makes it an Agriculture-dependent Council Area, suffers extensive economic deprivations as a result of the state of the Ecological system in the area. When the quantum of Agricultural products that are produced by the area?s farmers from their vast fertile lands are analyzed side by side with that of their counterparts in other parts of the community, it was discovered that the people and government of Nkanu East Local Government Area lose as much as 950 million naira annually to perished farm-produce, undervalued pricing, wasted investments and consequent losses in internal revenue base. This retards the living standard of the people by as much as 60% of deserved rate, and quite unacceptable. The State and Local Governments, based on their known revenue bases can only do as much they are already on record to be doing, of course with room for possible improvement in the future. In a Global Village where the economic where-withal of the people of one area influences the economies of other areas, the rural dwellers in Nkanu East need helping hands from outside their immediate social environment.

 

Signed ———————————-

Matthew O. Abah,

Research Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief/CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IGBO EZE NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Igbo Eze North Local Government Area is a rural economy based Council Area whose population is 97% dependent on their Agricultural output. The crops of grassroot leadership that stare the affairs of the council government are fully conscious of the implication of this fact and make it their duties to encourage balanced and productive Agriculture in the rural areas. However, the most consistent challenge that stands on their way and the ways of the mass of rural dwellers that look unto them for improved living standard is the various forms of Lands and Infrastructural degradations that unfavorable Environmental condition has imposed on them. Wind-Sound Africa penetrated the nooks and crannies of the rural areas to profile the problems. The report:

1.?Umuadonu-Owo Autonomous Community Road Gully Erosion Site

This problem affects the road that links Ogurute, the administrative headquarter of the L.G.A to Obollo-Afor and act as the people?s economic exit point. Part of Ogurute market is also affected. The gullies are known to be expanding by the day and may soon aggravate to such a size that will damage the road and residential homes if control measures are not put in place to check its expansion

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 1.8 meters wide x 3 meters deep x 1000 meters long. Soil tests done on the top soil of the area showed loss of nutrients and stickability qualities.

2.?Orukpa-Mbra Road Gully Site

This problem in Uda community affects the road that links Orukpa to Mbru and on to Ogurute. Residential buildings and farm lands are also affected and the problem area needs urgent sand filling, stone pitching and water channeling, the cost of which was being worked upon as at the time of writing this report.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 1.2 meters deep x 3.4 meters wide x 1000 meters long. Soil test done on top soil from the area showed serious reduction in essential qualities such as nutrient and stickability contents. Total population of rural dwellers is 1200 people while the total land area under degradation here is 5 square kilometers.

3.?Ogrute by St. Mary?s Hospital

This affects vast residential areas and the Ogrute Obollo-Afor road and threatens commercial building housing stores and warehouses belonging to traders. The problem extends to the Ogrute market square.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 1.6 meters deep x 3.8 meters wide x 1700 meters long. More than 3000 persons, including owners of shops and stores in the market are economically affected. Soil tests showed serious loss of stickability content done to prolonged erosion menace.

4.?Amufe Road/Japan Road Flood Site

Seasonal flooding occurs in this area and affects residential homes, shopping malls and the existing water channels around the area, the existing channels have however become inadequate for the flood water that rampages around the area when it rain heavily and need to be extruded to contend to the ends of the road are the areas prone to flooding by both sides of the road.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.5 meters deep x 2 meters wide x 1000 meters long, while soil tests showed up to 67% loss of stickability content due to prolonged erosion.

5.?Police Station Area of Japan Road Gully Site.

The area extending from police station along Japan Road up to the Motto Park experiences very traumatic flooding problems that brings about economic losses upon the people and the government. There is urgent need for the expansion of the existing drainage system to measure up to ever worsening flooding menace.

A special notice was taken of a Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) maintenance work that was on-going as at the time of our Team?s visit which quality raised some disturbing questions amongst the residents and community leaders who inter-acted with us. The maintenance contract work was said to have come to a stop after the pouring of gravels or laterites that would be swept off by the first heavy rain that would come if the road remains untarred.

Fears were being expressed by the residents that workers on the FERMA site had given the impression that there was no provision for the taring of the road which would amount to a wasted effort on the part of FERMA as the road would be the worse for it after a down pour. A broken culvert across the road where FERMA was said to have completed its work was also filled with gravels instead of been repaired, throwing up more questions about how the quality of work being done on this road around Enugu Ezike Motto Park.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.5 meters deep x 2 meters wide x 1500 meters long.

Oroshi Village in Ezodo Community Gully Site.

This gully erosion menace affects the road that links Amufe to Amachara, two very relevant farming communities. The problem also affects residential homes and neighborhood farmlands. The gully erosion menace affects both sides of the road which is the major source of communication between the outlaying farming settlements. More than 3000 rural dwellers depend on the road for the best part of their economic engagements.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.5 meters deep x 2 meters wide x 1500 meters long at the point of data collection. Soil tests run on the area?s top soil showed loss of essential contents as a result of the prevailing erosion menace.

Economic Impact Conclusion

Igbo Eze North Local Government Area, whose geographical location makes it an Agriculture-dependent Council Area, suffers extensive economic deprivations as a result of the state of the Ecological system in the area. When the quantum of Agricultural products that are produced by the area?s farmers from their vast fertile lands are analyzed side by side with that of their counterparts in other parts of the community, it was discovered that the people and government of Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area lose as much as 440 million naira annually to perished farm-produce, undervalued pricing, wasted investments and consequent losses in internal revenue base. This retards the living standard of the people by as much as 60% of deserved rate, and quite unacceptable. The State and Local Governments, based on their known revenue bases can only do as much they are already on record to be doing, of course with room for possible improvement in the future. In a Global Village where the economic where-withal of the people of one area influences the economies of other areas, the rural dwellers in Igbo-Eze North need helping hands from outside their immediate social environment.

 

Signed ———————————-

Matthew O. Abah,

Research Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief/CEO

 

ISI UZO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Isi-Uzo Local Government of Enugu state is a conventional grassroot development focused Council area. Farming and other Agricultural-related economic activities form the major backbone of the Local Government Area?s economy. The socio-economic and political leaders of the council area are adequately grounded on the needs of the people at the socio-economic fronts. Other grassroot leaders such as the traditional rulers in the Council Area showed comprehensive appreciation of the economic problems and prospects of their people and did not waste any opportunity to make powerful contribution to the means and ways of alleviating such problems.

When our Team visited Isi Uzo for the purpose of obtaining fact-based information on the land and Infrastructural Degradation dilemma of the area, we came away with very revealing facts in the impacts of these problems on the standard of living index of the hardworking people of the area, as detailed here in:

1.?Doctor?s Quarters—-Ikem Nkwo Community Gully sites

This is an economically debilitating degradation area which effects spreads from Ikem Juction to Ikem Nkwo Community. Ikem Nkwo community which is a great farming community suffers greatly from the economic and social implications of the degraded road that links it with the Local Government?s administrative head quarters. Rampaging gully erosion tracks that had overtaken farmlands, roads and all sorts of buildings is a major source of concern for all who depend on the road for their daily life engagements. The custodian of the area?s cultural norms, His Highness, the Igwe of Ikem Ukwo community, Igwe Ben Egbo spoke passionately on behalf of his people calling for all forms of urgent economic up-liftment of his people through the improvement of the road that links them to the rest of the world.

Ikem Nkwo community is not only a well-known farming community that needs urgent opening up, it is also an economic co-operation zone between Enugu and Benue state. It is actually only about 7 kilometers from Ikem Junction near the heart of the Local Government headquarters to Ado Bridge which is within the boundary vicinity of Benue and Enugu states while it is only 4 kilometers to the Urban Ikem Nkwo community. The gully-erosion ravaged road is in dare need of rehabilitation and the Igwe pleaded for the urgent assistance of his people in this regard.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 3 meters deep x 7 meters wide and intermittently 4 kilometers long. The population of rural dwellers who depend on the road for their economic activities is 7000. Soil sample tests run on the area?s top soil showed loss of essential contents as a result of the prevailing surface/gully erosion menace. The road links Ichana in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State. It is only 15 kilometers between Nnkwo Uno, the administrative headquarters of Isi Uzo to Ichana in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue state. Hon. Odo Moses Chukwudi who is the chairman of the local legislative House Committee on Works and Councilor representing Ikem Ward 2 and Hon. Chukwado Agbor, Supervisory Councilor for Works spoke to our Team on the economic relevance of the road and the need for its upgrading assistance in view of the exigencies of revenue allocation and generation in Enugu state.

2.?Agamede Juction- Eha Amufu Road Gully Site

This gully erosion ravaged road links Ikem Umo, the administrative headquarters of Isi Uzo to Eha-Amufu, an economically important community which is 15 kilometers from Ikem Unor. A great part of the road had been rendered impassable as at the time of our visit.

Problem Profiles: Gullies measured 5 meters deep x 15 meters wide x 4000 meters long. The total population that depend on the road for their daily economic endeavors, including the staff and students of the Federal College of Education, Eha-Mufu is up to 9500 people. Soil tests carried on the area?s top soil showed up to 62% loss of essential contents like fertility and stickability nutrients.

Ihenyi-Umuafor Road Gully Site

This menace affects the road that links Ihenyi to Umuafor, two important farming communities that contribute not only to the food basket of Isi Uzo but that of the whole Enugu state and Nigeria as major producers of most food and cash crops Nigeria is known for.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.3 meters deep x 5 meters wide in most part and affects up to 5000 people?s lives.

3.?Umuagwu Village in Neke Community Gully Site

This gully erosion site affects residential area?s road and community farmlands. As at the time of our visit to the area, up to 20 residential homes had been brought under serious threats from the fast expanding gullies. Orie market road in Umuagwu was already half over-taken by the gullies.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 5 meters deep x 9 meters wide x 3000 meters intermittently long. Total populations of up to 2800 people are negatively affected by this menace. But test done on the area?s top soil showed up to 64% loss of essential nutrient contents needed for its effective use for farming and construction.

4.?Unkwo-Mbu to Akpoga Road Gully Site

This is an Agriculture-retarded gully erosion menace site that also affects residential homes and rural roads.

Problem Profile: Gullies measured 2.5 meters deep x 1.5 meters wide x 2500 meters intermittently long and affects a total population of 7300 people. Soil tests showed up to 65% loss of fertility and stickability contents compared to samples obtained from less-prone areas in the area.

Economic Impact Conclusion

Isi Uzo Local Government Area, whose geographical location makes it an Agriculture-dependent Council Area, suffers extensive economic deprivations as a result of the state of the Ecological system in the area. When the quantum of Agricultural products that are produced by the area?s farmers from their vast fertile lands are analyzed side by side with that of their counterparts in other parts of the community, it was discovered that the people and government of Isi Uzo Local Government Area lose as much as 520 million naira annually to perished farm-produce, undervalued pricing, wasted investments and consequent losses in internal revenue base.

This retards the living standard of the people by as much as 60% of deserved rate, and quite unacceptable. The State and Local Governments, based on their known revenue bases can only do as much they are already on record to be doing, of course with room for possible improvement in the future. In a Global Village where the economic where-withal of the people of one area influences the economies of other areas, the rural dwellers in Isi Uzo need helping hands from outside their immediate social environment.

 

Matthew O. Abah,

Research Team Leader/Editor-in-Chief/CEO

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