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18th of July 2018

Nigeria News

Gully Erosion: Southeast losing land to over 2,800 active sites – WIEF

World Igbo Environmental Foundation, WIEF, has said that there are over 2,800 active erosion sites threatening to sack most communities in the South East of Nigeria from their ancestral land.

Chairman of the Foundation, Dr Odili Ojukwu, raised the alarm while speaking to newsmen in Awka yesterday.

Ojukwu called for community participation in the management and protection of environment from erosion.

He blamed the prevalence of gully erosion on faulty road construction and drainage systems, adding that people must ensure that development activities in their areas do not result to erosions.

According to him, there are over 1000 active erosion sites in Anambra, 300 in Imo, 500 in Abia, 500 in Enugu and 500 in Ebonyi states.

“We tried to establish bottom line of the causes of erosion and gully issues within the Southeast and Southsouth Regions, these are the areas that are most exposed to erosion.

“As we speak in Anambra alone, there are over 1000 active erosion sites, in Imo there are about 300, Abia 500, Enugu 500 and Ebonyi 500.

“So if you aggregate it, you will discover that the entire region is at risk of losing its ancestral land.

“WIEF is saying that every community has their right to protecting their environment; nobody should come into your land to destroy it unless you allow them.

“Communities need to take ownership of their environment that is what will enable them see potential erosions and check it to prevent them from becoming gullies.

“Climate change is also a factor but that is after all the anthropogenic issues have been taken care of, that is; all human effect on vegetations must be limited,” he said.

Ojukwu who is an Environmental Consultant said gully erosions are regional problems and not localised, adding that there was need for holistic approach to addressing the menace.

He said government at various levels have not done enough to check erosion as the institutions and policies that guarantee sustainable environment were nonfunctional or lacking.

“Historically governments have not been able to do much to ensure environmental sustainability; this is also made worse by the I-don’t-care attitude of the people.

“Our institutions do not work, that is why there no technocrats who act on issues of environment on constant basis

“Gullies do not begin overnight, there are processes leading to them and they can be stopped with minimal effort at the community level.

“Gully erosions are not localised problems, most of the time we address them as localised problem instead of the regional proms that they are,

“The gully erosions that exist in one community may not be the effect of what is going on in that particular community but water flowing from other communities,” he said.

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