Three children in Uyo narrowly escaped being killed in a landslide that submerged their home kitchen and split their street in two halves.
It was gathered that the children, Aisha Umaru, 9, Yusuf Ibrahim, 6, and Fatima Ibrahim, 5 had barely left the kitchen on Sunday night after preparing their evening meals when the incident happened.
The father of the three children who is said to be a car dealer and tenant in the affected house, Mohammed Umaru, said he was in Okoita on Sunday when he received a call that his house had collapsed.
“I got a call from the landlord that the house had collapsed. I rushed back and what I saw was terrible. What we need now is help. Let government do something. I am helpless,” he said.
Landlord of the affected house, Francis Ikpe, who described the landslide as devastating said the children’s survival was a miraculous escape.
“The children were eating when suddenly there was a bang and the kitchen and everything inside it was buried. They would have been trapped; it was a miracle.
Ikpe said the community has been living with the erosion for the past 30 years, adding however that the erosion situation was now worse and disastrous.
“I am the landlord of No 16, Asutan street, the compound that is badly threatened by the erosion. We have lived with the erosion for more than 30 years, the dimension was not as disastrous as it is now.
“But when the state government decided to embark on massive streets repairs and drainages, water from the six adjoining streets, including barracks road, have been diverted to the place and no chamber was done to receive the water.
“A lot of damage has been caused to that place. Whenever it rains the volume of water increases and this has been posing threats to lives and properties” he said.
Responding to the incident during an unscheduled visit to the erosion area, the Commissioner of Environment and Petroleum Resources, Charles Udoh stated that the government is doing everything possible to mitigate the impact of erosion in the state.
He called on the Federal Government, and the World Bank to assist the state in tackling the problem, adding that the State Government alone cannot effectively control the erosion sites in the state.
He said the Ministry of Environment was going to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of all such projects in the state to ensure that problems like this do not happen again, and encouraged residents of the area to vacate the place.