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Senate raises alarm over erosion, ocean surge in Edo, Anambra, Ondo

The Senate has raised the alarm that erosion and ocean surges are threatening the existence of hundreds of communities  in Edo, Anambra and Ondo states.…

The Senate has raised the alarm that erosion and ocean surges are threatening the existence of hundreds of communities  in Edo, Anambra and Ondo states.

The Senate, following the consideration of three separate motions Tuesday, called for urgent interventions by the Federal Government to address the issues and save the lives of people in the affected areas.

Monday Okpebholo (Edo Central), in his motion tagged ‘Urgent Need for Erosion Control in Edo Central Senatorial District to Save Lives and Properties’, said flooding had put many communities under the constant threat of erosion devastation, resulting in massive gully erosions, flooding and road devastations.

He said: “The Okene-Auchi-Benin expressway, a major road infrastructure in Nigeria began to fail at the Ekpoma axis owing to several gully erosions. The Ewu-Uromi-Agbor Road corridor has also experienced similar fate in Uromi axis. Nigerians in Irrua, Ekpoma, Uromi, Ewu and other communities have fled their homes.

“In June, two persons died after being swept away from their homes in Ujoelen, Ekpoma. A school girl died two years ago in Efandion, Uromi, on her way to school due to the uncontrollable flooding.”

Victor Umeh (Anambra Central), in his motion, said gully erosion and landslide had damaged several roads in the senatorial district. 

He said, “The erosion and landslide are creating traffic gridlock along the sections of the Onitsha-Owerri Highway.

“If the menace of gully erosion and landslide is not urgently controlled, those sections of the road will completely cave in, thus leading to total disconnection of the highway with attendant severe consequences and cutting off of vehicular movement to Imo, Abia, Akwa lbom, Rivers and Cross River States.”

Senator Jimoh Ibrahim (Ondo South), in his motion, said hundreds of home and properties were being destroyed yearly due to sea incursions and ocean surges, resulting in the displacement of indigenes of the community and the disruption of oil exploration in the area. 

He said Ayetoro community and its environs accounted for 5.4 percent of the 60,000 barrel per day of Ondo State’s crude oil production output amounting to about 3.7 percent of Nigeria’s total oil production.

He expressed worry that ocean surges havd become an annual occurrence that successive governments had failed to attend to and serving as daily reminder to the indigenes of Ayetoro that the community was gradually slipping into the belly of the Atlantic Ocean. 

The lawmaker urged the federal government to provide a temporary Ayetoro community on the land pending when permanent solutions would be available. 

The Senate, accordingly, mandated the Committees on Niger Delta Affairs, Environment and Ecology to interface with relevant Ministries to work out modalities for instant intervention in the disaster. 

It also mandated the Committee on Niger Delta  Affairs (when constituted) to conduct an investigation into the N6.5 billion-shoreline protection contract awarded by the NDDC in 2006 with a view to finding an alternative solution where necessary.

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