Residents of erosion prone areas of Asutan Street, Ikpa, Use Offot road and the environs in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital have sent a Save our Soul letter to the governor, Udom Emmanuel for intervention.
In a letter dated December, 17, 2020 and a reminder on June, obtained by our correspondent, the victims under the body of Asutan Street Ravine Neighbourhood landlord forum pleaded with the governor to either address the issue of ravine encroachment or pay them compensation to enable them relocate to safety environment.
In the letter signed by the Chairman and the Secretary of the forum, Edet Michael and Joseph Okon respectively, the forum expressed fear that the intensity of the rains would trigger more landslides in the area saying that their buildings risk collapse.
Part of the letter read, “The rains are getting serious this year and we are already traumatized that the advancement of the ravine encroachment will swallow our buildings leaving us homeless like refugees in our fathers land.
“Our dear governor sir, we are in dire straits, please help us out of this nightmare we cannot foretell what will befall us should the advancement of the ravine meet us still staying in the area.
“We make a passionate appeal to pay us compensation to enable us relocate to safer place than the ravine
Also the people of Use Offot, Uyo, complained of the flood menace in their area.
The occupants of a story building at Ubara street in the area were last week sacked by flood which took over the building after pulling down its fence. They however urged the state government to intervene in their plight.
Similarly, residents of Ikpa road and its environs in Uyo also raised the alarm over the collapsed section of the community road.
It was gathered that the road which leads to the government Science Park and the Uyo City Polytechnic, a private institution in the state, collapsed on Wednesday due to encroachment of a deep gully erosion, thereby rendering the place impassable.
Students of the Polytechnic, motorists and some residents have recounted the challenges and difficulties they face in crossing over the road.
According to one Effiong Archibong, a villager, “It’s very stressful now for residents of this village. Vehicles and Keke Napep carrying students and others have to stop one side while the occupants trek to the other side to board another vehicle, even trekking on the portion of the road still standing is a risk because you don’t know when it will finally collapse.”
Another resident who identified himself as Emmanuel Okon called on the state government to save lives and property by intervening on the road without delay.
“We are calling on the state government to save us from this looming disaster. It needs urgent attention because if it rains two or three times again, the buildings will collapse”, he said.
However, the Commissioner of Environment and Solid Minerals, Charles Udoh has issued threat notice with the erection of caution barriers around the vicinity.
Udoh in a statement made available to our correspondent on Monday explained that the caution barriers was to prevent human and vehicular traffic from falling into the ravine.
“Recall that a few months ago, the Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals had erected caution barriers to prevent human or vehicular Traffic from falling into the gully.
“This was to allow for site evaluation survey, development of engineering drawings as well as Bill of Engineering Measurements and Evaluation to guide the restoration works. These processes are currently ongoing.
“In the interim, members of the public are advised to avoid the vicinity, while motorists should use alternative routes.
“Residents, citizens and businesses in the affected neighborhoods are advised to remain vigilant and evacuate the vicinity for now”, the commissioner said.