Erosion Cuts Off Onitsha-Owerri Road

Many residents have sent Save-Our-Soul appeal to Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo and President Bola Tinubu to come to their aid as landslide cuts off Onitsha-Owerri expressway.
The erosion, they said, was not only threatening many buildings but also lives of residents of Oba in Idemili South local government area of Anambra State.

According to them, only a lane was currently being plied on the busy highway further slowing traffic as the slide, said to be about 100 meters deep and 400 meters long had buried the concrete culvert earlier used to control gully erosion there.

No reconstruction had begun in the affected area which had been cordoned off. Major cracks were seen several metres along the road from the popular Oba junction.

A resident, Innocent Akwuegbu, told The Nation that those living around the area were at the risk of losing their lives if nothing was done urgently by both the state and federal governments. For, Chinyeaka Okpara from Abia State, their building and many others were at risk of being swallowed by the erosion soon.

Some property owners were yesterday seen inspecting the extent of damage with a view to deciding their next action.

Others, whose filling stations and houses were close to the site of the landslide said that with the rainy season getting to its peak, there were fears that the menace might claim more land in the area.

An Onitsha- based businessman, Chief Francis Nnaka, who said he had a recently built two-storey building close to the affected area called on the federal and state governments to intervene without further delay to save many buildings and land already acquired for development.
“Government cannot say that it did not know that gully erosion was developing on this spot for over one year.

“Last week, it was just about two feet to the road and If they had controlled it at that level, this massive slide would not have occurred. Now, hundreds of millions of naira will be spent to handle it.

“And if nothing is done immediately, both lanes of the expressway will be affected, which might lead to a complete closure of the Oba section of the road,” Nnaka lamented.