By Chukwuemeka Chukwu
Onitsha--------Stakeholders iin Onitsha, Anambra State, ncluding the Catholic and Anglican Churches, the Onitsha Improvement Union, the Justice Development and Peace Commission , JDPC, residents of Obeleagu and Nkisi Aroli Street among others have askef both the federal and state governments to declare state of emergencies lin Onitsha over gully erosion in the area.
They spoke weekend in Onitsha, during a meeting called on delberate on the impact of gully erosion in the commercial city of Anambra State.
They spoke against the backdrop of the gully erosion which destroyed about 15 commercial and residential houses worth millons of Naira at Obeleagu Street in Onitsha.
According to them, iit has become very imperative for the federal and Anambra State government to declare the place a disaster area of emergency situation they found themselves in.following the destruction of 22 residential and commercial buildings altogether in the area, just as about 1500 families have been displaced..
They further said that since September 11, 2019 when the gully erosion started, till date, house hold property worth billions of naira had been lost by displaced people, while ancestral graves and lands have been washed away in the process.
Rev. Fr. Edwin Udoye, the Executive Director JDPC, in Onitsha Archdiocese led a peaceful protest to register their displeasure and disappointment over the failure of both the federal and state governments alleged non challant attitude towards addressing the disaster since last year when it started.
The churches and residents warned that the gully erosion would cause more damages if nothing concrete was done immediately to salvage the situation.
In their placards with various inscriptions, the stakeholders stated, "We have lost 22 houses including three and two storey buildings to Obeleagu and Nkiai Aroli streets respectively to gully erosion.
"1500 families have been displaced over the Obeleagu gully erosion. Federal and Anmbra State government should declare a state of emergency on Obeleagu Street gully erosion Onitsha and many others," they protesters said. .Others who spoke included the President of Onitsha Improvement, Mr. Chike Ekweogu, Parish Priest St Mary Catholic Parish, Inland Town Onitsha, Rev. Fr. Johnbosco Okafor, his counterparts from St Stephens Anglican Church, Rev Canon Emmanuel Ibezim, Rev. Chinedu Emmanuel of St Philips Anglican Church and Mr Robert Ndubuisi of JDPC St Mary's Parish Onitsha respectively. They asked the federal and state governments to the needful to address the threatening gully erosion disaster now that it has not claimed any life.