By Charles Igwe
The Senate has expressed alarm over the severe devastation caused by erosion in Edo and Anambra States. Senators have called on the Federal Government to take immediate action to address the issues and protect the lives and properties of the affected communities.
Senator Monday Okpebholo, representing Edo Central senatorial district, highlighted the flooding and erosion problems in the region. Major roads, such as the Okene-Auchi-Benin expressway and the Ewu-Uromi-Agbor Road corridor, have been affected by massive gully erosions. Communities in Irrua, Ekpoma, Uromi, Ewu, and others have experienced displacement and damage due to the erosion. The cost of interventions to combat erosion is beyond the capacity of local and state governments to bear. Senator Okpebholo urged federal agencies, including the Federal Ministry of Environment, Ecological Fund Office, and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, to collaborate in addressing the erosion devastation in the Edo Central Senatorial District.
Senator Victor Umeh, representing Anambra Central senatorial district, drew attention to the erosion ravaging the Onitsha-Oba section of the Onitsha-Owerri Federal Highway in Anambra State. He warned of severe consequences if the erosion is not controlled. The erosion has caused disruptions to the road, with one lane cut off and the second lane under threat of collapse. Buildings and factories in the area are at risk of collapsing into the gully. The erosion and landslide have also caused traffic gridlock along the highway. Senator Umeh emphasized the significance of the Onitsha-Owerri federal highway as a crucial gateway for business activities and relationships between Western States and the South East and South-South States. He called on the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to commence repairs and reconstruction of the affected parts of the road and for regular surveillance to identify erosion threats on federal highways.
The Senate has urged the Federal Government to address these erosion challenges and prioritize the protection of affected areas. The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) have been called upon to take immediate action in preventing erosion and maintaining the integrity of federal roads.