Naomi Gabriel —
Inhabitants of Umudim village in Ekwulumili, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State say they have been engrossed in constant fear over the gully erosion sweeping away homes and farmlands in the area.
Many who are directly affected by the disaster say they have lost their ancestral land where they were supposed to build on and cultivate and there are reports which say that the massive gully measuring several metres in width and depth is expanding speedily.
Mrs Charity Ezeoke, a resident on the side of the erosion which she acknowledged is only few metres away from their homes said they live in constant fear of losing their houses to the erosion. She also confirmed that the erosion has been there since she was a young and efforts made to correct it had failed.
She therefore called on the government of Anambra State to relocate them to avert more damages.
“Whenever it rains, the way it pulls trees and earth sounds like an earthquake and makes us live in fear all the time, she said.
“Government should help us control the erosion or even come and evacuate us because we don’t have peace”.
Another resident of the area, Mr Chukwura Ntagu, said the gully had cut them off from their brothers and sisters in neighbouring Umudim village in Amichi whom they have lived and interacted with for ages.
Ntagu said many people have left the town due to the erosion threat while most people are homeless because their lands have been washed away.
“It was not as big as this in the past, we used to pass through this place to Ochi in Amichi where we used to have our match past but it has continued to grow. This place where I am standing is my ‘ala obi’ (land inheritance) where I am supposed to build and farm but it has been washed off.
“Those of us who live on the bank of the erosion don’t sleep whenever it rains, many families have lost their homes and ran to their family members in other locations”, he said.