By Francis Igata
ENUGU—The Enugu State Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, on Monday, revealed that over 1,000 buildings within Enugu metropolis built on waterways, drainage channels and on top of public utilities will be demolished to avert the impending flood doom plaguing the state.
ECTDA said the primitive parcellation of land by the immediate past administration at Enugu State Housing Authority which gave way for developers to build on flood planes and low lands was largely responsible for flood danger looming in the state.
Enugu House demands drastic action
This came on a day, the Enugu State House of Assembly demanded drastic action from the executive, urging ECTDA to quickly implement the existing law which frowns at the structures that contravenes Enugu metropolis master plan.
Commissioner for ECTDA, Chidi Aro, in the company of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Department of State Services, DSS, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Enugu State House of Assembly members, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, officials who were on an inspection tour of 141 affected sites said: ”We have issued ‘Stop Work Order’ to over 141 sites in the metropolis but they have consistently defied the order.
“All the sites have received more than five orders instructing the developer to stop work because none of them had approval from ECTDA to build the structures. All the buildings marked were built on waterways, drainage channels, on top of public utilities and without set backs from river banks.
“This is now a matter of national security in Enugu metropolis because if nothing is done, the city will be submerged in no distant future. We will embark on demolition of these buildings in line with our mandate and existing enabling law to avert the danger of flood looming in the state. Some of the developers built on top of railway line while some built right inside the river.
“They reclaimed land by sand filling the area and also obstruct natural waterway. This action will conscript the flow of water and redirect the water flow to another area. The houses obstruct natural flow of water which make the river fight for an escape route. That is why you see Lagoons spring up in parts of the metropolis.”
Chairman House Committee on ECTDA, James Akadu, representing Igbo-Etiti West constituency, while frowning at the action of the developers,gave ECTDA a marching order, saying,”we demand a drastic action to forestall Enugu metropolis from being submerged. This is totally unacceptable.”
“The enabling Law has been passed and signed and we demand an implementation from ECTDA. We will continue to support the ECTDA in its fight to restore the original master plan of the city and deter developer from building on flood planes in the state.”