By Ike Uchechukwu
THE project monitoring committee in Ikot-Nkebre community in Calabar Municipality has appealed to the World Bank not to abandon the erosion control work at Agrofield and the community road destroyed while reclaiming the gully in the area.
Speaking to NDV in Calabar, the Secretary of Ikot-Nkebre Community Association, Mr. Emmanuel Ewa, thanked the World Bank and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) for their remediation works in the community and solicited further intervention.
Ewa maintained that all the communities in the area were contiguous until they were separated by erosion, making movement impossible from one community to the other.
“When the project was captured, the Agro Feed Community had no problem of erosion and so was not captured but before NEWMAP finished drawing their plans and came to commence work, the continuous rains had devastated the area.
“During a stakeholders meeting coordinated by World Bank former TTL & National NEWMAP Abuja in 2019 at the project site, the Agro feed sections of the gully was captured for remediation works and the contractor Akpaven Integrated Services Ltd was directed to commence works on the finger but surprisingly years later no substantial works was done.
“Also, the information reaching the committee is that the contractor did not have the approval letter to work on that sections of the gully and efforts to speak with the contractor were not successful as key management staff were not available to respond to the issue.
“What we are appealing for now is for the Agro Feed community to be included in the plan for remediation work.
“This is because whatever is done in Ikot Nkebre, if the Agro Feed section is not worked on, the same erosion will start from there and come back to the other communities apart from the huge division the gully has caused,” he said.
On his part, Mr. Bassey Effiong, a leader and resident of Ikot Nkebre community said the remediation works carried out by World Bank was impressive but had not totally solved the problem of the communities.
“The road that connects all these communities had been washed away by erosion and the remedial measures contracted to Akpaven Integrated Services and supervised by NEWMAP did not capture this challenge.
“It is just like World Bank has taken care of the erosion without caring about the interrelationship among these communities,” he lamented.
Another concerned resident, John Egu told NDV that if the road connecting the communities in the area was reinstated, it will check further erosion and devastation of the area.
His words, “If that road is left alone, the way it is at present, it means that something would have to be done later which might not be easy.
“These communities used to be like a single community, there was no division and one road linked them all from the Muritala Muhammed Highway to the market but that road has been washed away leaving an impassable gully.”