Imo Community in Crisis: Devastating Catastrophe Unfolds

Facing the Wrath of Nature: Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency in Peril

The people of Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency are in a dire situation, battling against a formidable threat posed by severe erosion ravaging their area. The collapse of the Orlu – Akokwa – Uga road, a crucial federal road connecting Imo to Anambra and beyond, has left the community isolated and vulnerable.

Erosion Crisis Unleashed
The once vital Orlu – Akokwa – Uga road was severed at the Urasi River in Umuchima back in 2021 by relentless erosion, leaving devastation and despair in its wake. Despite the cries for help, government agencies have failed to provide any meaningful intervention, leaving the residents to face the wrath of nature alone.

Even the pleas of lawmakers representing the constituency, Hon. Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu and Senator Ostia Izunaso, at the National Assembly fell on deaf ears. The Senate mandated agencies like FERMA, NEMA, and EFO to carry out remedial works on various erosion sites in the Ideato Federal Constituency, but little progress has been made.

Neglected and Abandoned
Visits to the offices of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Federal Ministry of Works yielded no answers or solutions. The officials refused to comment on their plans to address the situation, leaving the community in a state of uncertainty and desperation.

Extensive Damage and Loss
Ideato, known for its susceptibility to erosion, now has over 200 erosion sites threatening lives and property. The devastating impact has led to the loss of homes, farmlands, and even lives, with damages estimated at over N4 billion. Communities like Umuchima, Obiohia, Isiekeneisii, Umueshi, Ogboko, Amanator, Urualla, and others are bearing the brunt of this ecological disaster.

Pleas for Assistance
Former President-General of Umuchima community, Mr. Chibueze Emelu, described the dire situation, highlighting the economic and social turmoil the erosion has caused. He pleaded with the Federal Government to intervene urgently, as the community faces extinction.

Looming Catastrophe
Hon. Ifeanyi Duru, a former member of the Ideato South LGA Caretaker Committee, expressed concern over the catastrophic proportions of the situation. Despite submitting reports and images of the erosion sites to the government, no action has been taken to mitigate the crisis.

Legislative Advocacy
State representatives like Hon. Johnson Iheonukara have raised the issue on the floor of the House, calling for urgent intervention. He expressed disappointment at the lack of response from relevant agencies and vowed to continue pushing for action.

Governor’s Response
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma acknowledged the severity of the situation, stating that the ecological problem in Ideato is beyond the state’s capacity. He revealed efforts to engage the Federal Government’s Ecological Funds Office (EFO) for assistance.

Hope on the Horizon
In a glimmer of hope, Ikeagwuonu, the member representing Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency, assured the community that help is on the way. The 2024 Appropriation Bill includes provisions for the Orlu-Akokwa-Uga road gully site, offering hope for a resolution to the crisis.

While the people of Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency continue to endure the ravages of erosion, they cling to the hope that government intervention will come swiftly and effectively. The road to recovery is long, but with concerted efforts and support, the community aims to overcome this existential threat.

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