A downpour, on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, turned many landlords into tenants in the city of Calabar, Cross River State.
Vanguard reports that no fewer than six houses and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed by the heavy rainfall at Nyagasang community in Atimbo area of Calabar Municipality.
The houses, which were brought down after a heavy down pour that fell on September 10 and 11, were close to a ravine that has eaten deeply into the community and most part of the area eroded by flood, land slide.
Vanguard gathered that aside the buildings that were completely brought down, over 20 buildings in the area were also under threat of possible destruction.
One of the victims, Mr. Asuquo Akpan, told the national daily newspaper that the heavy down pour caused havoc in the area, pulling down houses and forcing the occupants to flee for safety.
According to Akpan, over 100 residents in the area have been displaced from their ancestral homes following incident.
His words : “As you can see, all these building were standing here. This gully site has eaten deep into this area and is beginning to fall down houses.
“We have been continuously calling on governments and the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP, to come to our aid. “As you can see, we are in danger. Some of the landlords are now tenants. We are appealing to government in tears to help us. “We have written severally to the state government and NEWMAP and we were told that the gully will be addressed in phase 2 but we don’t know how long that will take,” he said. Another victim, Mr. Umoh Etim, who said he has lived in the area for over 30 years, said there was no ravine in the area at the early stage of building.
According to him, when the ravine started building up, the community had to plant bamboo trees to curb the widening of the ravine.
He bemoaned that properties worth millions of naira have been lost due to the destruction, thereby appealing for help from government and relevant agencies.
On his part, the Acting Director-General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. Princewill Ayim, who assessed the extent of destruction, said no life was lost during the incident.
Ayim, said that the assessment would be sent to the zonal office of the National Emergency Management Agency for transmission to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja for prompt response.
He said that the agency had held several advocacy and sensitisation programmes and enlightening the public not to build along water channels.
Ayim advised those living along the water Channels to move to higher grounds for their safety.
“From what we have seen, the buildings were standing on the ravine. It’s unfortunate that this has happened; I will inform NEMA for necessary actions,” he said.