NSE joins the Calls For State Of Emergency to tackle Erosion, urges Government to support those affected

The Chairman of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr Rita Ofojeama, has made an appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Chukwuma Soludo to declare state of emergency on Oko erosion sites to avert further devastation. She made this call when she led members of Nigeria Society of Engineers, Aguata branch on tour of the gully erosion sites.

Ofojeama expressed worry over the devastation caused by erosion in the areas and appealed for urgent intervention of government as most houses in the area had caved in to  gully erosion, urging government to help save the lives and property of people living closer to the erosion sites.

She however commended the state government for its efforts in putting smiles on the faces of people in the state by flagging off so many developmental projects, including Ekwulobia flyover and other roads projects in the locality.

The delegation of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Aguata branch which included, Engr Kenechukwu Onwughalu, Secretary, Engr Friday Ibe and others, including Engineers Emeka Achukwu and Eliseus Obiekwe, suggested that both federal and state governments should employ the services of professional for surveying to proffer lasting solution to the erosion menace.

Anambra is the gully erosion state in Nigeria- Soludo

It will be recalled that the Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo while visiting the cite of the erosion in the state has also pointed out that the issue of gully erosion should be a national emergency as the resources to tackle the problem are beyond the capacity of the state government.

He said, “Each time, I speak about the environment as the number one existential threat in the state. Anambra is the gully erosion state in Nigeria. The resources to solve this gully are beyond the capacity of the state government. The issue of gully erosion should be a national emergency, together with flooding in seven local government areas presently submerged under water. Properties, livelihoods, and farmlands are largely affected by the flood menace.

“We are deploying every penny we have to ensure that in the first phase, we fix strategic roads in the state.” he said.

In a similar development, the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor has also previously called for the immediate declaration of a state of emergency on erosion ravaging several parts of the country so as to comprehensively tackle the menace. She said this while on a visit to Anambra State

According to her: “Anambra state is losing its landmass. People are losing their lives, and means of livelihood to erosion. I want to assure you that work is starting immediately, hence this inspection. All contractors will be put on their toes, as we work with both the State Government and host communities in this regards,” she said.

Speaking on the role of the citizenry in erosion prevention and management, the Minister, emphasized the need for continued public sensitization and awareness creation on waste management, afforestation and reduction in green gas emission.

She said: “We need to educate our people, because a larger percentage of the environmental challenges we are suffering today are man-made. We cannot blame everything on nature. What is happening to the climate today was caused by man.

..Government should Employ teamwork of professionals to address Building Collapses menace

After inspecting the Oko erosion sites, members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers proceeded on a courtesy visit to a senior citizen and Civil Engineer at Isuofia community, Engr Patrick Obidike, on preventive measures against building collapses in the state and country at large.

Addressing his guests, Engineer Obidike recounted how he waged war to stop quackery in Engineering profession while in active service, and urged members and government to uphold engineering standard and deal with quackery in order to minimize incidences of building collapses in the country. Other Engineers present also listed measures to adopt in addressing building collapse to include hiring of Architects or competent building contractors, soil testing, use of suitable foundation designs and construction, as well as complying with building regulations.

Responding, Engineer Ofojeama noted that Engineers require team work and recommended that governments employteam of  professionals to help fight quackery in building industry, give appointments to credible individuals, as well as train and retrain staff to encourage professionalism.

In his vote of thanks, Engineer Emeka Achukwu thanked Engineer Obidike and the resource person, Engineer Okeke for hosting members of the society and remarked that a society devoid of collapse of buildings is attainable, if all adhere to the national building codes.

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