BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Residence of Boro-pit Satellite town in Calabar municipality area of Cross River state who have suffered great devastation and loss as a result of erosion and flood for several years, have appealed to the state government to direct the contractors handling the job to start and complete the work before the rainy season sets up.
It would be recalled that the contract was awarded in December 2020 by World Bank Project: Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project(Newmap) in Cross River state.
More than ten buildings have been flushed away by flood since 2001 while personal belongings worth thousands of Naira were equally destroyed as a result of the flood.
Our investigations revealed that “from what is on the ground, there are no signs or seriousness on the part of the contractors that the work will be completed before the rains starts.
Dr. Silas Peter, one of the affected residence said “my experience here is that when it starts to rain, the volume of water that flows through this axis of the Boro-pit is high, frightening and dangerous because it pulls down fence as well as buildings”.
He continued, “years back, my concrete fence was pulled down by the flood that flows along the Boro pit extension because there is no proper channel for it to pass. The Indian bamboo that I planted beside the fence have all been pulled down by the contract. Yet work on the construction of the channel has not started.
He added “World Bank has awarded this contract since January 16, 2021. The company came and escaverted the drainage line and went away”.
However, he said. “we are happy that the contractor is back on site. We are appealing to the state government through its agency Newmap to advice them to commence work on the construction of a drainage channel before the rainy season starts in ernest”.
According to him, “our experiences over the years are not worth recalling. Some of us have lost our entire building to flood as well as personal belongings worth thousands of Naira”.
“We are grateful to the state government under the leadership of Senator Ben Ayade and his able team, Newmap and the World Bank for coming to our aid. We want to assure them of our total cooperation while they stay within the community to do their job. We are peace loving community and law abiding”.
Earlier, the Chairman of Boro-pit Satellite town residence of Akim Quo Community, Calabar municipality, Chief Eyong Edet Inyang narrated their experiences since 2001 saying “we have experienced alot as far as this area and flood is concerned. Since then, we have lost more than 10 buildings from Effiong Street to Boro pit and more are being threatened”.
He recalled that “the Chairman of Edimotop residence and Satellite town in December last year met with the management of Newmap where the introduced the contractors to us. Since then, they did few clearance and left until few days ago when we saw them bringing their equipment to site”.
“Just as we are happy with the state government and the World Bank, we want them to commence with the concrete work which is the main problem early enough, Inyang said”.
He promised that “there shall be no vandalization of any kind as the work goes on but appealed to World Bank to mandate the contractor to do a good job and ensure that it delivered before the rainy season”.
Property worth several millions of Naira have been destroyed by erosion flood over the years leaving many families homeless.
Effort to speak Mr. Inyang Asibong, acting chairman of Newmap proved abortive as he could not be reached in his office after several attempts by our reporter before filling this report.
However sources close to the office, confirmed that the contract was awarded since December 2020.
The source further expressed deep shock that work had not started on the site.