The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, consider Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State, as an erosion disaster threatened area, and come to the aid of the people by reconstructing and including the roads in the area in the ongoing rural road development projects.
The House consequently mandated the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Federal Ministry of Environment, and Ecological Fund Office to intervene to ensure that the gullies created by the erosion and the roads, houses and infrastructure destroyed were repaired and reconstructed.
It also mandated the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs, and Ecological Fund Office to ensure that the persons who have been displaced from their houses, offices, business premises were resettled.
The House further mandated the House Committees on Works, NDDC, Emergency & Disaster Preparedness, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Environment and Habitat and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance to the resolutions and report back to the House within the shortest time possible for further legislative action.
These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by the member representing the Ideato North/South Federal Constituency, Hon. Ikeagwuonu Onyinye Ugochinyere.
Moving the motion, Ugochinyere noted that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that the security, safety and welfare of the people of Nigeria shall be the primary purpose of government.
Ugochinyere also noted that the National Assembly is saddled with the task of making laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation or any part thereof as enshrined in Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
He observed with dismay, the disturbing rise in the level of erosion and road collapse affecting many communities in the country, particularly in Dimagu, Okohia (Umufeke), Umuaghobe (Uhuala), Isiekenesi, Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator, Arondizuogu and Akokwa, all in Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency of Imo State, and its ravaging impact on the socio-economic lives of the people.
The erosion, the lawmaker said, has created gullies and swept off houses and farmlands in Obodukwu, Isiokpo, Umuchima, Isiekenesi, Akokwa and Arondizuogu, leaving its citizens internally displaced.
Ugochinyere, who’s the chairman of House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), expressed worry that the gullies created by the erosion and the collapse of roads, poses a severe threat to the economic survival of the Eastern states and this, in turn, affects the country at large.
He went further: “The Dimagu erosion after St. Barnabas Church and Umuojisi is a death trap to motorists. The erosion sites in Okohia (Umufeke) and Umuaghobe (Uhuala) are seriously encroaching into and flooding residential houses within the area such as Isiekenesi, Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator, Arondizuogu and Akokwa.
“Concerned that the alternative road bypass for motorists and pedestrians have also collapsed, increasing the force of the erosion directly towards the popular Umuchima market Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator, Arondizuogu and Akokwa which has led to uncontrollable flooding of the market which will sooner or later completely erode market activities and displace the marketers.
“Worried that as at date, Ideato has become an erosion disaster zone with eight people already dead since the raining season started and over eight homes destroyed. The erosion disaster has gone deep into Akokwa, Arondizuogu Urualla, Obodukwu, Umueshi, Amanator, and their farm lands.
“The bridges have completely collapsed and access to farm lands is now impossible. Also Worried that the Ntueke Umueshi erosion have cut off the major road linking Ideato to Okigwe Federal Constituency, the Arondizuogu erosion and road collapse have also cut off road linking Ideato to Abia State, through Okigwe.
“Desires that Ideato North/ South Federal Constituency should be included in the planned distribution of palliatives as our farmlands have been washed away, to help cushion the suffering and by so doing, actualize Mr. President’s objective for declaring a state of emergency in the food and agricultural sector.
“Troubled that for years, the people of Ideato North/South, Imo State have, on many occasions, cried out to the government to come to their aid and bring a long-lasting solution to this problem but have gotten no substantial intervention to fix the road.”
Following the adoption of the motion, the House, thereafter, referred it to its Committees on Works, NDDC, Emergency Preparedness, Environment, and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.