- Honourable Benjamin Kalu have called on the federal government to combat the environmental degradation in parts of Abia, Imo, Delta and Rivers
- Kalu in a new motion called for the need to address the issue of flood and erosion that have swept some communities in the states
- According to Kalu, 40% of both primary and secondary schools in the area are forced to close due to the impact of erosion
The lawmaker representing Bende federal constituency, Benjamin Kalu, called on the federal government to combat the environmental degradation of ravaging roads in some parts of Abia, Imo, Delta and Rivers states.
Kalu said there is need to address the issue of flood and erosion that have swept some communities in the states.
In a motion sponsored on Thursday, June 13, at the 9th House of Representatives, Kalu noted that Bende local government area, with land mass of about 601 square kilometres is the largest LGA in Abia state.
He said the area which is largely agrarian and produces in commercial scale for both the domestic and international markets is prone to and already severely affected by erosion and other forms of environmental degradation.
He noted that all parts of Bende comprising of 99 autonomous communities - have been seriously impacted by erosion resulting to many roads in the area, including Umuahia–Bende Road, Bende-Itumabuzo-Akwa-Ibom State Border Road, having gully erosion depth of more than 150 feet and over one kilometer wide.
Stating that many roads in the area have been completely cut off by such erosion, the lawmaker said residents of the communities are no longer able to carry on their normal daily social, economic, religious and other activities and as well giving rise to various forms of criminality.
It was also gathered that many have been rendered homeless in parts of Achi, Umuhu Ezechi, Nkpa, Bende town, Umuimenyi, Alayi, Item, Itumbauzo among many others while over 40% of both primary and secondary schools in the area are forced to close due to the impact of erosion.
Kalu said he is worried that farmlands, sources of water in the area have been lost to some of the gullies that are as deep as 150 feet.
Presenting the motion, Kalu urged the Ecological Fund Office to as a matter of urgency, intervene by assessing, awarding and ensuring the complete execution of erosion control and remediation projects in severe erosion sites at Achi, Umuhu Ezechi, Nkpa, Bende town Umuimenyi, Alayi, Item, Itumbauzo and other sites within the area.
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He also urged the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to quickly commence the rehabilitation and maintenance of Akaeze–Igbere–Amaeke–Umuahia Road, Umuahia–Bende Road, Bende–Itumbuzor–Akwa-Ibom State Border Road and other roads with special emphasis on erosion and flood control.
While calling on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to quickly ensure the supply of relief materials to the affected areas, he said it is also important that the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Federal Ministry of Environment and other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies quickly react by deploying their various intervention mechanisms to arrest the situation and as well ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
The motion after amendments the motion was unanimously adopted and thereafter referred to the relevant authority for further actions.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that bad roads are not the reasons for injuries and accidents on the highways but carefree road users.
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The minister said road accidents are largely caused by over-speed and the carelessness of drivers as bad roads are not good for speedy driving.
Fashola said this in Abuja at a workshop on the five United Nations’ convention on road traffic agreed to by Nigeria.
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