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Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Charles Soludo has called on the federal government and other development partners to come to the rescue of his state, lamenting that between 30 to 40 percent of its land is being threatened by erosion and other ecological problems.
Soludo, made the disclosure while fielding questions from State House Correspondents, after meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor, who maintained that erosion had become a state of emergency in his state, and that even the state’s entire budget for ten consecutive years would not be enough to remedy the situation, said that only an immediate intervention from the federal government and other development partners could save the situation.
Soludo, on the other hand, revealed that the state government had already begun steps to increase environmental awareness among the people, with the goal of limiting factors that exacerbate the erosion problem.
‘The environment is our number one existential threat, other than security, and Anambra is the erosion capital of Nigeria. Perhaps, you might know that about 30% to 40% of our land is under threat of erosion, there’s no other state like Anambra, when it comes to erosion. Even last week, somewhere between Ezinhifite/Osumenyin Road was cut off again and several … Huge gullies everywhere; Obosi, Oko, Nanka, Aguolo, everywhere, there’s erosion menace.
‘Like I said, while our landmass is shrinking massively due to erosion and so on, it’s far, far beyond the capacity of a state government to deal with. Even if you were to sink the entire budget of the state into dealing with the gully erosion in the state, even if you were to sink all of them for the next ten years, it will still be like a drop in the ocean.
‘This is an area where the state government wishes to partner effectively with the federal government and the development partners to deal with that. It is a state of emergency, with regards to erosion. And of course, we’re also promoting this concept of responsible citizenship on the part of our people, to be able to take some responsible steps.
‘We are providing some regulations; people controlling the runoff water from their homes, they don’t just pipe them and get them off on the streets. Of course, they must go somewhere, contain it within you your place. Building controls; it will designate drain versus buildable areas, and so on and so forth.
‘Then of course, trying to tackle these things with early warning signals, and we’ll begin to tackle them. Clean up our drainages and make sure we channel runoff waters down to rivers and so on and so forth and not let them percolate on the road or try to go to unwanted places and so on and so forth.
‘We’re doing quite a whole lot. There are a few of them that have become like where the roads have been cut off, for example. We have no choice but to try to do something, but ultimately, to deal with the kind of erosion menace we have in Anambra will require quite very active, massive resource injection by the federal government’, he said.
Speaking on the security situation in his state, Soludo said Anambra ranks among the five to ten most secure states in the country, adding that most of the criminal rings in the state had been degraded as camps of kidnappers other organized criminal gangs had been uprooted.