The call to save Oro, an autonomous community in Abia State, from the dual challenges of environmental disaster and deficient road infrastructure has gained momentum, with more voices joining the plea to both the state and federal governments.
Oro stands as a significant commercial hub for cocoa and cassava production, contributing products that serve industries in both the eastern region and external markets.
A few days after key stakeholders made the call in Abia, Pascal Atuma, a seasoned movie director and community member, reaffirmed the importance of the plea.
In a brief telephone interview with selected journalists, Atuma highlighted that the menace has significantly impacted the economic fortunes of the community.
As a member of the community, the movie director expressed his lament, noting that health workers and teachers posted to the area often quickly abscond due to the immense challenges posed by erosion and poor road conditions.
He further lamented that every effort by the community in collaboration with those in the diaspora to put the menace under check had failed.
Few days earlier,traditional ruler of the town, HRM Eze Stanley Ijenwa, addressing newsmen at erosion site in Oro Autonomous Community in Iberenta Ikwuano LGA, Abia State, said the community is a majo a major cocoa-producing community in the state.
The agrarian community with a population of nearly 10,000, is also among the major producers of cassava and palm oil in the country.
However, gully erosion which is a serious threat to the community has been a major concern to the locals.
Poor access road is yet another giant challenge to the locals who said they were overwhelmed by the twin challenges of gully erosion and deplorable road.
Worried by the menace, the people have cried out both to the Federal Government and the Abia State Government for urgent intervention.
Speaking with newsmen at a threatening erosion site in the community earlier, the Traditional Ruler, HRH Eze Stanley Ijenwa, said many houses in the community could be washed away if no urgent actions were taken to avert the impending disaster.The monarch said that erosion menace which began in the community for many decades, had gone beyond their control.
Atuma mentioned that the pathway leading to the community’s source of drinking water has been ravaged by erosion.
Likewise, the royal father expressed his sorrow over the fact that two villages, Oboro and Nkalunta, along with Iberenta Community Primary School, have all been isolated due to the menace.