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The government of Abia State has ordered the residents of the erosion-ravaged area along Ovom street, Ogbor Hill, Aba, to immediately begin to relocate to safe areas to allow reconstruction work to commence in the area.
Mrs Joy Maduka who is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, revealed that the state government has offered temporary accommodation to the victims and urged them to accept the offer to avoid loss of lives and properties.
She noted that the erosion which has stretched more than 200 metres had destroyed many buildings and was threatening lives of residents.
The Eastern Updates reports that due to the increasing floods and erosion, the state government declared the area an endangered area and warned residents to relocate.
In an interview with reporters, Mrs Maduka, the residents have been served with vacation order and asked to relocate on or before January 12,2024.
She explained that the government wants to ensure that no life is lost as well as stop the destruction of more properties.
The Permanent Secretary also assured that adequate measures have been put in place to manage the situation, stressing that reconstruction work will commence as soon as the residents relocate.
She said; “The government is appealing to the residents of the erosion ravaged areas of Ovom street to relocate. Most of them have relocated to other areas. The government is offering temporary accommodation to the residents who are yet to relocate. They need to relocate to safe to allow reconstruction work to commence in the area. Time given them to relocate has expired. We have given them several notices, the last one expired on January 12,2024. Government wants to ensure that no life is lost and to save more buildings. The government is appealing to them not to delay their relocation because nobody knows how far the erosion has penetrated underground. We are appealing to relocate without further delay. Adequate measures will be put on ground to manage the situation.”
In an interview with reporters, one of the residents, who gave her name as Mrs Ijeoma, pleaded with the state government to allow them stay in their houses while reconstruction work goes on.
She pleaded that her family will no longer have any source of livelihood if they relocate to another, stressing that she doesn’t any fund to rent a new building.
“We are pleading with the government to allow us to stay while they reconstruct the area. Where are they expecting us to relocate to? This borehole water we are selling is our only source of livelihood. So, what becomes our fate if they relocate us? This building is the only property left by my late husband. If they relocate us to the temporary place ,how will be feeding and taking care of ourselves?”
Another resident asked the state government to release funds to the affected residents to enable them to find alternative accommodation.