- Flood menace kills 1, renders many homeless in Alor-Uno community
- Community writes Enugu state govt, contractor, threatens legal action
- Many residents relocate to other neighbouring communities
Those living in Alor-Uno community, Nsukka local government area of Enugu state said fear, anxiety and anguish have become their lot as flood has continued to destroy their houses and even kill some of the residents.
Located some 6km away from Nsukka town, the headquarters of the council area, Alor-Uno community has been living like sheep without shepherd as far as natural disasters is concerned.
Tracing the origin of their ordeal, one of the residents of the community, Mr. James Odo explained that the community was thrown into flood menace when a construction company contracted by the state government to control flood around Onuiyi axis left without finishing their work.
According to Mr. Odo, ” after several years of appeal to the state government, a construction company was contracted to handle the flood menace; from Onuiyi, Zik’s flat UNN to the community, a distance of about five kilometres.
“But half way into the project, the work was abandoned, leaving the community worse off than before the award of the project.
“As you can see, many houses are submerged with flood since over a week now.”
Explaining further, Mr. Odo narrated that the community has appealed to the state government to come to their aid and save the community from such ugly situation, all to no avail.
He said that every year, some residents lose their life and valuable property to the ravaging flood in the community.
By and large, not satisfied with the handling of the matter by the state government, some residents of the community on May 26,2023 planned to drag the state government and the construction company to court for allegedly destroying their land.
In a letter dated May 3, 2023 and signed by Chijioke Ugwu, Sabastine Omeje and Kenneth Eze on behalf of the community, the trio threatened to take legal action should the state government and the contractor failed to complete the erosion control project from Onuiyi down to Alor-Uno community.
WITHIN NIGERIA also gathered that an ultimatum was given to both the state government and the contractor, which our findings revealed had elapsed.
Despite all the ultimatum and threat of legal action by the community, nothing has been done by either of the party to ameliorate the situation.
Our reporter also gathered that many residents have continued to flee to other neigbouring communities like Ibagwa-Ani and Okpuje communities for fear of losing their lives to the menace.
Though the ultimatum has elapsed and nothing has been done, the community is yet to institute any legal action against the duo.
Speaking to our reporter in a telephone chat, one of the residents who issued the threat letter, Mr. Sabastine Omeje narrated that the situation has continued to worsen.
” Our community is becoming worse everyday due to menace of flood. We have been living in fear of unknown everyday.”
Asked if the state government has done anything since the letter was sent to them, Mr. Omeje said that ” they have not done anything since then. Neither has the state government called us together to know or find a way out of the situation.”
Explaining further, he said that ” the only thing is that the contractor has called us, begging that we should not take any legal action against them.”
On whether they are still willing to institute legal against the state government and the contractor, Mr. Omeje stated that ” we are still willing to take legal action if they did not comply by completing the project very well. The only thing now is that we have been consulting and notifying every person and or organisation we need to notify before we drag them to court.”
However, WITHIN NIGERIA gathered that last Saturday, flood killed another person in the community following a down pour that day.
The victim identified as Henry Ike was swept away by the ravaging flood around the village in the community on Friday and his lifeless body was discovered on Saturday.
The deceased, who was from Imilike in the Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, reportedly left his home around three days ago and didn’t come back till his body washed up by flooding in Alor-Uno community.
His remains, which have been removed, was placed at the Bishop Shanahan Hospital in Nsukka Local Government Area.
According to one of the relations who spoke to newsmen under anonymity, the victim was healthy when he was last seen.
However, since the latest incident, the community has been embroiled in anguish, pains and desperation as there is no visible sign of either Enugu state government or the contractor finding a lasting solution to the worsening flood menace in the community.
Nevertheless, all efforts to get the reactions of the state government on the matter proved abortive as the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Chief Gerald Otiji could not pick his calls to comment on the situation.