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Akwa Ibom spends N10 billion on erosion control

The Akwa Ibom Government said it has spent N10 billion on erosion control projects in the state in the last nine months.

The Commissioner for Environment, Charles Udoh told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket on Friday that the money was spent on two major sites.

“The two major sites are Etim Umana Erosion and St. Luke Hospital erosion control projects,” he said.

The commissioner said businesses, houses and other infrastructure have been displaced by erosion and flood in the areas.

According to him, more cities in Akwa Ibom are prone to gully erosion due to the natural topography and soil texture in those locations.

“This automatically means that whenever there is a downpour, we are in the rain belt, gully erosion will become a problem,” he said.

He said the building of houses on the right of way and farming on the slope of gully were some causes of gully erosion.

Mr Udoh said the flood on IBB Avenue in Uyo, if not checked, could have a spill effect on erosion control.

“We are receiving a major drain to evacuate flood water because if you allow flood water to be there (IBB avenue) for a long time, it will begin to hit the crux of the earth surface.

“Then erosion will begin to prick in, especially in a place like Uyo that the soil texture is loose,” Mr Udoh said.

The commissioner said the state government ”had rescued more than 100 houses, including the entire St. Luke and School of Nursing in Etim Umana, from erosion”.

The state government alone, he said, ”could not solve the state’s erosion problem, that is why it was seeking for intervention (ecological funds) to do that”.

Mr Udoh said the state government had identified 10 erosion sites to carry out control projects but lacked the funds to execute the job.

“We are trying to access the ecological funds, we hope that we will have some success.”

He said some residents of Uyo, Ibesikpo-Asutan and Itu local governments still live in erosion-prone areas despite being asked to evacuate the sites.

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