For many years, flooding and erosion menace have posed serious environmental challenges in parts of Akwa Ibom, especially in Uyo, and other parts of the state. As a result, businesses, houses and other infrastructure have been displaced.
Those communities are susceptible to these environmental issues every rainy season due to the natural topography, soil texture, exponential growth in urban population and unauthorized development on water channels and flood plains in those locations. Other identified causes are building of houses on the right of way and farm- ing on the slope of gully.
As a responsive government, the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel is not giving up on tackling these recurrent environmental issues, and has invested of huge sums of money on flood and erosion control projects in different parts of the state, to bring lasting solution to the problems.
In 2020, the administration executed the 1.5km Nsikak Eduok – Tropicana underground erosion outfall, following public outcry over flooding in the area. The drainage, which cost N2 billion, has evacuated the high velocity of flood that used to submerge parts of Nsikak Eduok Avenue and Oron Road up to Ewet Housing Estate.
By mid 2021, the state government spent N10 billion on erosion control projects. The two major sites were Etim Umana Erosion and St. Luke’s Hospital erosion control projects. With this project, the state government was able to rescue more than 100 houses, including the entire St. Luke’s Hospital and the School of Nursing in Etim Umana, from erosion that was seriously threatening the two institutions.
Elsewhere, the state government has identi- fied 10 erosion sites to execute control projects, for which it is seeking intervention via ecologi- cal funds to solve the problems.
Some flood prone areas in the state capital has been the IBB Avenue, Idongesit Nkanga Secre- tariat, Accountant General’s office, Atan Offot,
S h e l t e r A f r i q u e E s t a t e , M b i a b o n g Ay a n y a b y Timber market, erosion outfall system at Abak Road by Nkemba Street, which are noted flood flashpoints.
Presently, a major drain to evacuate flood water at IBB Avenue in Uyo, the state capital is under construction, to prevent it from hitting the crux of the earth surface. This ongoing 8.4km flood control project, backed by the World Bank has created several job opportunities to over 1,000 people in the state.
Since the commencement of work, according to the commissioner for environment, Sir Charles Udoh, the project has engaged youths in 17 communities of three local government areas.
The IBB lAvenuefloodcontrolprojectisa massive flood control project covering 17 villages in three local government areas in the state, which on completion will also solve flooding inAtikuAbubakarAvenue and the environs.
Happily, the project, complete with many outstanding features including open and closed drain, provision of borehole water to communi- ties whose natural sources of drinking water have been tampered with and construction of bridges to link communities cut off during construction, will also strengthen the economic life of the people.
As the state government relentlessly tackles flooding and erosion problems, it is expected that the people of the state would bear with it and support the completion agenda of the state government as flooding would soon be a thing