Indigenes of Umudim Village in Ekwulummiri town, Nnewi South Council Area have lamented the devastating effect of gully erosion in their community, begging the federal government to come to their aid.
Indigenes of the community said they now sleep with their eyes open for fear of being sacked by the massive gully erosion activity which has swallowed up a vast expanse of farmlands and homesteads.
They said the gully erosion was moving at a high speed towards residential buildings since this year’s rains set in and has also cut off two neighbouring villages of Umudim in Ekwulummiri and Umudim in Amichi Town both in Nnewi Council Area.
An Indigenes of the community, Mrs Victoria Ezeifedikwa who is in her 80s said the erosion menace started at about 1970 but expressed regrets that no assistance has come their way despite their numerous calls for help.
“The encroachment was all along being mitigated by the efforts of the people including myself, who planted trees and other cash crops on the land to stop the erosion.
“But I am pained that the arable lands where we cultivated over the years had been washed away by the persistent flood.
“This erosion started after the civil war and since then it has continued to get worse such that all the area is lost. It is a painful experience we have here, it is because of our self-efforts that we are still standing here,” she said.
Chief Godfrey Okoye, Vice Chairman of Umudim Village and member of Ekwulummiri Traditional Council cabinet said though there had been visits by some people to the sites, no effort had been made to reclaim the land.
“The last time we had a visit by either state or federal governments was in 2018 but nothing was done, as you can see, it is getting worse.
“We need help, urgent help from the government to control the erosion and reclaim our land, he said.
The President General of Ekwulummiri, Chief Clement Ezeifedikwa, described the town as being in the state disaster emergency.
Ezeifedikwa said there were about four such gully sites of equal magnitude which are threatening to wash the entire town away, but called on the state and federal government to help them restore their ancestral homes.