About 10 landlords, including retirees in Akpan Eton Street by Ikpa and Urua Ekpa roads, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, have vacated their homes due to encroaching gully erosion in the area.
It was gathered that the erosion had gulped many buildings in the area which is highly populated by staff of the University of Uyo, Cornelia Connelly College, and Uyo City Polytechnic.
The residents of the area, in a Save Our Souls letter to Governor Udom Emmanuel signed by Titus Jerome Udoh and Hon Ekong Archibong Asuquo, urged him to extend his ongoing intervention gestures along Ikpa Road to the area noting that while many buildings had already been swallowed up by the gully, many others were at the verge of caving in.
The letter in parts, “We want to use this medium to humbly appeal that you please save our souls from a gully erosion which has eaten deep into our buildings, some of which had already caved in.
“Your Excellency, some of us are retired Civil Servants with children and our only asset is our house, now faced with the threat of being washed off at every rainy moment. You can imagine what life has become for some of us.
“It may quite be disheartening to see many Akwa Ibom families lose their homes, as we fear the entire street may not survive this rainy season.
“In the interim, some of us who are badly threatened have had to relocate our families to safe areas until the erosion and the fast encroaching gully would have been taken care of.”
Mr Udoh, a retiree whose fence caved into the gully in 2021 said he decided to temporarily relocate to save his wife who had developed health complications due to the situation.
Giving an insight into the unfortunate erosion site, a member of the community, Mr Kufre Daniel, explained that the area was excavated as a burrow pit and later abandoned by a construction company that was awarded a World Bank job in the area some years back.
Daniel regretted that the pit, which gradually grew with heavy floods coming into it from Urua Ekpa, later expanded, unattended to, and began to swallow up buildings some 15 years ago.
He also recounted sad incidences of humans who have lost their lives around the area, including one of the residents who mistakenly slipped into the gully while attempting to flee from some wild dogs in the neighborhood.
He lauded the ongoing intervention works on Ikpa Road, and expressed concerns that water rushing out of the area may still pose a threat to the main Ikpa Road as it would continue to flood the area if not properly channeled.
“The state government is sinking so much on the ongoing intervention works on Ikpa Road, but we may still have to battle with gullies if the volume of water coming in from Urua Ekpa is not properly channeled.
“This proper channeling is very important because the entire right hand side of Ikpa Road from the University of Uyo is bordered by a ravine that must not be allowed to cross into the other side of the road, therefore every issue of flood, gullies, poorly terminated gutters and the rest need to be duly addressed to save both sides of the road from future collapse,” he said.