Special Report: Residents groan as erosion ravages houses, claims souls in Kwara

Special Report: Residents groan as erosion ravages houses, claims souls in Kwara

It was a hot Wednesday afternoon in September at Amule community in Ilorin East local government area, Lukman Musa, a carpenter, standing with a harmer in his left hand, pulling a nail to assemble furniture in his workshop.

Mr. Lukman’s attention was caught by this reporter’s greetings. He dropped his harmer and replied to the greetings.

Mr. Lukman’s workshop was beside a massive erosion site that will easily draw anyone’s attention like with this reporter.

“Whenever there is raining, Erosion always affects many houses and has even turned many residents of this community homeless,” he lamented when asked how the erosion site had affected his community.

The erosion site is Amule river, a popular creek that links two different local government areas: Ilorin East and Ilorin West, in Kwara state, North-Central region, Nigeria.

The river flows through many Communities: Amule Elerin, Amule Amugiri, Amule Arolawun in Baruba, Amule Alabere, Amule Eletu, Amule Adimode, Amule popo, Amule Oba wa kàsí, Amule Abata behind Magaji Aare Hospitals, Amule Eletu, Amule Aka’aba, Amule Abata Olohunoyin, Amule Iya Balogun, to enhance drainage system and promote good environmental sanitation in the state.

Bitter Experience

Mr Salihu Salami(not real name), a retired civil servant and a resident, was sitting on a wooden chair in front of his house at Isale Koko Amule, Ilorin when this reporter approached him.

His face looked pathetic and sad when he began narrating how he lost all his hard-earned savings and his only house to the erosion.

With eyes full of tears, he said, “I lost my building to this erosion after spending almost Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N800,000) to control the flood.

“And this made me visited the former local Government Chairman of Ilorin East, Hon. Aminat to call her attention to what happened to me. The only thing she could do was to gave me N200,000 saying the local government could not do anything about it if the State Government could not solve the problem.

“Up till now, the situation is still the same. The erosion is turning life miserable to the residents,” the retired civil servant narrated.

Death Trap

As a result of the erosion, many residents confirmed to this reporter that not less than four residents had lost their lives wastefully within the last two months and many people have relocated from the community because of fear of further havoc.

A resident who simply identified himself as Mustapha Sidiq said the area is a residential district but the Erosion has turned many homeless due to the collapse of their houses.

“Many landlords and house owners in this community had parked out of the houses they built with their hard-earned money to avoid future destruction by the erosion.

Expert Weighs In; Offer Solution

Mr Abdulrasheed Shola, a Kwara-based civil engineer, opined that the absence of a functional drainage system in Kwara is a major cause of the erosion in many parts of the state.

“High-intensive rainfall is another cause. The downpour ought to flow freely in our drainage system but the dumping of waste into the drainage and water bodies have contributed to the regular occurrence of flood in the area(Amule).

“Proper channelization of river bodies to prevent overflow during a heavy downpour is the major solution. This takes us back to the poor drainage system. We can only channel water flow into a good drainage system and expect a good result,” he offered.

Lawmaker Reacts

A lawmaker representing Ilorin East at the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Yusuf Ali Amuda, assured this reporter when he contacted him on this story that the problem will be solved anytime soon.

“But we need to control the water flow of Asa River first before anything so that the Erosion will be a channel to the same lane and thankfully, the Federal Government has intervened in making sure that the water flow project has been awarded to a Contractor and work will start soon on it,” the lawmaker assured.

But, a lawmaker representing Ajikobi/Alanamu constituency, Hon. Gafar Ayilara, failed to give respond to many calls and messages put to him by this reporter to get his reaction.

Ministries Pay Deaf Ears

Meanwhile, Several calls and text messages were sent to the Kwara State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Suleiman Rotimi Iliasu and Commissioner for Environment and Forestry, Hon. Remilekun Tobi Banigbe asking for their responses on the claim that nothing has been done by the Government to control the erosion despite several pleas from the people were not responded to as at the time of writing this report.

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