Anambra Erosion: Popular Ekwueme Square May Cave In Soon
A massive gully erosion are threatening to destroy the popular Ekwueme Square used for most official state functions of the Anambra State government in Awka, the Anambra capital.
Other prized state assets in the vicinity are the Federal High Court, State High Court, Federal Secretariat which is still under construction and some private properties.
Though the Nigeria Erosion Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) had carried out remedial work in the vicinity which saved the federal high court from caving in, the danger was not totally averted.
Our reporter who visited the area said the bludgeoning gully erosion is now a few meters away from the rear fence of the Square.
It will be recalled that the facility has recently been converted to sports arena as facilities including a standard swimming pool, Handballcourt, Volleyball and Basketball courts have been built in it.
Concerned residents of Awka have raised alarmed that the whole place was becoming an ecological disaster zone.
Mr John Okoye, a civil servant said he was not aware of the erosion threat to Alex Ekwueme Square but said every effort should be made to save the facility.
Okoye said apart from the man whom the Square was named after, it meant different things to different people due to its multipurpose nature.
According to him, I am aware that there are erosion challenges around that area but I am not aware that Ekwueme Square is in danger, the government must act fast to save it from destruction.
Also speaking, a staff of Anambra judiciary who pleaded anonymity said the threat was not only on the Square but on all the structures in the vicinity.
The staff said though efforts had been made in the past to rescue some structures in the area, there was need for a holistic intervention.
“The erosion has been there, at a time the Federal High Court building was almost collapsing but NEWMAP did something which is why the edifice is still standing.
“What is needed there is total erosion control, not the makeshift remedy and tipping of sand they have been doing, by the time the rains come heavily, the entire area will be no more,” he said.
An official of the ministry of said they were aware that there was gully erosion activities in the area but did not know that Ekwueme Square had become seriously threatened.
According to the official, we know that there are erosion issues around the Ekwueme Square, Federal High Court and State High Court area, but I did not know that Ekwueme square is in serious danger now.
“NEWMAP had done some palliative there and at a time we agreed that they will do the entire job that is why the Ministry of Environment pulled out.
“We cannot lose Ekwueme square, that will be devastating to the state,” he said