Residents Of Eastern Highway Calabar, Ravaged By Flood

Residents of Eastern Highway, Calabar and its environs( including Sedem Estate and others) have decried the incessant flood that ravages their houses and environs, destroying properties worth hundreds of thousands of naira and shutting them from the rest of Calabar and halting their businesses, market and work.

The residents who share a boundary with the University of Calabar ( around it’s Abraham Ordia stadium axis) narrated how the incident began and the losses they have incurred since it started.

According to one of residents whose building is directly opposite Sedem Estate and a businesswoman whose shop is located in the affected area, the incident started on the 5th of August 2022 when the authorities of the University of Calabar decided to put iron ramps/reenforcements in the major drainage channel through which water flows from ikot ishie via Etta Agbor through Eastern Highway to Atamunu down to the calabar river.

She said there have been up to 6 such flood incidents around the area since the construction,, destroying properties worth hundreds of thousands of naira, and threatening to pull down the buildings around this course.

According to another victim,a residence of Sedem Estate, the floods have adversely affected the people living in the neighborhood, cutting them off from the rest of the city through flooded streets and caused them sleepless nights as they have to be awake to rescue whatever is left of the property not yet destroyed by the flood.

He called on the authorities of the University of Calabar who constructed the ramps in the drainage channel to act urgently to mitigate the effects of flooding.He also called on the Cross River state government and the ministry of environment to come to their aid find a lasting solution.

When contacted, the authorities of the University of Calabar, represented by the acting chief security officer (CSO) , captain Austin O Bisong (rtd) who took this reporter round the site, stated that the main aim of constructing the embankment over the drainage channel is to checkmate the activities of criminal elements who were using the channel as an escape route, remarking that since it was constructed, there were no incidences to f criminal activities from that axis.

He noted with dismay that such well intended project could be linked to the cause of the flood,stating that the cause of the flooding is not the embankment but improper refuse disposal by residents along the channel, who dump refuse on the drainage gutters instead of properly disposing them into waste buckets approved by the government.

When asked the way forward, he proposed the formation of “Neighborhood Vanguard” whose members will be saddled with the duty of checking the indiscriminate dumping of refuse as to prevent the incidence of flooding from reoccurring.

He called on the landlords of the neighborhood to provide some stipends to the people in charge of safeguarding these drainage channels to encourage them to be more effective.
He said on his part he has contacted one *Mr Usen* (who was on site) to assist in the effort to evacuate such refuse in the event of any such reoccurrence.

He said both the state ministry of environment and NEWMAP, whose primary responsibility is to handle such cases,be contacted so as to find a lasting, permanent solution to it.

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