The Havoc Of Erosion In Kakuri Neighborhoods | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


The Havoc Of Erosion In Kakuri Neighborhoods

Posted: Jun 4, 2015 at 12:18 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Gabriel John –  Kaduna

Raining season is a period when important things happen. It is a period when farmers give serious attention to farming as most foods we consume were planted by farmers during raining seasons. During the season, there will be much water to drink and to make use of, as many who do not have tap water take the advantage of the downpour to store rain water in their tanks, rubbers, pots etc.

However, all these benefits during raining seasons over the years have eluded the people of Kakuri in the Kaduna South Local Government area of Kaduna State.

Kaduna South which boasts of the highest population in the state apart from the Northern Senatorial District because of the concentration of industries which had attracted influx of people from different parts of the country has suffered severe erosion due to poor drainage, and chemical hazard resulting from industrial pollutions.

Though, many of these industries have closed shop today, the chemical remnants still overflow the gutter/waterway linking the defunct factories to the overpopulated neighbourhoods in the area, especially during raining seasons. Worst still, since there is no proper drainage that waste materials can pass through anytime there was downpour, most of the refuse dumped by the residents were submerged in waterways during heavy downpour while the resulting flood waters follow different directions. Sometimes, the weters entered rooms, causing damage to lives and property. In most cases, human beings get drowned in the night if they are fast asleep during downpour.

However, contractors appointed by state government through the Kaduna Environmental Authority (KEPA) only exist on paper as residents could not feel their impact or enjoy their services. Most contractors go to designated pay points at the end of the month to collect allowances due to them but the bulk of the job is left undone.

In most of the drainages that passed through Kakuri town there were usually the traces of downpour and chemical water from the collapsed textile industries when it was operating. Since serious attention was not given to the construction of drainages by the successive governments in the past, at every raining season, the downpours have continued not only to expand the lane/waterway, but also caused a lot of damages to lives and property of the people in the area.

Today, waterways caused by downpour has created erosion in the area that if it is not properly handled, will cause more damages this raining season to the people.

Already, the first downpour in the state has sacked 50 tenants from their apartments while property worth N50 million were damaged. Children that inhaled defused chemical passing through water way were hospitalised while others lost their lives.

A resident in the area, Mr. Samson Auta, told Daily Independent in tears that he lost one of his buildings to erosion that engulfed the area few years ago.

“When I built the house in Kakuri GRA in 1964, it was an empty land. About 16 tenants lived in this house till 1999 when I started observing the traces of small gutter, especially during raining seasons. Once it rained heavily, the water overflowed through the back of the house. It continued until 2007 when the gutter began to expand towards the bottom of my building. Immediately, all the landlords along the street, including the tenants, jointly wrote to the then Governor Mohammed Makarfi. It was at the tail end of his administration, so little was done.”

According to Auta, immediately Makarfi’s successor, Namadi Sambo, assumed office, the same complaint followed but much attention was not equally given to them, until his house fell down during one of the raining seasons.

His words: “In 2008 we the residents in Kakuri organised ourselves under one umbrella to press home our demands. It was then we wrote again to Governor Namadi Sambo then to look into our plight and find solution to the erosion that is fast consuming us. Still nothing was done and we decided to organise a community help project within ourselves where we contributed little money based on the strength of individuals to construct a drainage. But the downpour that preceded the night washed away everything.”

Auta said it was the downpour in the night of May 29, 2010 that fell the house where he lived with his family and tenants.

However, the story of Chidinma Ogechukwu was more sympathetic and different. She said she lost her seven-year-old daughter, Amaka, to a flood in June 2014. According to her, she traveled to her home town in Igbeli Local Government area of Enugu State with her daughter to stay for sometimes due to prevailing economic hardship in the country as her husband who lost his job could not provide food on the table for the family.

“In January 2014, immediately after the New Year celebration, my husband told me to go to village because he had no job and my continuous staying around may bring untold hardship for the entire family. So I went. But three months later, through the mercy of God, I received phone calls from my husband telling me to come back to Kaduna since he has gotten something to do to feed us. I was happy and within three days I received the all, I arrived in Kaduna. There was a downpour the day I entered Kaduna, but it has stopped before I reached Kakuri. However, water was still overflowing the drainage. I came with my daughter, Amaka, who held my bag. She missed a step as she tried to cross the drainage in front of our house and fell inside the gutter which was overflowed by water and she too was pushed into the erosion beside our house. She died,” Mrs. Ogechukwu narrated.

She said her pain was that Amaka was the only daughter in the family of six and the last.

Also speaking, a tenant whose two bedroom apartment was over flown with water due to downpour recently, Pastor James Idoko, said all his certificates and money kept inside his bedroom were washed away. Idoko, who was away with the family when the rain started, said he was surprised as water filled the room, including the kitchen and toilet.

“When I came home, the water level in the compound reached my chest. I could not enter the room because I don’t know where to start from, until the water subsided through the help of my core tenants who came to evacuate the water into the drainage,” Pastor Idoko said.

According to him, apart from donations from church members, he had not received any assistance from the government.

“I understand that National Emergency Management Agency exists to provide support inform of relief materials to victims of flood disaster, but till tomorrow, I may not see anything,” he lamented.

Only recently, due to several complaints and memos sent by tenants and landlords of Kakuri Kaduna, immediate past Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Ramalan Yero, began the construction of drainages in the state’s three senatorial districts after obtaining funds from the Ecological Office of the Federal Ministry of Environment.

In Kakuri Kaduna South Local Government area, the constructed  drainage passes through Kurmin Gwari, UNTL GRA, Makera-Nassarawa and Dawnquarters, but the most sensitive part of  Kakuri town, Faskeri/by UNTL Quarters GRA, was omitted, which was the heart of Kakuri Local Government area and most worrisome part.

When contacted, General Manager of Kaduna Environmental Protection Authority (KEPA), Alhaji Aminu Sani, who claimed that he was not aware of erosion in Kakuri GRA, said the Kaduna State Government awarded a contract for the construction, evacuation and cleaning of entire Kaduna State.

According to him, over 70 waste contractors were appointed by the state to ensure Kaduna State and its environs are free from dirt.

The contractors were allocated to various parts of the state as they are supervised by the Ministry of Environment through their technical staff.