Leaders in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State on Monday complained that erosion resulting from the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge was threatening their land.
They said the erosion was wreaking havoc in nine communities and threatening to wash away no fewer than 160 houses in the area.
They blamed the situation on the deployment of heavy sand dredging machines on the River Niger by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.
Addressing newsmen at Okoti Odekpe, the spokesperson for the community, Chief Nwachukwu Ossai, said nine communities on the coastal line of the River Niger had been devastated by erosion while 160 buildings were under threat.
He said, “Our concern is that a multi-national company like Julius Berger should be aware that some embankments must be constructed to check obvious spillover of water after the dredging, but they obviously ignored this because the black man’s life does not matter to them.”
The community leaders accused the construction firm of selling the sand for private gains.
But the Federal Controller of Works, Federal Ministry of Works, Anambra State, Mr Ajani Adeyemo, explained that the sand being dredged from the river by B and Q Dredging, a sub-contractor engaged by Julius Berger, was for the filling of the access road to the new bridge.
He said, “Although I can’t speak for Julius Berger or B and Q Dredging on the sale of sand for private gains, the community leaders are yet to inform the companies of any existing embankment collapse.”
Julius Berger Project Director, Mr Fredrich Wieser, did not did not answer the calls put across to him by our correspondent.
The text message sent to him on the issue was not replied as of the time of filing the report.