Three children cheat death in Uyo by narrow escape
By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
As Akwa Ibom State Government reiterates calls for those living along the erosion prone threatened areas in the state to relocate to safer places, after three kids on Sunday escaped death by the whiskers in Uyo,
The averted incident occurred following a landslide which swallowed some buildings and cuts off part of Asutan Street from other streets.
It was gathered that the children aged 5, 6 and 9 years old had barely left the kitchen after preparing their evening meals when the incident happened
Speaking with our Correspondent in Uyo on Monday, the Landlord of the affected house, Mr. Francis Ikpe, described the landslide as devastating, adding that it was miraculous escape for the children
“It was a devastating experience. Three children were preparing their meals in the kitchen. After they left the kitchen, it was not even up to five minutes, when the kitchen collapsed. The children were eating when suddenly there was a bang and the kitchen and everything inside it buried. They would have been trapped; it was a miracle”, Ikpe said
The landlord said the community had been living with the erosion for the past 30 years, adding that the dimension was not as disastrous was it turned out to be now.
He said the problem became serious when the state government reconstructed some adjourning streets and drainages around the area, and channeled water to the place without a chamber constructed to receive the volume of water
“I am the landlord of No.16 Asutan Street, a compound which as you can see is badly threatened by the erosion. We have lived with the erosion for more than 30 years. The dimension was not as disastrous as it is now.
“But when the state government decided to embark on massive streets repairs and drainages, water from the six adjoining streets, including barracks road, have been diverted to the place and no chamber was done to receive the water.
“A lot of damages have been caused to that place. Whenever it rains the volume of water increases and this has been posing threats to lives and property”, he said.
He called on the state government to intervene before the house is completely swallowed by the rampaging slide.
On relocation order by the state government, Ikpe said, “I just heard that a Surveyor came here and address us sometimes ago. He brought a document purported to have been written by the state government in 2011, but no landlord has ever seen that document”, the Landlord said.
He added that they are ready to relocate as government had directed but to where, is our problem because government has provided a place to relocate to.
Mohammed Umaru, a car dealer and tenant, whose kitchen was swallowed in the slide, said he was away to visit a friend on Sunday when he received a call that his house has been swallowed by the ravine.
On rushing back, he said what he saw was terrible. What we need now is help, let government do something. I am helpless”, Umaru said
Meanwhile the state commissioner for environment, Sir Charles Udo who inspected the site of the erosion on Asutan Street on Monday has appealed to residents of the area to relocate immediately to safer places.
Udo said told the people that it was better to safe lives first before asking for palliatives which the affected residents were asking for from government as they have no immediate means to get new accommodation.