Member representing Bende Federal Constituency, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, yesterday visited the Amankalu community in Alayi on a fact gathering mission organized by Hon. Emma Eke, the Director-General, Benjamin Kalu Foundation, to inspect the massive land slide which recently occurred in there.
Hon. Kalu was accompanied by Hon. Chijioke Chukwu, member representing Bende North in the Abia State House of Assembly and received by the President-General of the community; Chief Ngozi Chukwu, former Bende Local Government Chairman from Alayi; Chief Joseph Ukpani, APC Local Government Chairman; and Chief Kalu Iheke, a statesman from Alayi as well as other elders and citizens of the community who showed him around the affected areas.
The landslide which measured about 4 kilometres, spanned across 4 villages with a gradient depth of over 100 feet, effectively cutting them off from the local stream, their only source of water for drinking, cooking and other activities. Cracks could already be seen on the houses of indigenes as the landslide dangerously lurked a mere 20 feet away from the nearest residential settlement and was fast approaching.
The landslide also affected the sources of livelihood of the community largely consisting of farmers. The indigenes complained that most of their farms were lost to the collapse and that they were no longer able to access the few surviving ones; as a result, they are starved of water, food and income.
Empathizing with the community after the tour, Hon. Kalu swore to present the needs of the community to the appropriate agencies of the federal government, including NEMA, Ecological Fund and the Ministry of Agriculture. He also promised to present the situation before the floor of the House of Representatives as a matter of urgent public importance.
He assured them that the parliament and the federal government would swing into immediate action to prevent further losses of property and life. He donated money through the community’s president general for the hiring of 25 trucks to supply water to the indigenes and for the purchase of foodstuff to be distributed to the families.
Speaking for the community, the president-general thanked Hon. Kalu for taking the time off his duties in Abuja and flying down to the community to identify with them. He expressed faith in the abilities of the honourable representative to ensure that the problem of the community were addressed in a timely manner.