Construction reaches advanced stages on Agwagune resettlement camp
NO fewer than 300 housing units being constructed by the Federal Government in collaboration with Cross River State for the resettlement of the displaced people of Agwagune in Biase LGA of Cross River State have reached advanced stages of completion.
Over 60 per cent of the houses comprising two bedrooms semi detached and 3 bedrooms have been roofed while others are at different stages of completion.
The resettlement of the Agwagune community of over 400 households was occasioned by the perennial landslide and flooding which ravaged the old village located at the bank of the Cross River for the past 45 years and completely destroying the entire inhabitable land mass.
The buildings, which are in about 13 sites about a kilometre from the flooded community are being handled by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Inspecting the buildings recently, the State Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu described the speed of the project, which was barely 2 months old as amazing.
Prof. Esu commended the Director-General, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Mr. Vincent Aquah for his dexterity towards the project considering the paucity of funds.
He said that the managerial acumen displayed by the DG was an encouragement to both the State and the Federal Governments towards early completion of the project and hoped that the Ben Ayade led Government would commission it within it’s first 100 days in office.
Commenting, the Director-General, SEMA, Mr. Vincent Aquah assured that the project would be completed on record time and recalled that over 1200 houses including schools and churches and about 2900 farms have over the years been washed away into the ever expanding river while about 137 persons had lost their lives.
The Director-General also said that the displaced people resulting from the disaster had been squatting with relatives in the neighbouring communities and hoped that the building when completed would be a relief to them.
According to him, the project has provision for a police station, motor park, recreational centre, town hall and access roads.
In a remark, the paramount Chief of Agwagune, Onun Efime said that he was overwhelmed that the dream of the community was coming to fruition during his life time and described the development as unprecedented.
The Onun who received the Deputy Governor his palace said that the new status of Agwagune was as a result of the strong will of both the State and the Federal Government to resettle his people.
He recalled that the people of Agwagune has been traumatized for too long on account of the perennial landslide and flooding which he said has negatively affected the people socially and economically.
In the same vein, the Paramount Ruler of Biase, Onun Nicholas Odum who is an indigene of Agwagune described the project as welcoming and expressed confidence that it would bring a socio-economic turn around for the people.
The people of the community were jubilant and enthusiastic at the development and assured of adequate support of the people to both the State and the Federal Governments.
During rainy seasons, the community can only be accessed by the use of hand dug canoes as over 300 houses including churches and schools have been destroyed by the natural disasters displacing over 1200 households and 10,600 persons over time.
Majority of the displaced have been squatting in neighbouring villages and this phenomenon has affected the displaced psychologically and economically.
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