No fewer than 60 families say they are being threatened by erosion at Efab Estate, Mbora District, Abuja following the alleged abandonment of an erosion-control work by Saminya Construction Company Limited.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the company was awarded a contract to develop and build infrastructure at Mbora district, which is close to Efab estate. It allegedly abandoned the site after excavating the terrain and clearing it of shrubs and trees. The action later caused gully erosion that affected the estate.
Residents of the estate told PUNCH Metro that their homes were at risk from the erosion which was fast eating away the soil around their buildings.
They accused the company of putting their lives and properties at risk through its activities.
Our correspondent who visited the erosion site observed that roads in the estate were gradually being eroded.
A resident, Mr. Obed Amazu, claimed that he had spent about N10m to erect a wall to curtail the erosion.
He added that the wall collapsed last week during a downpour, exposing his property to the approaching erosion.
Amazu, a lawyer, explained that the problem of the estate began when SCC uprooted the trees and excavated the land around the estate.
He said, “After clearing the trees that were shielding us from erosion, Saminya excavated the terrain with their heavy machineries after which they dumped some heavy stones and then abandoned the site.
He said, “Since then, the erosion has been eating away the terrain and it is now threatening to swallow my house and 59 other buildings. The erosion pulled down the retaining wall that I built at a cost of N9.4m and if nothing is done urgently, it will cut me off from the rest of the estate and swallow my property.”
Chairman of the Efab estate landlord association, Mr. Chambers Okorie, said the company promised to construct an embankment but it reneged and later offered lame excuses for not returning to the site.
Okorie said, “Saminya said it abandoned the site because there was no proper engineering design from the Federal Capital Development Authority and that the rock at the site was not incorporated into the bill of quantity.
“The company later said it would not come back to site unless we tender a written apology for talking to the media about the erosion problem it caused; I have never seen such irresponsibility.”
The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Stephen Adigun, however, said the activities of his company did not affect the perimeter fence of the estate or the drain.
“The washout of the drain around the estate is due to poor construction work which was done on loose soil, which had been washed away by flood water coming from the estate.
“The claim that our construction affected the drain is unfounded because the block fence is still standing and that is close to where we did soil clearing. The estate drain made of concrete was washed away by running flood waters from the estate
“We have no duty or responsibility for any infrastructure defect inside Efab Estate. Our duty is to provide infrastructure to Mbora district but not inside the various estate in the district because they are self contained estates,” Adigun stated in a text message.
The Chief Press Secretary to FCT Minister, Mohammed Sule, said he was not aware of the development, but he promised to find out from the concerned department.