The Iwuochang community of Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State is at the verge of being wipeout by the rampaging ocean tides following the abandoned embankment project by the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The contract was awarded in 2012 by the NDDC to Smith Engineering, to replace a wornout embankment around the river in order to address frequent encroachment into the community during high tides.
The Village Head of Iwuochang, Daniel Afia who spoke with newsmen on the plights of community lamented that project has been abandoned for eight years now while the contractors have left the site.
He said efforts to speak with both the contractors and NDDC have fallen on deaf ears.
The Vice Youth President of the Community, Mr Willie Willie said the Community had lost most of it houses to the tides as a result of the inability of the contractor to complete the project
“You know they had to remove the old and worn-out embankment to replace the new one, but after removing it, they abandoned the project, leaving the community at risk.
“It is always very threatening when the high tide comes, there is nothing to hold it. All the houses around here were occupied by their landlords but they have all been sacked because the encroachment is usually fast, hugh and unexpected” Willie said
He said he had on several occasions, on behalf of the community taken letters to the NDDC office in Port Harcourt and its Uyo office at Ewet Housing Estate, but without response.
The Chief Security Officer of the area, Mr Ebrewong Eshiet who also spoke with newsmen blamed the failures of NDDC projects in the region on poor supervision and contract award on political grounds.
He lamented that the community youths employed by Smith Engineering during the project were still being owed salaries, in addition to exposing the community to a possible wipeout due to the failed embankment/dredging project.