The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has blamed manmade factors for the devastating effects of erosion menace in Anambra and the entire South-East.
Edmund Nkalu, Chairman of NSE, Awka Branch, said erosion menace in Anambra was caused primarily by the soil type which was prone to erosion and the topography also increased the speed of runoff water which had helped the activities of storm water.
He, however, said that manmade factors including indiscriminate construction of buildings, covering of soil surfaces with concrete slabs, no or out dated urban designs and poor project supervision were exacerbating the menace.
Nkalu said people should imbibe the habit of keeping green surroundings as well as make adequate arrangements to ensure that rain water from their premises was properly collected and channeled.
“It is clear that storm water has been causing enormous damage in this part of the country, especially in Anambra, but it is not a new event as it has been with us for a while.
“There are manmade and natural factors that cause erosion but the man made factor is an area that interest us.
“What can we do to reduce and control erosion which occurs as a result of human activities?
“At the individual level, people should design their buildings in such a way that flood water from rain can be absorbed in the soil, instead of these concrete floors which prevent water from percolating into the soil and increase the speed of runoff.
“It is ignorance that makes people to seal off the floor unlike in other climes where people only cover the portion for walkway to the house and leave the other areas green and to absolve the water.
“Let people begin to plant grass, there is nothing bad in having farm or garden in compounds,” he said.
Nkalu said the society decided to focus on effective procurement process in its forthcoming lecture because of its role in ensuring sustainable and resilient infrastructure projects.
He condemned the collapse of roads and structures due to erosion, blaming it on poor adherence to standards and supervision.
He urged government agencies, developers, community leaders to attend the lecture which was designed for the purpose of enhancing service delivery in both the public and private sectors.
“The Society of Engineers is not comfortable with roads collapsing within two years; we are calling on the supervisory agencies to step up their functions and help check the loss of scarce funds that goes into poor quality jobs.
“We need a concerted effort of the approval agencies, the physical planning board, the city development agencies, the Ministry of Environment to come up with a master plan designs.
“Specifications for road designs should be strictly adhered to, there are challenges of paucity of which make the contractors to cut corners.
“The procurement system must be thorough, the material quality must meet standards, the contractor must be competent and the cost of contract must be realistic to be able to build a quality road,” he said.
The chairman said the society was interested in good governance which according to him was all about service delivery in every sector of the economy.