COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: How Two Engineers Are Combating Erosion In Their Community

Akilapa Olowu is one of the communities situated in the heart of Akobo, in Lagelu Local Government of Oyo state. In Akilapa Olowu, a major challenge facing the community is erosion. Erosion is fast eating up most of the roads in the community making the road very difficult for vehicular movement. Another major problem in Olowu community is lack of good drainage system that could allow free flow of water during rainfall.

‘Whenever it rains, most of the roads we have in this community are always affected by erosion,’ one of the residents said.

According to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the ministry estimates that about 40 million tones of soil are washed away annually by erosion in Nigeria.

‘Most houses around here don’t really have good drainage system that could allow free flow of water during rainfall, and some of the few houses that have drainage are sometimes blocked with debris,’ another residents explained.

FIGHTING THE MENACE OF EROSION BY CONCERNED INDIVIDUALS

One of the culvert and a drainage system constructed at Akilapa Olowu Photo: David Nzegwu

‘For me, I think in any environment where you reside, you should be able to contribute your own meaningful development process in the environment.

‘As long as you leave within that environment, you should be able to contribute significantly to the development of your community. I think that is what informs our construction of culverts, drainage and fixing of some roads in Olowu community,’ Engineer Yemi Atoyebi, a mechanical Engineer also trained as a process Engineer said.

‘We started the construction of drainage, fixing of some of the roads and clearing of bushes in this community(Olowu) last year. We take it up as our own community service, it is just our own simple way of giving back to our community, said Engineer Dare who together with Enginner Yemi Atoyebi are working on construction of culvert and drainage in Olowu community.

For the two Engineers, constructing drainage and culvert is an avenue to prevent erosion from causing major damage to the roads and to allow people and vehicular movement.

‘The government cannot do everything, we as citizens must begin to contribute to the development of our community,’ said Engineer Dare.

AN EXERCISE WORTHY OF EMULATION  

Individuals, motorists and some residents of Olowu community have continued to praise the effort and kind gesture of those behind the construction of the culvert and drainage.

‘This is a good development for a community like this. It is worthy of emulation by other people within the community, if our people can begin to do this, development will be felt in most communities, said a landlord.

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