By G9ija

Three siblings, Aisha, aged nine; Yusuf, six; and Fatima Ibrahim, five, on Sunday escaped death by a whisker in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, following a landslide, which occurred in their residence at No. 16 Asutan Street, cutting the street into two.

It was gathered that a few minutes after the kids had finished preparing their evening meal in the kitchen and left to eat inside the house, the kitchen collapsed.

The landlord of the affected building, Francis Ikpe, in a chat with newsmen yesterday, described the incident as devastating and the escape of the kids as a miracle.

He said: “It was a devastating experience. Three children were preparing their meals in the kitchen. After they left the kitchen, it was not even up to five minutes, when the kitchen collapsed. The children were eating when suddenly there was a bang and the kitchen and everything inside was buried. They would have been trapped; it was a miracle”.

The landlord said the community had been living with the erosion for the past 30 years, adding that it had not been as disastrous as it is now.

He said the problem became serious when the state government decided to embark on street repairs and construction of drainages, saying water from six adjoining streets had been channeled to the place without a chamber constructed to receive the volume of water.

He called on the state government to intervene before the house is completely swallowed by the rampaging slide.

A car dealer and tenant, whose kitchen was submerged in the slide, Mohammed Umaru, said he was not at home at the time of the incident, but only received a call that his house had been submerged.

However, the Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Charles Udoh, who visited the erosion site, said the government was doing everything possible to mitigate the impact of the erosion in the state.

He called on the Federal Government, the Ecological Fund, and the World Bank to assist the state in tackling the problem, stressing that the state government alone could not effectively control erosion sites in the state.

“We need assistance from the World Bank, the ecological fund, and the Federal Government to be able to deal with the problem. The state government alone cannot do this. Everyone has a responsibility,” he said.