Anambra Demolitions Leave 4,000 Displaced in Onitsha

Onitsha, Anambra State – Over 4,000 residents of Onitsha, including traders, sand miners, and families, have been left homeless and without a place to work following the demolition of illegal structures along the Niger River by the Anambra State government.

The demolitions, which began on March 10, 2024, targeted over 2,000 shops and residences located on Niger Street in the Fegge area. The Anambra South Local Government Council, acting on orders from Governor Chukwuma Soludo, supervised the exercise.

The demolitions came in the wake of recent building collapses in Onitsha, raising concerns about the safety of structures built without proper permits. However, residents impacted by the demolitions reported a lack of prior warning, leaving them scrambling to salvage belongings and find temporary shelter.

The displaced residents included petty traders who relied on the shops for their livelihoods, sand miners who used the structures for storage and operations, and families who had made the area their home. The demolitions have caused millions of naira in damages to goods and equipment.

While the Anambra government maintains the demolitions are necessary to reclaim public land and improve safety standards, critics argue that the displaced residents were not adequately compensated or offered alternative accommodations.

The incident has sparked debate about the delicate balance between urban development and the needs of the city’s most vulnerable residents.


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