The World Bank-assisted Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) have awarded a contract for the control of erosion in Iguosa community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. Residents of Iguosa in Ovia North-East Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State were thrown into jubilation this week as work commenced on erosion control project to bring lasting solution to the problem of erosion in the area and boost economic activities.
The project, Flood Alleviation and Protection Construction Works, Iguosa Catchment, Ovia North East Local Government, is being executed by the state government in partnership with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP). Obaseki has reassured at different fora that his administration would continue with all projects in Edo State to alleviate the sufferings of the people and better their livelihoods.
The governor said in several fora: “Our administration will complete every project we have started in the state and none would be abandoned.” Work on Iguosa erosion has commenced this month. Governor Obaseki has paid counterpart funding for the project. The World Bank-assisted Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) said it has concluded plans to tackle the gully erosion site in Iguosa community, a suburb of Benin in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo.
At least 50 houses and other properties have been destroyed in the past four years in the erosion-ravaged Iguosa community in a gully that is described as 60-feet deep, 200-feet wide, and 500-feet long. The Iguosa Flood and Gully Erosion Remediation work is one of the 12 sites where construction work is on-going by NEWMAP in Edo. The interventionist agency had successfully delivered the gully projects in Auchi, Etsako West and Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The Iguosa Flood and Gully Erosion Remediation Works is one of the 12 sites where construction work is on-going by NEWMAP in the state. The interventionist agency had before now successfully delivered the gully projects in Auchi, Etsako West as well as Benin City.
Edo state, like many other states in Niger-Delta and Nigeria as a nation has resultant land and water degradation problems such as persistent oil spillage, erosion of arable land, sedimentation of dam and reservoirs. Amid the devastation in some communities due to unsustainable land use practices that removed protective vegetation cover, improper road designs, inadequate drainage systems and climate change challenges, officials from Edo State government has moved frantically to avert a looming environment disaster in many erosion sites.
The efforts are coming as the state officials again raised an alarm over several gully erosion sites discovered across the three senatorial districts of Edo State, with the worst being those in parts of Auchi in Edo North Senatorial District, Benin City the state capital, Ewu in Edo central and several other parts of the state. The fresh initiative, backed by the World Bank through a facility is expected to check erosion in the most devastating and densely populated areas in Auchi, Iguosa. Experts say not less than N40 billion is needed to control the erosion menace in the state.
Also remediation work at the Ewu and Ibore gully erosion sites is being executed by the state government and the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP). The governor has identified human activities as the main cause of gully erosion, and urged residents of communities threatened by erosion and other forms of natural disasters to take proactive steps in raising the alarm for urgent government intervention.
The presence of NEWMAP in the State is a good sign that government is being proactive in the tackling the menace of gully erosion in the State seriously putting in place some control measures; a lots of resource are needed to bring the gully erosion phenomenon in the State to some level of stability. For effective implementation of the control measures, the local communities should be involved and carried along at all stages of the NEWMAP intervention programmes.
The perception of the Iguosa community has been brought to light as they see the effectiveness of the current efforts at controlling the gully erosion problems. Base on the findings, the following recommendations are necessary in order to arrest further loss of land, buildings and other properties in the study area.
Inwalomhe Donald writes via email@example.com