BENIN CITY – It was an outburst of joy at Ogbeson community in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Edo State as its leaders, women, youths and children set the community agog when they turned out en masse to witness the formal launch of Edo State Nigeria Erosion And Watershed Management Project(NEWMAP) and the flagging-off of reclamation works at Queen Ede gully erosion project by Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Friday in Benin City.
The rendition of songs by the jubilant women coupled with the display of artistic cultural dance steps by the troupe to the entertainment of guests at the venue of the event, which was at the bank of the gully erosion site, left nobody in doubt that the frenzy was to celebrate the beginning of the end of the donkey years of the ecological disaster.
Heavy duty equipment and men had already been mobilised to site demonstrating to the astonishment of the crowd of people that the menace  posed to them was not insurmountable even though it had claimed lives and property.
Little wonder, the Chairman of Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Hon. Itohan Osahon-Ogbeide admitted the people of Ikpoba Okha were over-whelmed and grateful for the quick response of the State Governor, Comrade Oshiomhole to their cry which she said fell on deaf ears in the past.
Also in the euphoria of gratitude, the Enogie of Ogbeson, HRH, Prof Aduwa Ogiegbean, who is also a Deputy Vice Chancellor in the University of Benin, described Friday February 6, 2015 as “a glorious day longed for.”
The Chairman of the Community Development Association for the Queen Ede Gully Erosion Project, Osadolo Uyameda  lauded the commencement of the reclamation works,which he noted, has brought hope to the people.
Commending Governor Oshiomhole for his responsive and responsible style of leadership in the governance Edo State, the Project Coordinator of Edo State Employment And Expenditure For Results(SEEFOR) Projects, Taiwo Akerele, who spoke on behalf of donor-funded projects in Edo state, said the governor has enthroned the culture of paying counterpart funds to such donor-funded projects.
The Project Coordinator, Edo State NEWMAP, Engr. John Adisa expressed gratitude to the state governor, the Commissioner for Environment and Public Utilities, Clem Agba, World Bank, all members of NEWMAP in Edo State , including the Permanent Secretary in Edo state Information and Communication Technology(ICT), Mr Dan Aigbavboa, other state Project Coordinators of NEWMAP and all other stakeholders for their contributions to the success of the events.
The reclamation works of the Queen Ede Gully project is expected to be completed in 15 months.
On the same Friday, Edo State Governor also flagged-off the reclamation works of the Auchi Gully Erosion Project at Auchi.