The Edo State Government has reaffirmed the commitment of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to complete the construction of the flood and gully erosion projects in Benin City, as part of measures to check the incidence of flooding during the rainy season in the state.
The erosion projects are being constructed by the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), in partnership with the Edo State Government.
The Project Coordinator, NEWMAP, Dr. Tom Obaseki, disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, when he led a team of the NEWMAP Federal Project Monitoring Unit (FPMU) and state functionaries to inspect flood and gully erosion sites.
The tour included visits to ascertain the extent of work done at the erosion site and flood ravaged areas, especially in the area of flood control, impact of the Community Interest Group (CIGs) and the socio-economic effects on the host communities.
The team, which started their inspection tour from Queen Ede gully erosion site, were received by members and beneficiaries from the host community, who could not hide their joy over what NEWMAP has done for the community.
The project coordinator said the project is geared towards solving the incidences of flooding that had rendered so many people homeless and led to loss of lives and property, adding, “We all know that in the whole part of GRA area in Benin City, there is really no storm water solutions. The Gapiona water storm project is the first solution to handle the storm water.”
He noted that the Gapiona stormwater project comprises of six attenuation ponds, noting “They are to control the speed of the water and after the peak flow, the pond becomes empty again, it will help to take water to Ogba river, which is the final drainage point of the project.”
He added, “The project span about 13km of underground concrete drainage of various sizes. The project is designed in such a way that at the beginning of the casements, the seizes are lower and as they go down the casement seizes of underground are larger. It ranges from 1.5m wide to as wide as 6m at the discharge point of the project.”
In his response, the parish priest of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Very Rev. Fr. Richard Ofere, thanked NEWMAP and the state government for their efforts at improving the lives of the people.
The team also visited the Community Interest Project (CIG), where members of the community, who were divided into groups were given grants to go into various businesses including poultry farming, fisheries, fashion, ICT, Auto Mechanic and Auto Welding, among others.
Other sites visited by the team was the Edo College Gully erosion site and Urora flood erosion site. The Urora Gully erosion site is made up of three ponds with about 4km of underground concrete drainage channel.