Home News Anambra inaugurates erosion project with N1 bn counterpart fund

Anambra inaugurates erosion project with N1 bn counterpart fund


AWKA – Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra has pledged to release the state’s counterpart fund of N1 billion to tackle the more than 1,000 erosion sites in the state.

Obiano announced the state’s commitment at the inauguration of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) in Awka on Thursday.

The governor pledged to seek the support of the World Bank in combating major erosion sites in Oko, Ekulobia, Agulu and Nanka.

Obiano also commended the Federal Government and the World Bank for approving  Abagana, Amachalla, St. Thomas Aquinas, Awka, and New Heritage Onitsha erosion sites.

Also speaking, Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, the World Bank Country Director, Nigeria and African region, re-emphasised the bank’s determination to help the state fight the menace of erosion.

The director, who was represented by Dr Amos Abu, Team Task Leader, said 508 million dollars (N83.82 billion) was made available for participating states to access 8 million dollars each (N1.32 billion) as grants.

She commended Anambra for being the first of the seven states to meet the requirements, while calling for openness, transparency, candour and commitment on the part of the implementation officers.

She said the project had been successful in Mexico, India, Brazil and China where more than 2.5 million people were lifted out of poverty.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chief Evarist Uba, the state’s Commissioner for Environment, promised that it would adhere to the implementation manual of the project.

Uba urged the people of the state, traditional and community leaders and law enforcement agents to join in the efforts to protect the environment.

“All hands must be on deck; the World Bank, federal, state and local governments, communities and the people of Anambra in general through complementary efforts and adoption of approved preventive practices should protect the soil and prevent erosion,” he said.

The traditional ruler of Dunu, Dr Emeka Ilouno, whose community was one of the beneficiaries, said erosion was already threatening a high tension electrical installation which transmitted power to the entire South East and Benue.

Ilouno lamented that erosion was a serious problem to the livelihood of the people and thanked the government for the intervention. (NAN)

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