By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Senate has urged the Federal Government and State Governments to, as a matter of urgency, direct the Ecological Fund Office and other relevant agencies to assist in the control and rehabilitation of erosion sites in the various states of the country.
The call was contained in resolutions reached by the chamber sequel to the consideration of a motion during plenary on Wednesday.
The motion entitled, “The menace of gully erosion in Afashio and Afowa communities of Edo North”, was sponsored by Senator Francis Alimikhena (Edo North).
Alimikhena, in his presentation, underscored the need for the preservation, restoration and maintenance of the ecological environment of local communities.
According to the lawmaker, doing so would ensure the safe movement of citizens, easy transportation of goods, services, as well as guarantee peace, security and well-being of Nigerians.
He noted that the ecological environment of two communities in Edo North Senatorial District – Afashio Secondary School Road and Mr. J.A. Obotse Road – have been facing serious menace of gully erosion partly due to increased rainfall that exacerbated flooding and threatens the livelihood and existence of both communities.
He disclosed that a recent massive gully erosion that affected the two roads has prevented students from accessing their school and affected the entire people of the communities.
“The erosion has hindered access to crucial farmlands and also limit the evacuation of food crops.
“Concerned also that this erosion tragedy at this time, has the capacity of collapsing the entire rural agricultural economy of a thriving food basket areas of Edo North, especially the communities of Afashio and Afowa – with the consequent loss of valuable agricultural products and property, and with the attendant results of food insecurity both locally and beyond the state”, he said.
He observed that Rehabilitation, Culverting and Asphalting of the road as a result of the Gully was captured in the 2020 budget of the NDDC which has not been awarded.
The Senate, accordingly, urged the Nigerian Ecological Fund and the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) to urgently seek a permanent solution to the endemic gully erosion.
It also urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to ensure prompt award of the contract for the rehabilitation, culverting and asphalting of the Afashio Secondary School Road as captured in the 2020 budget of the Commission.
The chamber urged the Ecological Fund office and all other agencies of Federal Government, Local and States Governments to assist in the control and rehabilitation of gully erosion sites in the various states of the country.