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Gully Erosion: Kogi gets reprieve from world bank

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Governor Bello of Kogi state is grateful to NEWMAP

By Stephen Adeleye

The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), says it has intervened in eight gully erosion sites in the first phase of its work in Kogi State.

Dr. Amos Abu, the Task Team Leader (TTL) of NEWMAP, World Bank, made this known at the official flag-off of the project in Kogi, on Saturday in Lokoja.

Abu named the sites to include Omigbo River Channelisation in Kabba-Bunu, Ogane-Aji in Dekina, Etahi and Agassa sites in Okene, Ozuri in Adavi, Akpa erosion site, Ugwolawo in Ofu, and Ogugu in Olamaboro Local Government Area.

He said that NEWMAP, a World Bank-assisted project, had Kogi as one of the beneficiary states of the erosion intervention projects being financed by the World Bank, in collaboration with the Kogi government.

“The project will take a comprehensive watershed management approach coupled with an investment focus on gully erosion prevention and rehabilitation, to support Kogi to reduce vulnerability to soil erosion and prevent land degradation,” he explained.

In his remarks, the National Project Coordinator, NEWMAP, Mr Salisu Dahiru, commended the government for the support the agency had so far received from Kogi, saying that such support had ensured NEWMAP’s success.

He urged traditional rulers to take full ownership of the projects since they were the primary beneficiaries of the initiative.

Governor Yahaya Bello, in his remarks, hailed the World Bank and Federal Government for collaborating with states to control the menace of gully erosion across the federation.

Bello said that the magnitude of erosion in Kogi had resulted into much sufferings with many communities ravaged by it, adding that the sites selected were based on their severity.

“We put down N100 million as part of the State’s counterpart fund in April 2016; I have just endorsed the release of another tranche of N100 million for the immediate take off of the project,” he said.

Mrs. Rosemary Osikoya, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, said that government had a clear road map to address the challenge of erosion by 15 per cent annually.

She added that the road map would also ensure 10 per cent annual afforestation to control deforestation, reduce indiscriminate dumps by 15 per cent, and ensure sustainable system for sanitation and waste management.

“The World Bank partnership, through NEWMAP, is therefore a welcomed dawn of hope with critical and better aligning policies and actions at all levels to improve the quality of life of citizens and resilient people of Kogi within agreed timeline,” she said.

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