ANAMBRA EROSION MENACE : OBIANO INSPECTS SITES, URGES SPEEDY COMPLETION.
By Obika Chidiebele
Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra state yesterday inspected progress of work at three different erosion sites in the state and urged the contractors to hasten up and deliver the projects before rainy season next year.
Some of the project sites visited included, the Federal High Court Awka, Nnewi-Ichi Nnewi, and Ikenga Ogidi gully erosion sites respectively.
Because of its geopolitical location and soil texture, Anambra state is vulnerable to erosion menace and currently has about 950 active erosion sites with every community claiming at least five.
That Anambra is arguably a state in Nigeria is not helped by this menace.
While states like Lagos, Rivers and others gain land through reclamation, Anambra is eaten away by deep gully erosion.
The Anambra state government under the leadership of Gov. Willie Obiano has been battling the ugly development and had on occasion encouraged the citizens on the need to check the menace by planting trees and desist from indiscriminate soil excavation.
The Governor made it clear that the gullies at the three sites have encroached on homes and have devastated lives and properties.
He appreciated the Infrastructure Development Company, IDC (Contractor for Federal High Court,Awka Erosion Project), The CGP (Contractor for Nnewi-ichi erosion site) and Aviz Aviv (Contractor for Ikenga Ogidi) for speedily mobilising to site and executing the project.
He thanked the World Bank for partnering the state in delivering these important projects to ndi Anambra through NEWMAP.
The Nnewi- Ichi erosion site measures about 53meters deep and 3 kilometers long while that of Ikenga Ogidi is magnitude 10 with 1.5km length and Federal High Court Awka is magnitude 20 with about 1km stretch.
Speaking, the Anambra State Project Cordinator for Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Engr. Michael Ivenso informed the Governor that the Nnewi Ichi site alone is costing the state government about N2b in counterpart funding to keep work going.
He reminded the governor that all the three sites visited have received funding that will enable their completion in record time.
Arc. Michael Okonkwo, the Honourable Commissioner for Environment applauded Gov. Obiano for delivering people-oriented projects across the state.
He said: “Your Excellency, these projects have direct impact on the local population and the beneficiaries are thanking you for coming to their aid”.
“We are partnering with the leadership of the communities involved in making sure that the contractors are comfortable while delivering the projects to the people’ he said.
On his part, the Special Adviser to Gov. Obiano on Budget, Hon. Melie Onyejepu who is an indegene of Nnewi-Ichi took time to appreciate the Governor for coming to their aid. He reminded the people that the gully has been there for decades, but only Obiano’s government intervened.
The candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for Nnewi State Constituency, Hon. Nonso Okafor Smart also appreciated Gov. Obiano for being faithful with the payment of compensation to the affected people and the state’s counterpart for the project. He told the governor that ndi Nnewi will forever remain grateful for the intervention.
The Federal High Court Site and that of Nnewi Ichi erosion sites will be completed before the rainy season next year while that of Ikenga Ogidi has two years contract life span.