Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.Umha
By Peter Okutu – Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, on Wednesday, stated that those dumping refuge on waterways and drainages will no longer go scot-free in the State.
The Governor stated this during the official flag-off of the distribution of World Bank, GEF, SCCF supported Cargo tricycles, energy-efficient cookstoves, and roadside waste bills at the State Ministry of Environment, Abakaliki.
Umahi who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe condemned the attitude of those engaging in such inglorious behaviour.
“Those who continue to encroach on our waterways and dump refuge indiscriminately, especially into drainage channels shall no longer go scot-free. We condemn those attitudes because they exacerbate flood and erosion and retard our efforts to enthrone a clean and safe environment.”
The Governor further described erosion and flood as challenges faced by the State, until the NEWMAP came on board and mitigated the situation.
“In Abakaliki here in the very recent past, erosion became a very disturbing menace in the State capital where homes and businesses have been destroyed, lives have been taken, and people have been maimed as a result of the effect of flood and erosion in Abakaliki capital.
“But by coming on board of the NEWMAP, we are already singing the Alleluia song.”
In his remarks, the Programme Coordinator, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Maintenance Project, NEWMAP,, Ebonyi State, Philip Echiegu said it had resettled 900 flood victims in Abakaliki, the State capital.
He added that the Agency had created over 1,500 direct and indirect jobs in the state since 2013 it came into the State to intervene on flood crisis
He explained that the Agency received 144 complaints from communities, where it was executing various erosion and flood projects.
According to Echiegu, “We produced a strong master plan for Abakaliki Capital City as part of the efforts to ensure that the problem of the flood is completely eradicated in the capital city.
“It is estimated that NEWMAP has created over 1,500 direct and indirect jobs in the State since its inception. The project has also resettled a total number of 900 flooded affected persons within the corridors of the four ongoing intervention sites in Abakaliki capital city including Iyiokwu, Odunukwe, Iyiudele, Ebyia River with the sum of N405,635,000.
“We have received a total number of 144 complaints from the project communities. We have been able to address 43 of them satisfactorily. Since the beginning of the project, the total amount that has been expended in the project is $33, 713, 555.68 and also N290, 798,000 have also been expended on the projects in the State, since commencement in 2013.
“As part of the NEWMAP efforts to further sensitize the communities to remain engaged in erosion and flood management in the State, we are here today for the distribution of the items procured with funds from the International Development Association(IDA), Social Climate Change Fund and Global Environmental Facility Fund.
“The customized waste bins/polythene bags and the cargo tricycle were procured as part of the efforts to ensure that the drainage channels in the state, particularly the newly completed NEWMAP drainage channels in all the project intervention sites are not silted up by municipal waste which is seen as part of the causes of erosion/flood in an urban and peri-urban area in Nigeria.
“The low carbon and energy-efficient stoves were procured as part of the NEWMAP Climate Change Support Scheme to promote low carbon and climate-resilient development in project intervention communities and the entire state.”