…assures other communities of govt’s intervention
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured communities affected by gully erosion that the state’s intervention efforts would soon get to them, noting that ongoing remediation work at Ewu and Ibore gully erosion sites in Esan Central Local Government Area of the state would serve as a template to attend to their challenges.
The remediation work at the Ewu and Ibore gully erosion sites is being executed by the state government and the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).
The governor, who was at the site to inspect ongoing remediation work, identified human activities as the main cause of gully erosion, and urged residents of communities threatened by erosion and other forms of natural disasters to take proactive steps in raising the alarm for urgent government intervention.
He noted, “If the communities had alerted government on time, the threat to their environment could have been prevented and unnecessary loss of lives and huge financial costs avoided.”
Obaseki explained that the remediation work marked the end of the trauma, uncertainty, loss of lives and property in the two communities and a new beginning for proper environmental and waste management.
He assured residents of Ugbalo Community, who are neighbors to Ibore that work would soon commence to address the challenge of flooding in the community.
“In two months’ time, we will commence work at Ugbalo to tackle the runoff water from Ibore which is causing flooding there.”
The governor added that the state government’s next line of action in Esan Central Local Government council is economic empowerment for youths through technical education and revitalisation of Ewu Flour Mill to provide jobs.
“I will also do something else for Ugbalo. The technical school at Irrua will be rehabilitated so your youth can acquire skills that would enable them sustain themselves.”
Earlier, Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omoua Oni-Okpaku, said the remediation work on the erosion sites at Ewu and Ibore was among other ongoing projects across the state.
Oni-Okpaku urged residents in the affected communities to cooperate with contractors handling the project to ensure completion of the project’s second phase.
In his remarks, Onojie of Ewu, His Royal Highness, Rasaq Ojiefo III, expressed appreciation for the project, recounting how lives had been lost during rainy season, noting, “We thank you our governor, the contractors and everyone working towards the success of the project. We have lost over ten persons to this gully before this work commenced.”
The spokesperson for Ibore Community, Mr. Theophilus Okoh, praised governor Obaseki for fulfilling his electioneering promises in 2016.