The Edo State Nigerian Erosion Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) is engaging with residents and other stakeholders in Iguosa Community, Ovia North-East Local Government Area (LGA) of the state to sustain the government’s efforts at controlling erosion in the area.
The Project Coordinator, Edo NEWMAP, Dr. Tom Obaseki, at a closing stakeholders’ engagement for the community, urged for the support of all relevant stakeholders to protect and preserve all government’s projects aimed at improving the livelihoods of the people.
He said, “The issue of the gully erosion at Iguosa Housing Estate was once terrible as properties were subsumed, including a furniture company and police station.
“Practices that can cause a repeat of such an incident should be shunned as most disasters, especially of this kind, are man-made due to unhealthy practices.”
He continued: “The impact of this crisis made His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki to make a special appeal to the World Bank for its intervention. Today, this happens to be one of the fastest projects ever executed in the history of NEWMAP.
“The government has spent so much money on the project and it is supposed to last for decades but after inspecting the sites, we realized that the attitude of the people living around the area towards protecting their environment will cause the project not to last even a few years.
“Everywhere around the gully is supposed to be fallow but it is sad that even before we left the place, people have turned it into a refuse dump. No activity is supposed to be done there at all.”
On his part, the Assistant Environmental Officer, NEWMAP, Pauline Okundia advised, “there should be no encroachments and burning of vegetation around the project site so that there will be enough grasses to stabilize the soil and stop further degradation.
“There is also the need to engage other members of the community to stop the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drains and outlets to prevent the outbreak of gully again.”
On behalf of the community, the secretary, Joe Obadiaru commended the state government for the respite provided, reassuring that plans for the establishment of a community task force to enforce proper practices to sustain the project are underway.”