In a bid to tackle the devastating effects of flood and erosion menace in the state, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa in collaboration with the World Bank and Federal Government has initiated remediation projects in five communities in the state.
The Governor who launched the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) Thursday in Asaba said, that his administration will welcome all partnership that will proffer solution to erosion and environmental challenges.
NEWMAP which is an interventionist programme assisted by the World Bank in collaboration with the Delta State government under the auspices of the Federal Government is designed to check gully erosion and flood.
Speaking at the event, Senator Okowa observed that it is unfortunate that there are over 100 active erosion cum flood ravaged sites in Delta State.
According to him, “the World Bank has partnered with us in different areas and we are happy with the development as we are ready to partner with any organization or individual that is ready to assist our people, especially, those in erosion and flood prone areas, and in the area of our job creation efforts.”
“The World Bank has really impacted on our people and we will continue to come to the table with accountability,” he said, assuring, “for us in Delta State, we all should be involved in the monitoring of projects; if the contractor is doing well, praise him, but, if the project is not well executed, shout about it and it will be corrected.”
Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborovwori at the occasion said, “I must say that the launch of NEWMAP today is very timely because, the world is changing, we cannot run away from Climate Change, it has come to stay and we must rise up to the challenge.”
He appealed to Deltans to desist from building on natural waterways and stop blocking drainage system observing that the Ministry of Environment has done a lot to open all blocked drainages across the State.
The Senior Environmental Specialist, World Bank and NEWMAP Task Team Leader, Dr Amos Abu thanked Governor Okowa’s administration for its commitment towards the development of Delta State, especially in tackling environmental challenges which was evident in the quick release of the counterpart funding of N530 million.
HRM Obi Kikachukwu, the Obi of Ubulu Uno who spoke on behalf of the Chairman, Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Emmanuel Efeizomor II, Chairman of Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria (ALGON), Delta State Chapter, Hon. Constantine Ikpokpo and others who spoke at the occasion commended Governor Okowa’s efforts in attracting projects that will impact positively on the lives of Deltans, assuring that they will play their parts to ensure the successful execution of the programmes.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Commissioner for Environment in the state and chairman, steering committee, NEWMAP, Delta State, Hon. John Nani said, “the intervention of NEWMAP in the state will ensure route and gully reclamation in communities such as Midona, Boji Boji Owa, Ika North East Local Government Area; Obomkpa and Ukwu-Nzu in Aniocha North local government area; Ubulu Uku, Aniocha South local government area and Jesse, Ethiope West local government area, all in Delta State.