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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

NEWMAP to battle land degradation in 12 more states

Twelve additional states have recently become partners with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) in combating environmental and land degradation. The states include: Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Borno Delta, Gombe, Kano, Katsina, and Kogi. Others are ‎Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto.

A gully erosion site being attended to by NEWMAP
A gully erosion site being attended to by NEWMAP

The multisector and multi-scale project, which adopts innovative approaches to preventing and reversing land degradation, initially commenced with gully erosion sites that threaten infrastructure and livelihoods in the states of Abia, Anambra, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu and Imo, referred to as first mover states.

NEWMAP’s activities has however scaled out from the initial seven states to 12 states, now making a total of 19.

Dr. Amos Abu, World Bank’s Task Team Leader (TTL) on the ‎project, disclosed this development recently while briefing key officials of the seven states where the Bank’s Erosion and ‎Watershed Intervention Programme is currently being executed.

Reclaimed gully site at the back of Union Bank in Atakpa Bay Side, Cross River State
Reclaimed gully site at the back of Union Bank in Atakpa Bay Side, Cross River State

NEWMAP, it was gathered, was informed by the need to respond to the challenges and the emerging land degradation and environmental insecurity facing the first mover states.

Then, in 2010, the project was conceived by the Federal Government in partnership with the World Bank to support the country in addressing severe erosion and its impacts in south-eastern Nigeria.

“At the moment, NEWMAP is currently intervening, with a high percentage degree of project completion, in 21 active gully erosion sites, in the initial seven states,” said a source.

Progress/project status: Implementation
Progress/project status: Implementation. Source: NEWMAP

NEWMAP is predicated on an eight-year Strategic Investment Loan (SIL) of $508.59 million, consisting of a $500 million International Development Association (IDA) concessional loan, blended with Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund grant of $3.96 million and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) grant of $4.63 million. The government of Nigeria’s contribution would amount to approximately $150 million (the Federal Government: 60% and participating states: 40%).

NEWMAP is designed as a states led intervention, to reduce vulnerability to soil erosion in targeted sub-watersheds, achieve greater environmental resilience to soil erosion and associated challenges of land degradation, loss of biodiversity, poverty, climate change and disaster risks in specific locations in Nigeria.

The project has four components, which are listed to include: Erosion and Watershed Management Investments; Erosion and Watershed Management Institutions and Information Services; Climate Change Agenda Support; and, Project Management.

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