Ebonyi State Project Coordinator, Nigerian and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Dr Philip Echiegu, has said that the organisaton resettled 900 ecologically disadvantaged persons in the state with over N250 million.
Echiegu said this on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 in Abakaliki, the state capital, during the distribution of World Bank-Assisted items of community livelihood support, to beneficiaries across the state.
According to him, the ecologically- disadvantaged persons, categorised as Project Affected Persons (PAPs), are within the corridors of four ongoing interventions in Abakaliki.
“These intervention sites include Iyi Udene flood site, Odunukwe Nkaliki-Hatchery road flood site, Iyiokwu–International market flood site and Ebia river flood site.
“We have received 148 complaints from the project communities and 43 of them have been satisfactorily resolved,” he said.
Echiegu said that the items being distributed were part of NEWMAP’s efforts to sensitise communities in the state to remain engaged in erosion and flood management.
“The items are procured with funds from the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank.
“The items include, 20 (64.5cubic meters) capacity customised roadside waste bins, 300 polythene bags, 117 waste disposal cargo tricycles and 300 briquettes stoves.
“We are also distributing 550 ‘biogel’ stoves-double burner, 145 ‘enviro-fit’ household stoves and 23 (200-litre) capacity institutional-low carbon, clean and efficient energy-cook stoves,” he said.
Echiegu said that customised waste bins/polythene bags and the cargo tricycles were procured as part of efforts to sustain the drainage channels in the state.
“They are to ensure that the channels, especially the newly completed ones in all project intervention sites, are not silted by municipal waste, seen as part of the causes of erosion/flood in the urban and peri-urban areas.
“We have completed the remedial works at Nguzu Edda gully site where erosion menace had ‘sacked’ the Afikpo South Local Government Area headquarters,” he said.
Gov. David Umahi, represented by his Deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, said that the occasion was special because it encapsulated the state’s government vision of providing environment-friendly atmosphere and empowerment for the people.
“The state has been seriously affected by erosion and flood but NEWMAP’s intervention became a turning point in ameliorating and ensuring complete mitigation of the ugly trend n the state.
“The state government supported NEWMAP immediately it was introduced in the country in 2013 and its achievements have been laudable,” he said.
Umahi said that communities in the state, which had benefited from NEWMAPS’s projects, had truly felt government’s intervention and made them realise that they were not forgotten.
Chief Jonah Egba, Ebonyi state Commissioner for Environment, said NEWMAP had complemented the state government’s developmental efforts to halt erosion and flood threats to lives and properties in the state.
Egbea said that the waste bins donated by NEWMAP would assist the ministry in carrying out its duties.
He said the ministry was grateful with the governor for his numerous infrastructural strides, which had assisted the ministry in its duties.
Mrs Grace Oroke, one of the beneficiaries of the distributed items, thanked NEWMAP for the intervention, saying that the beneficiaries would utilise the item they received judiciously.
By Chukwuemeka Opara