The Kogi State Government, in collaboration with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), has intensified effort in tackling the menace of erosion across the state.
Commissioner for Environment, Mr Victor Omofaiye, made this known to newsmen in Lokoja, the state capital, on Friday, March 6, 2020 after he led a delegation from the World Bank and NEWMAP on a two-day assessment tour to some gully sites across the state.
Omofaiye noted that the tour was to have an on-the spot assessment of the devastating effects of affected areas by erosion and to inspect the ongoing intervention projects.
He restated the determination of the present administration to curb the menace.
The commissioner also gave an assurance that his ministry would ensure thorough supervision of all ongoing projects, because of their direct impact on the masses and bringing succour to erosion victims.
He urged stakeholders and communities to give the necessary support to the contractors by creating enabling environment for speedy completion of all the ongoing NEWMAP projects across the state.
Also, the Task Team Lead of the World Bank, Dr Amos Abu, expressed concern over the level of work done at some of the sites, especially in the Eastern part of Kogi.
He urged the contractors to ensure quality job and expedite action for speedy completion.
Abu described the erosion situation in Ungwa in Idah Local Government Area of the state as devastating, saying that it had all the trappings of an emergency response site.
He promised that NEWMAP would begin work immediately on the site in an emergency response mode to reduce vulnerability and bring succour to the people of the community.
Abu commended the State Government for its commitment to the project and lauded the efforts of the NEWMAP State Project Coordinator, Mrs Ladi Jatto, for her resilience in ensuring that victims of erosion got succour.
On his part, the National Project Coordinator of NEWMAP, Alhaji Salisu Dahiru, urged the contractors to ensure that quality work that would be in conformity with the international best practices was done.
“Whatever we are going to do in terms of civil structures on those sites are meant to last for 100 years. It should be able to withstand all the factors causing erosion,” Dahiru said.
In her remarks, Jatto thanked the delegation for their visit and for giving top priority to Kogi in project execution and commended the state government for its commitment to tackling erosion menace in the state.
The sites’ engineers at the various project sites visited, assured the World Bank of quality service delivery as well as timely completion of the projects.
Agassa in Okene, Ozuri in Adavi, Angwa in Idah, and Ogugu in Olamaboro Local Government Areas are among the sites visited by the teams.
By Stephen Adeleye