Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has urged communities in the state to always raise alarm when erosion and other forms of natural disasters threaten their environment.
The governor said this during the official inauguration and inspection of remediation work on Ewu and Ibore gully erosion sites in Esan Central Local Government Area of the state on Thursday, February 21, 2019.
The remediation work is being done by the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).
Obaseki said that gully erosions were mostly caused by human activities and urged communities to take steps to identify them for quick government intervention.
“If the communities have alerted government on time, the threat to their environment could have been prevented and unnecessary loss of lives and huge financial costs avoided,” he said.
He said that the remediation work marked the end of trauma, uncertainty, loss of lives and property in the two communities and a beginning of environmental and waste management.
The governor also assured people of Ugbalo community, close to Ibore community that work would commence to address their flooding challenge.
Obaseki said the next plan for the council was economic empowerment of youths through technical education and revitalisation of Ewu Flour Mill to provide jobs.
Earlier, Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Mrs Omoua Oni-Okpaku, said that the two sites were among numerous others ongoing in the state and assured that they would be completed as scheduled.
She called on the communities to cooperate with contractors handling the project to ensure completion of ongoing Phase II.
In his remarks, Onojie of Ewu, HRH Rasaq Ojiefo III, appreciated the project, saying lives had been lost particularly during the rainy season.
“We thank you our governor, the contractors and everyone working on the success of the project.
“Over 10 youths have died because of this gully before this work commenced,” he said.
Similarly, spokesman for Ibore, Mr Theophilus Okoh, praised the governor for fulfillment of his electioneering promise in 2016.
By Joy Odigie