After visiting some communities that are plagued by erosion in Anambra state, World Bank has charged residents to adopt and imbibe as a way of life all the erosion control measures taught them by the group’s field officers and other partners agencies.
World Bank’s Task Team Leader (TTL), Dr Amos Abu, who visited some areas on sensitization mission, noted that the involvement of everybody, especially the affected communities is needed, urging them to cooperate with government and other agencies that engage in the fight against the menace of flood and erosion, not only in Anambra, but also, other states in the federation.
Speaking to newsmen at the Uruokpala/Umudunu gully erosion site, Dr. Abu who is at the head of other World Bank and United Nations experts and stakeholders in an inspection tour of on-going erosion control projects in Anambra State, said that the human being has been found to be at the centre of all erosion control efforts as well as causes.
The essence of the projects, he said, was to improve the livelihood of the people who live in the shadows and perimeters of gully erosion sites. “In cooperating with government and the agencies, hope for better life and jobs would be restored. That it was why the role of the communities and community development associations is becoming imperative”, the World Bank chief said.
Speaking on the roles played by the Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project, (NEWMAP) Dr. Abu reiterated that it has a development objective of reducing impact of soil erosion and other forms of land degradation.READ ALSO – FG pledges $1m to tackle sanitation challenge, Africa water
“In doing so, the sponsors are coming up with a sustainable solution that combines the best of engineering with the human factor, in view of the fact that human factor is actually the game changer”, saying that the engineering designs were a combination of hard structure such as gabion, designed to work effectively in the rainfall and friable soil.
The team visited the Nkpor fly over Bridge on the federal highway, and Omogba community. In Nkpor, highway, a section had already collapsed due to unexpected erosion activities at the base of the newly completed bridge. This has forced closure of a section of the highway, thereby creating untold traffic jam at the Newparts/Nkpor market area round the clock.
Similarly, at the Omogba erosion site, just a kilometer away from the flyover bridge site, an erosion finger originating from the Nkisi River valley, is also threatening to cut the same Onitsha-Enugu expressway. To address the situation, a concrete channelization programme is on going, with a massive campaign against blocking of flood channels with refuse.
Other places visited include Uruokpala/Umudunu Abagana, where the chairman of Abagana Erosion watershed Management Association Mr. Godfrey Chukwuma Nzeakor told journalists that the community was always involved in the erosion control activities, adding that the contribution of the community development association could not be quantified, both in monetary and service terms.