Members of the House Committee on Environment have urged the Federal Ministry of Environment to take the core responsibility of coordinating the Nigeria Erosion Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), maintaining that environment remains the line ministry in the implementation of the project.
They argued that stakeholders have made tremendous counterpart contributions towards the success of the project. For instance, World Bank has already contributed $500million, with the Federal Government also contributing N500million to the project while benefiting states in the country have also made their contributions as follows; Anambra (N500m), Cross River (N200m), Ebonyi (N200m) and Imo (N100m).
Speaking during an interactive session between the House Committee on Environment and high level officials of the Ministry, Committee Chairman Hon. Uche Ekwunife also called for synergy between stakeholders for the full and successful implementation of the Great Green Wall programme to ensure its set of objectives are fully realized for the benefit of the country and the West African sub-region.
NEWMAP is a creation of the Federal Government of Nigeria, with support from the International Development Association (IDA) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) to vigorously combat the menace of erosion and watershed challenges that are currently ravaging parts of the South-Eastern States of Nigeria. The mandate is for NEWMAP to win the war against erosion thereby helping the affected States achieve greater environmental and economic security.
The devastating effects of erosion are evident on many lives. It has led to the destruction of basic infrastructures essential for economic development and poverty alleviation. It is estimated that gully erosion contributes to environmental problems and damage put at over $100 million annually (mostly in South-Eastern Nigeria).
It is therefore in response to these challenges of massive and rapidly expanding gully erosion and land degradation and to ameliorate the devastating impact on lives and livelihoods in parts of the country especially in the South-South and the South Eat socio-economic regions, that the Nigerian government made a request to the World Bank, through its Nigeria Office in 2010, calling for support for the country in the effort to check this menace.