BY SUNNY A. DAVID
Anambra State government says it is shifting focus to preventive aspect of erosion control in the State.
The State Project Cordinator of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Agency Project, NEWMAP, Mr. Michael Ivenso stated this during the third edition of “Meet the Media”, an exclusive insight into the administration of Governor Willie Obiano.
Our correspondent reports that the event held at Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka.
While pointing out that State budget alone cannot service erosion sites in Anambra State, the NEWMAP Cordinator said that there are about one thousand erosion sites in the State, out of which intervention is ongoing in fourteen sites, with three completed already, which will be commissioned soon by Governor Obiano.
The NEWMAP Cordinator who explained that NEWMAP is an alliance among the federal government, State government and the World Bank, to form State-led efforts to tackle erosion challenges in Anambra.
Mr. Ivenso stressed that it is a priority intervention owned and sponsored by Anambra State government, explaining however, that the World Bank make intervention in form of soft loan, as the projects are always community-owned and driven.
According to him, a study carried out by the World Bank in Anambra State, showed that ninety nine percent of erosion is man-made.
The NEWMAP Cordinator explained that government intervention in erosion menace is social, beyond just environmental, emphasizing that over two hundred million naira has so far been disbursed to support people affected by erosion in the past, while so of the beneficiaries have set up piggery, poultry, among other business ventures.
He said that demographically, sixteen communities, out of which a total of one thousand seven hundred people, for which sixty percent are women, have been touched.
Mr. Ivenso further said that climate changed as a result of human activities, pointing out that to reverse the trend, beyond erosion control, the Agency has made other interventions in the State to include, construction of four solar-powered bore-holes in schools, distribution of energy saving bulbs, installation of one thousand liter -water tanks to help in harvesting storm water in thirty five homes, provision of eighty five machines for hand washing and hand sanitization which will be placed in strategic locations, among others.
The event was anchored by Chief Press Secretary to Governor Obiano, Mr. James Eze, assisted by his Deputy, Mr. Emeka Ozumba.