Communities affected by gully erosion in Ewu and Ibore in Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State have lauded Governor Godwin Obaseki for his concerted efforts at reclaiming the gully erosion sites in the areas.
Governor Obaseki secured commitment from the Federal Government, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank to remedy gully erosion threatening parts of the state, as part of the Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).
Some of the gully sites were over 25 years old and posed environmental danger to the communities.
Project Engineer, Engr. Edwin Ero, said: “We carried out topographical survey and were able to ascertain where the flood water should flow to and our design was able to capture that.
“What we are doing in Ibore is similar to what is going on in Ewu. The difference is the length.
“The gully in Ibore is bigger than Ewu. We are using the same engineering principle at both sites.”
The Oyakhire of Ewu Kingdom and spokesman for the community, Chief Richard Diagie, said: “I thank the Edo State Government and NEWMAP for the great job being carried out in Ewu.
“For the past 25 years, we have been living with the problem. The distance between Eguare and Ehane ought to be between two to three minutes walk. But for the past 25 years, if you are coming to Ehane, you have to go through the express, through Iduwanle and Ewulu before coming down to Ehane. This is a distance that should not take you two minutes.
“Before the project was awarded, over six houses had been submerged by the gully. Things are now taking a new shape,” he added.
Another resident of Ewu and chairman, Community Association, Ewu Kingdom, Alhaji Sufianu Ojeifo said, “We thank God Almighty who has made it possible. What we thought was impossible is now possible.”
On his part, Odionwere of Ikekeala Community, Ibore, Pa. Omokhegbe Kumal, said, “we like what the Obaseki-led government is doing with the project. We are happy with it. The gully has claimed lives in the past. It was so deep, and we appreciate the government’s gesture.
Woman Leader in Ibore, Madam Esther Inegbenose, described the ongoing project as commendable, adding, “We thank government for the project. Before now, the site was so scary but now one can easily pass through the site either with a vehicle or by foot.”