(NAN) The World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Project Monitoring Unit, Nigerian Erosion and Water Shed Management Project (NEWMAP), has pledged commitment toward tackling erosion menace in Enugu State.
The team leader of the project, Dr Amos Abu, made the pledge in Enugu on Wednesday when the team paid a courtesy visit on Gov. Sullivan Chime.
Abu said that funds to commence the project were already available, adding that it was left for the state government to identify sites where the project would tackle.
According to him, 508 million dollars has been earmarked by the World Bank to assist in tackling erosion in the country.
“Interventions will be accelerated, especially now that we have the rains looming.
“The project is bent on tackling age-long but worsening problem of soil erosion, soil deterioration and land degradation across Nigeria.
“The project is doing more than financing. It is also providing the technical know-how, the skills and the wherewithal to address this issue in a sustainable manner,’’ he said.
The leader said that only seven states – Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo, Edo, Cross River and Enugu – had indicated interest to benefit from the project.
He called for more support from the state government for the success of the project in Enugu.
Chime, in his response, said the project would help control gully erosion in various communities in the state.
Represented by Mr Amechi Okolo, Secretary to the State Government, Chime assured of government’s support to actualise its objectives in the state.
The governor, who said that access routes to many communities and buildings had been destroyed by erosion, appealed to the team to effectively tackle the menace.
“The state government has keyed into this project by paying its counterpart fund. Partnering with the Federal Government is a very big way to solve erosion problems in the state.
“If the Ajalli-Owa community Road, Ngwo and Oji River gully erosion sites are controlled by the project, every problem and sufferings associated with erosion in these areas will be wiped out,’’ Chime said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project will elapse in the next seven years.