By: Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
As part of efforts to tackle the menace of Erosion which has led to land degradation in some parts of Kogi State, the state government has paid the sum of N200 million to fast track the commencement of work at various erosion sites across the State.
The State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello who disclosed this whIle speaking at official launch of Kogi, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Managent Project (NEWMAP) at Reverton Hotel in Lokoja, the State Capital.
Bello explained that the present administration was poised to protect environment by preventing pollution and retaining natural systems, adding that state is ready to alleviate danger and discomfort of flooding by providing drainage and managing flood risks.
The governor therefore announced additional payment of N100 million to earlier paid to the World Bank in 2016 to curb the perennial erosion problems confronting the State.
Earlier in her address,the State Commissioner for Environment, Mrs. Rosemary Ojochenemi Osikoya explained that Kogi State has been faced with the problem of Erosion and degradation resulting from development without adequate planning or provision of service,
heavy rainfall, natural drainage routes obstruction and deep soil prone to serve erosion and blocked road drainages.
Osikoya disclosed that as part of determination to tackle erosion problem in Kogi State government had paid its counterpart fund of N100 million to partner with World Bank.
The Task Team Leader ,Dr. Amos Abu who represented the World Bank Country Director, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud stated that the NEWMAP being launched in Kogi State is a World Bank project across the country.
Abu explained that after the successes recorded in the first seven plot states, Kogi State was included in another set of seven states.
The Country Director noted that the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project(NEWMAP) which would take a comprehensive watershed management approach coupled with an investment focus on gully erosion prevention and rehabilitation.
He added that the objective of NEWMAP is to support Kogi State to reduce vulnerability to erosion.
He added that equipment would soon be moved to the various erosion sites across the State force commencement of work.