David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The World Bank Group has approved eight more erosion sites in Anambra State for construction and remedial measures for the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).
The World Bank Environmental Specialist and its Task Team Leader in Nigeria, Dr. Amos Abu disclosed this on Friday shortly after inspecting the ongoing construction work at some erosion sites in the state.
While briefing the state Governor, Willie Obiano who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, at Best Western Meloch Hotels, Awka, Abu noted that the World Bank through the NEWMAP was making spirited efforts to end the scourge of erosion in Nigeria.
“This is a joint World Bank, FAO, and Federal Government of Nigeria implementation and technical support mission; the states that are implementing the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).
“This is a project that started with seven states but as of today, it has been oversubscribed such that we have 19 states and we had to dialogue with the federal government to put moratorium until the next midterm review. By then we will be able to take stock and determine whether we will be able to add one additional state.
“When NEWMAP was conceived, in particular during the preparation, Anambra State was the lead state; it was setting the pace but along the line something happened. It appeared to have lost that lead role but we are very happy to report that the momentum is back.
“As at the last count, we promised His Excellency that the design of the priority site as identified by the state remains a priority for us in terms of our reviewing. And with this we have given it accelerated review process. And we are happy to report that as at today eight priority sites designs have been approved for Anambra State.
“Not just that, we are also happy to report that the bidding document for each site has also been given review by the World Bank and as of today, four of these sites, their bidding documents are ready for implementation. So we are very happy for the significant progress we have recorded in Anambra with the support, the zeal and the interest of His Excellency, and the entire members of his cabinet”, he explained.
Responding, Dr. Okeke, regretted that erosion had reduced the size of the state such that it was now the smallest state in the federation. He pointed out that the state government would provide every needed support to ensure that the team succeeds in their good mission in the state.