By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
As part of its effort to tackle perennial flooding and its attendant threat to lives and property in communities, the federal government has commissioned N386 million erosion control project in Tarka and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue State.
The Minister of Youths and Sport Solomon Dalong, while commissioning the project at the weekend said that the intervention project executed through the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had finally put to bed the fears of perennial flooding and its threat to the peace of mind of the communities.
According to him, “As a responsible and responsive administration, the president heard the yearning of the indigenes and approved this project as one of the 16 ecological intervention projects approved by Mr. President for the second quarter 2017.
“Erosion and flood have been a major concern in these communities creating perennial flooding and its attendant threat to lives and property.”
The minister added: “Not only the project is dear to the people of Benue, but also because it is in keeping faith with the present administrationâ€™s promise that no part of the country will suffer any neglect owing to its geographical location or political consideration.
“The completion of this project has further demonstrated Mr. Presidentâ€™s commitment to addressing problems confronting various communities across the country.”
The breakdown of the project revealed that it was awarded on 19th June, 2017 to QL-Teknik Ltd at the sum of N368,189,844.30, and completed on 19th May, 2018.
The benefitting communities include Daudu, where a 417-metre of drainage was constructed, 270-metre Road 1,265-metre Road 2 and 250-metre road 3 were also constructed; in Gbajimba 1,965-metre of drainage was constructed with laterite adjoining roads; while a 313-metre of drainage was constructed in Gbajimba 2.
Dalong commended the SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, the EFO, the project contractor, as well as the project consultant, Messrs AD-Team Limited, for their doggedness in ensuring timely and speedy completion of the project.
The minister however urged communities to cherish the project and to protect it from any abuse, stressing that it is the responsibility of the communities to own and maintain the project to ensure its sustainability.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, EFO, Habiba Lawal, said that the federal government received quite a number of requests regarding the need and desirability of embarking on the project as a result of imminent danger posed by devastating recurring erosion and flooding that have been threatening lives and property of these communities.
She noted that the risk of flooding and erosion and its negative consequences necessitated the prompt intervention of the federal government in effecting holistic approach to the control and flooding that would stand the test of time and address the issue of flooding and erosion menace caused by infrastructural decay over the years.
Lawal said: “It is our conviction that this project intervention will provide succour to the communities whose lives and property were in danger. I have no doubt that the Local Government Authorities and indeed the inhabitants will ensure that the drainage system is not turned into a refuse dump.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Dauadu, Oliver Kachado, said he was very happy to see this kind of project in his community.
He noted that since he became the chief, he has not witnessed this type of project in his domain, adding that it is rare to witness the commencement and the completion of any project in Nigeria.
Kachado assured the people that he would convene a meeting in the community to ensure that women and children do not turn the place to where they can defecate or dump their refuse.