Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
As part of efforts to tackle perennial flooding and its attendant threat to lives and properties in communities, the federal government has unveiled a N386 million erosion control project in Tarka and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue state.
The Minister of Youths and Sport, Solomon Long, while unveiling the project recently said the intervention project executed through the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had finally allayed the fears of the perennial flooding and its threat to the peace of the communities.
According to him, â€œas 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 major concerns in these communities, creating perennial flooding and its attendant threat to lives and property.â€
The minister added that, â€œnot only is the project 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,” Dalong noted.
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 417 metres of drainage was constructed; 270 metre Road 1, 265 metre Road 2 and 250 metre road 3 were also constructed; In Gbajimba 1,965 metres of drainage was constructed with laterite adjoining roads; while 313 metres 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 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 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 the 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 stressed that, â€œit 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.â€
Meanwhile, the Chief of Dauadu, Oliver Kachado said he was happy to see this kind of project in his community.
He noted that since he became the chief that he has not witnessed this type of project in his domain, saying that it was rare to witness the commencement and the completion of any project in Nigeria.
Kachado assured 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.