By Peter Okutu – Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi on Wednesday declared that those who dump refuge in waterways and sewers will no longer go unpunished in the state.
The Governor stated this during the official shutdown of the distribution of cargo tricycles, energy efficient stoves and waste bills on the World Bank, GEF and SCCF roads at the Abakaliki Ministry of the Environment.
Umahi, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, condemned the attitude of those who engaged in such ignominious behavior.
“Those who continue to invade our waterways and dump shelter indiscriminately, especially in drainage channels, will no longer go unpunished. We condemn these attitudes because they exacerbate flooding and erosion and delay our efforts to enshrine a clean and safe environment. “
The Governor further described erosion and flooding as challenges facing the State, until NEWMAP was incorporated and mitigated the situation.
“In Abakaliki, here in the very recent past, erosion became a very disturbing threat in the state capital, where homes and businesses have been destroyed, lives have been claimed and people have been maimed as a result of flooding and erosion in Abakaliki capital.
“But when we join NEWMAP, we are already singing the Alleluia song.”
In his remarks, Philip Echiegu, Program Coordinator, Nigerian Watershed Maintenance and Erosion Project, NEWMAP, Ebonyi State, said he had resettled 900 flood victims in Abakaliki, the state capital.
He added that the Agency had created more than 1,500 direct and indirect jobs in the state since it entered the state in 2013 to intervene in flood crises.
He explained that the Agency received 144 complaints from communities, where it was executing various erosion and flooding projects.
According to Echiegu, “We produced a robust master plan for the capital city of Abakaliki as part of efforts to ensure that the flood problem is completely eradicated in the capital city.
“NEWMAP is estimated to have created more than 1,500 direct and indirect jobs in the state since its inception. The project has also relocated a total of 900 flood-affected people within the corridors of the four ongoing intervention sites in the capital city of Abakaliki, including Iyiokwu, Odunukwe, Iyiudele and the Ebyia River, with the sum of N405 .635,000.
“We have received a total of 144 complaints from the project communities. We have been able to successfully serve 43 of them. Since the start of the project, the total amount that has been spent on the project is $ 33,713,555.68 and N290,798,000 have also been spent on projects in the State, since its inception in 2013.
“As part of NEWMAP’s efforts to further sensitize communities to continue to engage in erosion and flood management in the state, we are here today to distribute items purchased with funds from the International Development Association. (AIF), Social Fund for Climate Change and Global Environment Facility.
“The custom trash bins / poly bags and cargo tricycle were purchased as part of efforts to ensure that the drainage channels in the state, particularly the newly completed NEWMAP drainage channels at all project intervention sites , are not filled with municipal waste which is considered part of the causes of erosion / flooding in an urban and peri-urban area of Nigeria.
“The low-carbon and energy-efficient stoves were purchased as part of NEWMAP’s Climate Change Support Plan to promote low-carbon, climate-resilient development in project intervention communities and throughout the state.”