NEWMAP says over 70 gully erosion sites, 2,500 hectares reclaimed in six years

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From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja

THE Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) says it has reclaimed over 70 active gully erosion sites and 2, 500 hectares of degraded land across the country within six years.

Salisu Dahiru, the National Coordinator of NEWMAP disclosed this in Abuja.

According to him, the hectares of land were reclaimed through afforestation projects in the northern part, while civil work construction and bioremediation measures were carried out on the active gullies sites in South East.

He noted that the projects were achieved through the 500 million dollars World Bank support, described as an advanced commitment to cover phase one of the projects.

Dahiru stressed that NEWMAP got additional grant of 3.96 million dollars from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and 4.63 million dollars from the Special Climate Change Fund to support the projects.

The Federal Government, he said also contributed 150 million dollars equivalent as part of its counterpart contribution for staff salaries, trainings and office accommodation, among others.

On success recorded on some of the severe and difficult gullies, he said “Amachara, Neros plaza sites in Awka, Umuduna/ Uruokpata Abagana among others have been reclaimed in Anambra.

“Also as part of NEWMAP success are the Ninth mile corner erosion site in Udi Local Government Area, Ajalli Water Worka site in Eziagu Local Government Area, Umueshi in Ideato South Local Government Area in Enugu State,” he said.

The national coordinator said another severe erosion sites in Queen Ede and Oshiobugie in Auchi that claimed more than half of the city was also recovered successfully in Edo state by NEWMAP.

Dahiru said that at the onset, the initial 500 million dollars given by the World Bank was earmarked for 11 states in the entire project lifespan.

He said that due to the progress made in the initial seven mover states, Abia, Anambra, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, and Imo through the fund, it was later spread to cover 19 additional states.

“At the onset many states applied to partner with the project but then the project only accommodated the initial seven states.

“Based on the outstanding results of great physical achievement in participating seven states, more states such as Delta, Oyo, Sokoto, Gombe, Plateau, Kogi and Kano came on board in 2015.

“In 2016, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Katsina, and Niger were cleared to participate and Ondo also joined the project in 2018.”

He said that NEWMAP would not take any additional states for now due to unavailable funding and because of the expiration date of the project by 2021.

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