Kogi NEWMAP Poised to Address Environmental Degradation in the State

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The Kogi State Project Coordinator of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Barrister Ladi Ahmed Jatto has declared that no amount of financial intervention is too much to save Kogi state from the menace of environmental degradation.

Barrister Ladi made this known during the re-orientation workshop organised by NEWMAP in Lokoja.

She stated that the government cannot bear the burden of tackling environmental challenges alone hence the  wisdom on partnering with the World Bank-sponsored NEWMAP scheme.

The Kogi State Project Coordinator said no amount of financial intervention is too much to save the state from the menace of environmental degradation considering the fact that the state’s topography, loose soil and the presence of the Rivers Niger and Benue wreaks serious havoc in the state.

She, however, noted that NEWMAP, which is in partnership with the World Bank and other strategic partners, has responsibility of working with the government to reduce vulnerability of soil to erosion in targeted sub-watersheds and improve access to economic and social services.

In her keynote address, Kogi State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Hon. Rosemary Osikoya called on Federal Government to construct a dam along the belt of River Benue to mitigate the perennial flooding of Kogi communities along the river bank.

She lamented the loss of lives and properties in the state during the devastating 2012 flood.

The commissioner described the geography, soil type and topography of the state as sensitive to flood and environmental challenges. He called on Federal government, through NEWMAP, to help the state develop technical ability to help tackle perennial flooding and other ecological issues such as desertification.

She commended NEWMAP for the workshop, saying the outcome will no doubt help the state is battling with current ecological challenges.

The National Coordinator, Alhaji Salisu Dahiru in an address, argued that for maximum actualisation of NEWMAP projects, there is urgent need for state government to redeem its counterpart fund appropriately.

Alhaji Dahiru who was represented by Mr Ayuba Anda craved the support and cooperation of prospective host communities where NEWMAP projects will be sited. He added that plans are ongoing to construct a dam on the belt of River Benue.

He noted that 500m dollars can be accessed by Kogi State and the other seventeen participating states under NEWMAP between now till year 2020. This fund is set aside to aid in the reduction of vulnerability to soil erosion in targeted sub-watershed and to address climate change, maintain water quality as well as effective drainage system.

Currently, Kogi NEWMAP is working on erosion sites in Etahi, Ankpa, Ozuri and Ogene-aji sites in Okene, Ankpa and Dekina Local Government Areas respectively. Others are Ugwolawo, Adum road, Agassa and Omigbo River channelisation in Kabba.

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