“We know the problem in the South-East, especially Anambra – erosion and flooding.”
The Federal Ministry of Environment says it will soon inaugurate the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP, aimed at checking erosion in the country, especially in the South-East.
The Minister of Environment, Laurentia Mallam, made this known when she received Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra in the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
She said that the Federal Government was aware of the threat posed by erosion in the state, saying that the government was determined to tackle the menace.
“We know the problem in the South-East, especially Anambra – erosion and flooding; Anambra State is doing everything possible to partner with us.
“They have deposited about N500,000 to partner with Federal Government on the NEWMAP Project.
“And very soon, the project will be launched and work will begin in earnest to check erosion in the South-East, especially Anambra State.
“We want to call on other state governors to do the same, so that the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President will be a reality and touch the lives of so many, especially the downtrodden.’’
The minister told her guests that the Federal Government implemented 17 erosion projects in the state in 2013, adding that 18 projects would be implemented in the state in 2014.
Mallam, however, assured the governor of the ministry’s support to carry out other environmental projects in the state.
She said that the ministry was planning to organise a National Sanitation Day to sensitise Nigerians on the importance of good sanitation.
“We want to keep our state capitals clean, the local governments and the villages and when the environment is clean and conducive for our well-being, a lot of things will be taken care of.”
The minister, therefore, urged Nigerians to protect the environment by desisting from unfriendly practices, such as bush burning, incriminate refuse dumping and felling of trees, among others.
Earlier, Obiano said that the erosion problem in Anambra had become alarming, noting that the state had appealed to the World Bank and the Federal Government for assistance.
“I am happy that the both the World Bank and the Federal Government are assisting in this area. Currently, the World Bank and the Federal Ministry, in partnership with Anambra, are working on four erosion sites.
“The last meeting I had with the team two weeks ago, we agreed that the sites should be increased to 12 and I am most willing to put down my counterpart contribution to facilitate those activities.
“On our own part, we are putting some laws in place to stop these habits that could degrade the environment,” he said.
The NEWMAP project will be implemented in seven states of Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Cross River, Enugu, Edo and Imo.