The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP, Ekiti State has emerged as the overall best in tier 4 of the project ahead of the other beneficiary states in Nigeria.
Speaking at the award ceremony in Abuja, the Minister of Environment, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi commended Ekiti for performing exceptionally in the World Bank Assisted project while revealing that NEWMAP was designed in 2012 with the aim of reducing erosion, land degradation in targeted watersheds and to enhance the livelihoods of beneficiary communities.
He further stated that NEWMAP has been able to complete 50 gully erosion sites and reclaimed over 23,000 hectares degraded lands amongst others.
Receiving the award, the Ekiti State NEWMAP project coordinator, Dr. Akinyemi Akinyugha expressed gratitude to the World Bank and the Federal Ministry of Environment for considering Ekiti as one of the beneficiary states in 2019 while commending the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi for his dogged efforts at ensuring that Ekiti State joined the project shortly after he became Governor again in 2018.
He said, “The Governor’s efforts and unrivaled support served as a major back bone for the success of the project in Ekiti, resulting in rapid execution of erosion control projects in different communities in two Senatorial Districts of the State.
“Some of the projects include the Ajolagun bridge in Ikere, Arinkin bridge in Ikole, Ipao channelisation, Irele Health centre channelisation and Ogbomu culverts. Others are Afao-Oriebu, Kajola-Temidire, Bisi-Aloba/Adun Ogbon erosion control works all in Ikere Ekiti as well as afforestation of the nine forest reserves”
The World Bank NEWMAP task team leader, Dr Joy Agene and NEWMAP National Project Coordinator, Dr. Salisu Dahiru charged Governors of the beneficiary states to ensure sustainability of the different projects designed to last for a period of 100 years.