PRIOR to the recent intervention by the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Agency Project (NEWMAP), the people of Nsude and Ajali communities near 9th Mile Corner, Enugu, were gripped with fear and agony following gully erosion that has eaten deep into the landscape of the area.
Today, the misery of the residents of the two communities over the natural calamity has turned into joy as they can now heave a sigh of relief courtesy of the Enugu State Government in conjunction with the World Bank assisted project (NEWMAP) whose efforts are yielding positive results.
Addressing newsmen shortly after inspecting the erosion prone areas at 9th Mile Corner and Nsude, the Project Coordinator of NEWMAP, Enugu State, Mrs Agatha Lechukwu, recalled that 9th mile corner and Ajali Water Works Gully Erosion site were the first priority sites approved by Enugu State government for NEWMAP intervention, stressing that erosion posed severe threat to the pipeline and twin-tank reservoir supplying water to Enugu metropolis.
Mrs Lechukwu said that NEWMAP had taken control of erosion menace in the two communities, 9th Mile Corner and Ajali Water Works, adding that about 493 beneficiaries participated in 50 per cent of
N20,000 000.00 disbursed for alternative livelihood of “Community Interest Groups” (CIGS).
According to her, efforts were being made to control the two major gullies at 9th Mile Corner and Ajali Water Works gully, pointing out that they had posed serious threats to people’s residential, agricultural and commercial lands.
, just as the only source of potable water supply to Enugu metropolis have been controlled by NEWMAP and another new site approved by World Bank to commence work on.
Also speaking, the Social and livelihood officer of NEWNAP, Mrs Ani Scholastica, disclosed that some buildings that were affected by the gully erosion had been restored, adding that the affected persons
had comfortably come back to their homes.
Earlier at Ugwuto Nsude community where the Community Interest Groups and community members assembled for a sensitisation, a representative of Aries Concept Communication Ltd, NEWMAP communication consultant, Osundera Gbenga, told the community that NEWMAP had done a great job in controlling the gully erosion that was a threat on them and given them livelihood beneficiaries of N20,000, 000.
He urged them to take appropriate care of their environment by disposing waste properly to avoid blocking of the drain, practising rain water harvesting, stopping illegal sand mining, stopping illegal tree felling as it exposed the soil to erosion and causing loss of valuable plants and animals, adding that they should use the money given to them properly to earn a living.
The chairman of the community Interest Group, Ugwuto Nsude, Mr Cypril Ezigbo, expressed gratitude towards the intervention of NEWMAP in their community.
“I thank NEWMAP which Federal and state governments and other organisations used to rescue us from the menace of gully erosion and empower us financially”
“We will adhere to all strategies created today by NEWMAP to control our environment to stop the menace of erosion in our community as we have rules guiding the community on felling trees before
now, adding that those benefited financially had started generating money from it”