…Begins Payment of Compensation to Individuals Affected by the Project
…Says Government is Making Plans to Construct Roads in Affected Communities, Others
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya says the Gombe State University-Malam inna-Kagarawal gully erosion control work is part of the State Government’s conscious effort to make the citizens have confidence in the ability and willingness of his administration to save lives and protect the environment.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya stated this at the official flag- off of the erosion control work at the affected sites as well as the presentation of cheques to individuals affected by the civil work.
The Governor observed that the project will bring great relief to the menace of gullies in the affected communities especially with regards to loss of farmlands, property and lives.
“As you are all aware this gully covers about 7.5 kilometres in length and has existed and continues to expand for long, previous administrations have avoided undertaking the project due its huge financial cost”.
He said that failure had prolonged the suffering of the people, thereby exacerbating the economic social and environmental effect, saying his administration is making history by flagging off the project after meeting up all the requirements set by the world Bank which among other things was the payment of compensation to 120 families affected by the erosion control project.
He said the payment of the compensation was in line with the world best practices and the demonstration of the commitment by his administration to better the lives of the people.
“This is a clear testimony that our investment in the Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management NEWMAP is bearing good results”.
He said the Gombe State University- Malam inna- Kagarawal and many others that will follow are part of his administration’s effort to arrest the worsening environmental situation in the State capital and environs.
The Governor said Gombe State is known as the erosion capital of the North East sub-region, noting that his administration is working hard to provide the required infrastructure to protect the environment and save the communities.
He said it was for this reason that his administration keyed into the NEWMAP project and the Gombe Goes Green to combat gully erosion, desertification and deforestation.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya used the occasion to commend the firm handling the erosion control work for executing quality job on the account of what the company has done so far starting from the Gombe State University campus.
According to the Governor, the success of the job so far executed is a combination of integrated approach by NEWMAP, World Bank and the Gombe State Government through the line Ministry of Environment and Forest Resources.
“We are aware that in order to ease movement there will be the need for additional culverts across the storm drains, we are going to make these provisions in a way that it will not compromise the standards and quality of the civil works”.
He said the target is to get the work done before the on set of the rainy season, saying this projection calls for maximum cooperation of all stakeholders especially the host communities.
In addition to the erosion control project, the Governor said his administration is making plans to award contract for the construction of roads in the affected communities to make life better for the people.
“Let me use this medium to assure communities affected by gullies especially in the other four priority sites of NEWMAP that comprise the Federal College of Education Staff School to Malam Inna, east of Gombe International hotel through Pantami to Wuro Bajoga-Bogo, east of Kumo General Hospital to Jauro Tukur that Government is working assiduously to find a lasting solution to flood in those areas”.
He said his administration will continue to knock on the doors of the world Bank and other international donor agencies to help in controlling the over 200 active gullies that exist in the State, assuring the people of the State that Government will consistently work within available resources to address the various social, economic and environmental challenges.
The State Commissioner of Environment and Forest Resources, Dr. Hussaina Goje said due to lack of political will and commitment by previous administration in the State, the control of gullies were not given the attention they deserves until the coming of the present administration of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya who on assumption into office released counterpart fund of five hundred million naira to the world Bank through NEWMAP.
She said what the Governor did in less than a year from the environment sector and other sectors in the State was amazing, saying the NEWMAP is a tripartite arrangement among the world Bank, the Federal and State Government with the aim of protecting the environment for the benefit of the people.
Dr. Hussaina Goje said aside from the tripartite multi billion naira erosion control project, the Gombe State Government has earmarked over 97 million naira for the payment of compensation to those whose property were affected by the erosion control works.
Some personalities who eulogized the erosion control project include the chairman of Gombe Local Government Area and the coordinator of NEWMAP in Gombe State.