By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday inaugurated a gully erosion remediation in Umuagu-Ibeku and the 5.8km-Umuada-Isingwu/Amafor/Ossah-Ibeku Road.
In his speech, Ikpeazu commended the state Ministry of Environment and Nigerian Environmental Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) for completing the projects within a record time of ten months.
He said that the execution of the two projects would not only give the people a sense of belonging but improve economic activities in the area.
The governor said that the completion of the project indicated state government’s commitment to deliver the dividend of democracy to the people of Abia.
He described erosion as an environmental menace which ought to be given urgent attention because of its threat to life and property.
Also, Dr. Aham Uko, the Commissioner for Environment, said that the two projects were executed through counterpart funding between the World Bank and state government at the cost of N3.45 billion.
He said: ”The place was very well devastated by gully erosion, resulting from several environmental degradation activities taking place around the area.
“This is a major feeder road linking the entire Ohuhu community and Bende Community to the express road of Ossah.
“The state government thought it will be necessary to link the people of Ohuhu and Bende to the express road.”
In his address, Mr Izuchukwu Onwughara, the Project Manager of NEWMAP in Abia, said that the road traversed Umuda-Isingwu, Amafor and Ossah-Ibeku communities.
Onwughara also said that the state government contributed N350 million counterpart fund to the project.
Mr Ezeocha Ezeagbara, the representative of the Umuda-Isingwu community, thanked the World Bank and state government for their prompt response to the need of the community.
Ezeagbara said that the community was delighted with Abia government’s commitment to the infrastructure development of the area. (NAN)