By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril has charged the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) to ensure achievement of tremendous results in its focal areas of bringing succour to areas affected by gully erosion and land degradation.
This the minister stated will reduce the impact of the menace and its devastating impact on lives and livelihoods in affected communities.
Jibril gave the charge in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of a 3-day Special Orientation Workshop for members of the Steering and Technical Committees of NEWMAP in Kaduna.
The objective of the workshop is to strengthen teamwork, create a result oriented workforce and sensitize State Steering Committees on the concept of NEWMAP.
The minister stated that NEWMAP was created to address the menace of gully erosion in the South-East and South-South, with an inherent plan to check land degradation in the Northern part of the country.
He acknowledged that significant progress has been made from the time the project became effective in 2013.
‘’This Project has improved physical environment and living conditions in the project states. Through its activities the project has had wider impact on the affected communities by providing economic livelihoods to the poor and affected people, address flooding and poor management of solid wastes.
‘’Today the Project Development Objective (PDO) indicator reveals that the project is doing very well. We must keep up the good works,’’ the minister added.
Earlier, NEWMAP National Project Coordinator, Mr Salisu Dahiru informed the audience that the workshop will dwell on thematic discussions on the way forward in order to provide opportunities to deliver on its mandate, address gully erosion, land degradation, improve livelihood, completely help in alleviating living standards of people around the affected sites and also support national growth and development.
The workshop had in attendance States Commissioners of Environment, Permanent Secretaries, NEWMAP State Project Coordinators and key stakeholders.
Some state commissioners recently redeployed to the environment ministry where also attendance.