By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—SUCCOUR has come the way of erosion ravaged Amachara community, Umuahia South Council of Abia State, as the Federal Government, last week, commissioned a N400 million flood erosion control project built to check the menace of rampaging erosion problem in the community.
The massive erosion project was attracted by the member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency, Chief Sam Onuigbo through the Ecological Fund Office and handled by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to Onuigbo: “There are still over 40 massive erosion sites within Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency that need urgent attention. The topography of our place is such that one of the greatest ecological challenges is erosion and this has continued to affect farming, development projects and even led to displacement of people from time to time.”
While commending the Federal Government for allocating two projects that cost the Federal Government over N700 million, the Federal lawmaker called for more assistance to rescue his constituents.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, explained that the project was one of the 26 projects approved by the President in the first quarter of 2017,as part of the intervention initiated by the Federal Government to check flood and erosion in the community.
“The president gave approvals based on availability of funds to tackle some of the ecological problems, but this time, in 2017, amongst the 1000 ecological problems we had across the country, Abia was the only state that had two.
“These ecological funds projects are very important, these are the only projects that the President personally approves which means that the problems in Umuahia South were specifically brought to the attention of the President and he decided to solve them by giving approval”, Lokpobiri said.
He expressed joy at the conception and timely completion of the project, saying it is in line with the promise of this administration not to neglect any part of the country regardless of its geographical location or party affiliation.
He promised that the Federal Government would ensure that other erosion site projects across the country are completed for the benefit of our people as the projects would enhance the living standard of the people of these communities and environs.
“It will also check the risk to life and property associated with erosion and persistent flooding; the socio-economic outlook and general well-being of the people will also be enhanced by this intervention.
“It is on this note that I urge you to cherish this laudable project by preventing indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drainage and take responsibility to own and maintain the project by ensuring its sustainability”, the Minister urged.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs Office, Mrs. Georgina Ehuriah, who represented the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, noted that the commissioning and handover of the project to the benefiting community was expected to achieve a dual purpose of enabling the host community to take over and exercise ownership over the project, to ensure its care and sustainability and to ensure that the resources the Federal Government committed to this project are not allowed to waste.