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World Bank visits Obiano, budgets N94.5bn for erosion control in Anambra

By James Eze
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The World Bank has set aside a whooping sum of N94.5 billion (about 580 million dollars) for erosion control projects in Anambra State.

The Bank Task Team leader, NigeriaEerosion and Watershed Management Project - NewMap, Dr. Amos Abu who disclosed this during a courtesy call on the State governor, Chief Willie Obiano at the Government House, Awka, Friday said the State had already paid its counterpart contribution of N500 million and approved four sites for the intervention.

Abu said Anambra State was one of the 7 states selected for the erosion control projects approved in September last year and had been keeping pace and setting the standards for the other participating states.

He explained that the Bank was equally planning to intervene on major erosion sites of Agulu, Nanka, Oko, Ekwulobia and Nnewi South local government areas of the State depending on priority sites selected by the State government and approved by the Technical Committee of the Bank in the next phase of the project.

The Work Bank Task Leader lamented that over 80 percent of gully erosion sites were caused by poorly terminated drains resulting from road construction and disclosed that a retreat for Federal and State governments would be convened to check the dangerous practice and key into global best practices.

Responding, governor Obiano said the State had selected six more erosion sites for World Bank intervention, bringing the number of sites to ten and assured that his administration was ready to increase the State's counterpart contribution to carry the new projects.

Obiano explained that the necessary structure had also been put in place to promote transparency and accountability in the State's collaboration with the Bank.

He further revealed that the Ministry of Environment had been directed to conduct fresh numeration of erosion sites in the State to give an update on new sites, while sand excavation in all parts of the State had been banned to determine its contribution in aggravating erosion devastation.