Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Wednesday inaugurated the N3 billion erosion control project tagged: “Mabera Storm Water Management Works” and others in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project consists of 18.5 kilometres enlarged drainage system across Mabera Jelani, Mabera Iddi, Nakasarin Barebari, Nakasarin Nagaji, Salame and Trade Fair areas in Sokoto township.
NAN reports that the project is being executed under the World Bank-assisted Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), in partnership with the state government.
Inaugurating the project, Tambuwal said the state government had settled its counterpart funding of N1.4 billion since 2017, adding that some procedures had delayed execution of the project.
The governor said the projects were aimed at reducing the vulnerability to soil erosion, floods and other complex environmental challenges bedevilling the state, threatening infrastructure and livelihood of people.
According to him, the flood experienced in Mabera and suburbs predated his administration as the previous governments could not offer good efforts toward addressing the menace.
“My administration is committed to ensure lasting solution to environmental and other problems thereby ensuring the settlement of project counter fund since 2017.
“The programmes were approved under the project comprised Mabera Storm Water Management Works, rehabilitation of Lugu Dam, construction of Earth Dam at Rafin Duma and Sakkwal.
“Others were Yarbulutu River Bank Erosion Control Works, Flood and Erosion Control Works at Goronyo and Durbawa areas.
“Smaller sites in the project included 1.9 kilometres, 1.5 kilometres and two kilometers Flood Control works at Tureta, Sayyinna and Specialist Hospital in Sokoto,” Tambuwal said.
He said that some people embarked on political colourations capitalising on the delay to criticise the present administration.
Tambuwal, therefore, implored people to have good understanding of the government programmes and ensure constructive criticisms that would encourage his government to execute people-oriented projects.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Sagir Bafarawa, said the projects were in fulfilment of Tambuwal’s pledges toward uplifting people’s lives.
Bafarawa said the state government had completed all the necessary formalities of the collaborative agreement along with professional and technical scrutiny enshrined in the overall procedures.
He explained that the NEWMAP strives toward reducing vulnerability to soil erosion in targeted sub-catchments designed to support the country’s transformation agenda to achieve greater environmental and economic security.
The commissioner said that the project would impact positively toward addressing flood and gully erosion through good drainage systems, rehabilitation of degraded lands and establishment of earth dams in some parts of the state.
“The project will facilitate reactivation of some irrigation schemes to boost agricultural activities to ensure food security and livelihood activities of the people of the state,” Bafarawa said.
Also, the District Head of Gagi, Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi, expressed appreciation to the governor for his courage and good stewardship that transformed the state.
Umar-Jabbi urged residents who had received compensation to hasten evacuation from the places affected to pave way for smooth continuation of the project billed to be completed within 32 months.