By Ajuwa Victor, Asaba
The Forum of Delta State NGOs has send a save our soul (SOS) message to the World Bank office in Abuja to urgently commence construction works at the five selected erosion and flood devastated sites in Delta state.
According to the forum, the affected sites located in Owanta-Midoma, Jesse, Ubulu-Uku, Ukwu-Nzu and Obomkpa should be given urgent attention to save lives and properties, and put a halt to further deterioration of the sites owing to the coming of the rainy season.
Speaking to journalists in Asaba, the coordinator of the forum, Deacon Okezi Odugala and secretary, Chief Greg Osamenjor, said that recent field assessment visits to the five sites showed that there was an urgent need to commence remediation and construction activities to check the escalating erosion and flood menace ravaging the sites which they said was already posing danger to the inhabitants and their livelihood.
They revealed that many houses had been destroyed, lives lost, businesses closed down, farmlands washed away, lamenting that the scenario had contributed adversely to poverty and health challenges to the people living in the environment.
The forum thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for releasing the state’s counterpart fund of N500 million for the project since 2016 and the commissioner for environment, Chief John Nani, for carrying out the needed capacity building and technical studies for project impacted communities, towards delivering a sustainable project.
While also appreciating the World Bank for selecting Delta state to benefit from the Nigeria Environment and Watershed Management Programme (NEWMAP) geared towards environmental protection and sustainable development in Nigeria, it warned that the coming rains would make all the efforts put in place to go to waste as a result of the delays in commencing the project proper.
The forum called on all stakeholders to partner positively to see to the immediate implementation of the erosion and flood control intervention projects in the five selected communities in the state toward replicating in more communities, advising that a stitch in time saves nine.