The minister of environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, has disclosed that World Bank’s $500million grant to the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) was aimed at tackling gully erosion, flooding and management of watershed across the 19 states of the federation.
To this end, he stated that NEWMAP would ensure that the threat of deforestation and control of gully erosion was reduced to the barest minimum, which he said was creating a negative effect in the country.
He stated this at the World Bank’s headquarters, Washington D.C during the 2017 Land and Poverty Conference with theme: ‘Responsible Land Governance – Towards an Evidence-Based Approach.’
“The ministry of the environment decided to do a presentation on NEWMAP which is a World Bank programme, mainly about controlling erosion in different ways, managing the watershed, stopping the gully erosion, and preventing further development of gullies,” he explained.
Jibril maintained that the poster presentation to the World Bank would demonstrate the efficacy of NEWMAP to the world as well as to other delegation who would want to replicate the initiative in their country.
He emphasized that the first step towards its implementation process was to observe and study the entire watershed, with the formation of remedial action, restoration of the soil, planting of grasses and trees to ensure that the soil was fully protected.
“With this protection, the soil is covered and the chances of getting it exposed and carried away by torrential rain will be minimal.
“There is a need for advance warning to those living downstream because when there is excess water, the speed will increase and the volume of the water will be so high which will instantly lead to erosion and flooding,” he added.
On measures to avoid the re-occurrence of erosion, Jibril said there should be advance warning to those living downstream.