The soil erosion and flood control project was the first ever federal government project in Ham chiefdom. at Kwoi community in Jaba local government area of Kaduna state. It was one of the ecological intervention projects approved by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 2016 and awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on 25th January, 2017.
The erosion and flood control works which was executed by the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), was initiated to put a stop to the continuous erosion and flood menace in the community, avoid further environmental degradation likewise to prevent loss of lives and properties caused by persistent flooding and gully erosion.
The N730million project which comprised of excavation work for rain/culvert, reclaiming of existing gully erosion and provision of earth work and among others was awarded to Messers Harris and Domes Nigeria limited as contractor and Messers Tectonic engineering and consult limited as consultants.
Speaking at the commissioning and handover of the project, the Kpop Ham of Jaba chiefdom, Dr Danladi Gyet Mande commended President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to the pleas of former permanent secretary, ministry of foreign affairs, Amb Bulus Lolo who is an illustrious son of the community and approved the contract.
While stating that the scope of work for the erosion control was significantly scaled down during design and preparation, he recalled that the community experienced earth tremor in September 2016, a disaster that affected several homes in the town.
In view of this, Mande appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to closely monitor the community and consider awarding contract for the second phase of the erosion project so as to incorporate areas that were omitted during the first phase.
Mande called on federal government to assist in payment for losses incurred by members of the community who lost their means of livelihood to flood.
This is even as he noted that the flood swept through many homes in Kwoi, along the drainage path that was constructed for erosion control at the onset of raining season this year.
He also pointed out that an arrangement should be put in place within the retention period as permitted by extant laws that any technical or engineering fault noticed at the project would be fixed without delays.
He said this was necessary in order to avoid a situation where a rescue mission becomes an inadvertent emergency, even as he commended the project contractor, Messers Harris and Domes Nigeria Limited for the support given to victims in flooded areas.
Responding on behalf of the community, Amb Bulus Lolo noted that Ham Chiefdom is four and half kilometers to Nok community which is famous for its Nok culture and artefacts.
He said with the project President Buhari has written his name in gold by wiping away the tears of a community and its people yearning for a touch like this.
Lolo maintained that he had two or three raining seasons left before his house would collapse but for the intervention of President Buhari who awarded contract for the erosion control project.
He stated that the irrigation path would last not less than 20 years saying that work commended on the site and was completed on schedule.
He said: “I witnessed the onset of the rain and the flood that ravaged many homes which was identified as design fault, so I request that there should be retention period on this project”.
He requested that in consultation with the state government, Mallam Nasiru el- Rufai the work should be extended to cover areas left behind.
Also speaking, the permanent secretary of EFO, Dr Habiba Lawal expressed happiness that the community members are receptive about the project.
Lawal, who was represented by EFO director of Special duties, Mrs Bola Laditan, lauded the project contractor and consultant for their doggedness in ensuring timely and speedy completion of the project, just as she implored the community to cherish the laudable project.
She emphasised that the project underscored the administration’s determination to continue with the implementation of all genuine government policies, agreements and contracts, both at national and International levels.
The permanent secretary stated that the timely completion of the project was made possible through the efforts of the project contractors and consultants who had worked assiduously to ensure minimum loss of time in the project implementation schedule.
The minister for Budget and National Planning, Sen Udoma Udo Udoma who commissioned the project noted that the project is evident that federal government is in support of developing every state in the country.
He assured that he’s in close talks with Kaduna state government, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai to identify additional areas that would require intervention by federal government.
Udoma hinted that the erosion and flood control project at Kwoi would provide a window of opportunities for economic growth in the community and unlock many potentials in line with the policy trust of the Buhari led administration on agriculture and food security.
He noted that the negative impact of erosion and flooding on the socio-economic lives of the people in any community such as Kwoi town cannot be overemphasised saying that federal government intervention brought huge relief to the community.
Udoma pointed out that Kwoi is famous for its agricultural potentials and mineral deposits adding that the project is expected to enhance the wellbeing of the people as well as reduce dangers to lives and properties.
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