The residents of Kano State were in high spirit last week as the federal government unveiled the erosion and flood control works at Dumbulum, Tsanyawa local government area.
The event which witnessed large turnout of people from different locations in the city almost turned to a political rally given the unprecedented crowd at the commissioning and handing over of the project.
The project is one of 27 ecological intervention projects approved for the 2nd quarter of 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari and was executed by the Ecological Fund Office (EFO).
It was awarded to Messrs UYK Nigeria Limited on June 1, 2017 by the Ecological Fund Office Tenders Board and supervised by Messrs Ovah Nigeria Limited.
In addition to the erosion project, federal government waded into the management of industrial waste in the state that has contributed to wholesome environmental pollution and contamination of water.
This in most cases led to spread of communicable diseases, as such wastes usually ended in the bank of rivers, streams and other channels considered as major sources of water supply especially in the villages.
The residents of Sabuwar Gandu, Maidile, Sharada, Challawa and other communities along River Wudil had earlier raised an alarm over recurrent cases of diarrhea and other water-borne diseases, which they believed arose from the contamination of their source of water by the industrial waste especially from tanneries.
In his speech, the minister of state for health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, noted that the erosion project was designed to address the challenges of soil erosion and flooding that have impacted the lives of citizens in Dumbulum community for decades.
Ehanire stated that the project was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge that no part of the country would suffer neglect irrespective of its geographical location or political inclination.
He recalled that the construction of Dumbulum bridge was completed during the previous administration, stressing that in order to enhance and add value to the project as well as maximise its benefits to the local community that the present administration implemented the Phase 2 which is the erosion and flood control.
This he said, underscored the president’s determination to adopt and implement policies, agreements, and contracts entered by past administrations, whether at national, international or local levels that might be useful in laying a foundation for the country’s prosperity.
Also speaking, the governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, appreciated the commitment of the federal government in the treatment of industrial affluence at Shanono, Sharda and Gwompai industrial estates through the establishment of multi-billion naira secondary treatment plant in Kano.
This he said was evident in the approval granted for conceptualisation of the phase one of the project, expected to gulp billions of naira, adding that the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was appointed as technical adviser for the project.
He expressed excitement that the constituted technical committee for sustainable management of the industrial waste had commenced its pre-planning activities, which he believed would provide ample guidance for the successful execution of the project.
Ganduje noted that since his assumption of office on May 2015, he achieved a lot in the area of environmental development which included the purchase of 86 refuse collection tippers at N1.49billion for sustained refuse evacuation by refuse management and sanitation board.
Added to this is the purchase of two bulldozers at N47million, five tricycle for evacuation of refuse generated from all nooks and crannies of the city and sustained annual clearance of major and minor drainages to avoid threat of flood in Kano State.
He noted that his administration approved payment of N500million as counterpart funding to Nigeria Erosion Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) adding that it’s a collaborative arrangement with the World Bank to address issues connected with the environment.
The governor maintained that the state trained 300 farmers on modern beekeeping for enhanced protection of bees and for economic prosperity.
Ganduje informed that he procured 11 fumigation machines as a proactive measure towards addressing the menace of malaria likewise the construction of 42 drainages across the 44 local governments of Kano State.
The governor hinted that he offered employment to 1000 sanitation vanguards for effective and efficient implementation of public health laws.
He called on the residents of Dumbulum to reciprocate the gesture by voting President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressive Congress (APC) candidates in 2019.
This he said was the only way to guarantee continuity of projects such as the erosion project that would impact positively on the lives of Nigerians.
On her part, the permanent secretary of EFO, Dr Habiba Lawal,emphasised that the goal of the project is to restore the environment and socio-economic activities in the affected communities.
The perm sec, who was represented by EFO director of pollution control, Mr Gandy Chega, was convinced that the intervention would provide the enabling environment for the impacted communities to bounce back to their former vocations and means of livelihood.
She assured that the commissioning and handover of the project would serve a dual purpose of enabling the community to take over and exercise ownership of the project as well as discouraging further dumping of solid waste along the waterways.
Also, the EFO project manager, Mr Uwem Useh, urged members of Dumbulum community to cherish the laudable project and jealously protect it.
He was hopeful that the successful completion of the project would guarantee the safety and wellbeing of citizens of the surrounding communities.
Useh hinted that the project would mitigate the dangers, losses and damage associated with soil erosion and seasonal flooding that have plagued the community for decades.
The chairman of Dumbulum development association, Hon Shehu Usman Sale, stated that federal government is determined to cater for the needs and demands of its entire populace under President Muhammadu Buhari.
He disclosed that the local government has made several attempts to rescue Dumbulum town from the threat of erosion and overflooding by constructing water channels and culverts.
Sale pointed out that the community observed that the water channel by the southern part of the village filled the nearby pond to such an extent that it carried water to the west ward, saying that the water led to flooding that almost destroyed houses.
He appealed to the state government to consider the construction of Tsanyawa, Dumbulum, Shanono road even as he commended federal government for executing the erosion project at Dumbulum.
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