Respite is underway for motorists that ply the Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) Way in Uyo as Akwa Ibom State government has partnered with the World Bank to address the flooding menace in the area and other environmental challenges in various parts of the state.
The state project coordinator of the World Bank Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Project (NEWMAP), Dr. Ubong Harrison made this known while briefing officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance who were in the state to monitor and evaluate implementation stages of donor- assisted projects.
During the inspection of the flooded area at IBB Way in Uyo, the NEWMAP coordinator, Dr. Harrison stated that the delay in the takeoff of the erosion control project was occasioned by the need to review its original design adding that with that being done, work would soon commence.
He noted that the major challenge on the flood menace is lack of channel to divert water to the nearest stream, adding that NEWMAP would begin with the construction of a drainage system for free flow of water in line with international best practices.
Dr. Harrison explained that although there are many erosion disaster areas in the state, NEWMAP had singled out three major sites that require urgent attention and is set to carry out rehabilitation works in phases.
He also led the visiting team to one of the gully erosion sites along Etim Umana -ravine area in Uyo handled by NEWMAP, where work had reached advanced stage.
At the end of the inspection, the leader of the visiting team, and deputy director, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Kemolape commended the World Bank and Akwa Ibom State government for the level of work done so far, and the seriousness in project implementation.
He said the team was in the state to monitor and evaluate donor-assisted projects as done across the country with the view to ensuring that the developmental objectives of the projects are achieved.
On his part, the representative of the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Finance, Mr Victor Edet who stood in for the Commissioner for Finance, expressed appreciation to the World Bank and federal government for their support towards tackling the perennial flooding in the state.
Mr. Edet who is the head of Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry disclosed that state government was committed to finding lasting solution to erosion menace in the state and would continue to give necessary support to NEWMAP .
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