The Delta State Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) has cautioned erosion and flood prone communities in the state against doing anything that will obstruct the free flow of surface water to discharging points when it rains.
The Project Coordinator, Delta State NEWMAP, Mr. Isaac Ufiofio, gave the warning at Owanta-Boji-Boji Owa, in Ika North East Local Government Area, during a one-day community sensitization workshop organized by Delta NEWMAP in conjunction with Global Peace Development for each of the five erosion and flood intervention communities across the state.
The NEWMAP boss educated the benefiting communities to develop the culture of protecting their environment from the danger of gully erosion through the planting of trees and grasses in their immediate environment, as well as the use of sandbags to prevent gullies along water channels in their communities.
Mr. Ufiofio, told the participants that the causes of gullies and floods in the intervention communities especially Obomkpa, Ukwu-Nzu, Ubulu-Uku, Owanta and Jesse were man-made.
He said the blocking of drains and water channels could cause damage to their environment and called on parents and guardians to caution their children and wards against the danger of crossing runoff drains.
The Project Coordinator told the benefiting communities that NEWMAP project’s preparatory works leading to the award of civil works contracts across the five erosion and flood intervention communities was 90 percent completion.
The Executive Director of Global Peace Development (Project Focal NGO), Mr. Esike Ebruke, said NEWMAP Project was never done in a hurry, saying the project execution may be slow, but the end result would be beneficial to all stakeholders in the state.
The Focal NGO director who outlined the overview of NEWMAP intervention in a power-point presentation since the inception of the project in the state, called on the benefiting communities to be patient with the project aimed at bringing succor to the people at the grassroots.
Participants who spoke at a separate interview said the sensitization workshop organized by NEWMAP has rekindled hope and sense of ownership in the minds of stakeholders in the communities.