The Honorable Minister, federal ministry of Environment, has described Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) as a flagship project of the federal Government and the federal ministry of Environment given its positive impact on the environment and social development. He said “the project did not only impact in the area of gully restoration and the watershed catchment management, but also on livelihood enhancement activities and sustainable land management. This is why the project is linked to Mr. President’s goal and priority of lifting 100 million Nigerians from poverty in the next few years.”
Alhaji Muhammad Mahmood stated this on Tuesday 12th November when he hosted the visiting World Bank regional Director for Africa for sustainable development, Dr. Simeon Ehui.
The Minister said the project achievements in its short existence are significantly evident across the components. And since the last MTR it has been very remarkable. According to him, “21 gully sites have been treated with 100% of planned measures across the first 7 Pilot States of Abia, Anambra, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Edo and Imo with average percentage completion of 95%. 26 sites have reduced in severity and 1,602 hectares have been recovered as at June 2019. By doing so, lives have been saved as well as infrastructure within affected communities. Through gully rehabilitation and road construction, there is improved access to markets (for agricultural produce and businesses), schools and healthcare services.”
He highlighted other achievements of the Project noting that, “this actually led to the recognition and Awards accorded to NEWMAP during the FY19 World Bank Nigeria Portfolio Awards: Overall Best Project in the entire World Bank Portfolio, Best Project in Results and Innovation, and Best Project in Financial Management.” He added that the project had earlier won 2 Sustainable Development Awards at the Work Bank 2019 Market Place for Projects in the entire Africa Portfolio, which is why “Undoubtedly for us, NEWMAP is the Gold Standard for erosion control and other forms of land degradation.”
In his remarks, World Bank regional Director for Africa for sustainable development, Dr. Simeon Ehui, commended the achievements of the project and its positive impacts on the lives of the people: “Iam pleased to see the performance of the project and congratulations to the Project Team for good job done,” he added.
“My main purpose in Nigeria is to leverage on the on the robust partnership between the Bank and the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture. This is because we need to look into the future and we need to strategically look into how we can provide solutions to issues bordering on food security, environment and livelihoods,” said Dr. Ehui.
Apart from the issue of sustainable Land management, he acknowledged the ongoing cooperation the Bank is having as regards the Nigeria Green bond Project and the three stages of Fadama with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and noted the various success achieved, that has necessitated the need to move-up on the gains. In the area of sustainable land management and gully restoration, he noted that NEWMAP has greatly impacted the polity and for sustainability, may solidify accrued gains with NEWMAP 2.