The implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) in Gapiona and Urora Flood sites has begun with the payment of compensation to Project Affected Persons (PAPs) by the Edo State Project Management Unit of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, (NEWMAP).
The purpose of a resettlement action plan is to specify all resettlement arrangements and the measures for avoiding, minimising or compensating losses or other negative social impacts resulting from resettlement. It establishes the basis for the agreement with the affected parties.
Speaking at the presentation of cheques to the affected persons, State Coordinator of Edo NEWMAP, Dr. Tom Obaseki disclosed that work on the sites began about five years ago with the engineering designs for the flood sites and expressed joy over the progress that had been made on the project.
Dr. Obaseki explained that the implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) was a major requirement preparatory to the commencement of civil works, adding that anyone on the right of way would have to be compensated for effective execution of the project.
He pointed out that the job would include construction of underground drains and ponds to reduce the speed of water in the areas with six ponds and three ponds in Gapiona and Urora sites respectively.
The Edo NEWMAP Coordinator listed the streets to be covered in the Gapiona project to include Rueben Agho, Oko Central, Ekhaguere Primary School area, Omoma, Oba Ewuare Street, Edosomwan, Gaius Idubor, Agontaen Avenue, College Lane and others, just as he emphasized that Urora community and the surrounding areas would receive due attention.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the municipal Local Government, Oredo, Mr. Jerkins Osunde commended the Edo State Government under the leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki, the World Bank and NEWMAP for tackling the flood menace in the areas.
Mr. Osunde assured of the cooperation of the Local Government and community members with the contractors in the effective execution of the project.
On their part, representatives of the Supervision Engineering Firm, Aurecon and the contractors, Hartland Nigeria expressed confidence that the jobs would be executed according to specification.
In their responses, two members of the communities, Chief S. A. Ogbomo and Dr. Mrs. Agatha Ojeme, who were visibly excited, thanked the State Government for coming to their rescue.
They expressed joy that no life was lost in all the years they were traumatized by the flood problem which, at a time for instance, took away a Volvo car and brought down several residential houses.