The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) project became effective on September 16, 2013. The World Bank agreed to finance the Project with a credit of $500 million. This credit was approved in addition to fully blended grants of $3.96 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and $4.63 million from the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) by the World Bank Board on May 8, 2012.

According to Mr. Chikelo Nwune, NEWMAP National Coordinator, the significant development objective of the project “is to reduce Vulnerability to soil erosion in targeted sub-watersheds”.  He said  this innovative, multi-sectoral project has commenced the financing of  State-led interventions to prevent and reverse land degradation, “initially focusing on gully erosion sites that threaten infrastructure and livelihoods in seven States: Abia, Anambra, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo Enugu and Imo and subsequently scale out to other states nationwide.”

The successes recorded in these first mover states and the prospect of sustained progress towards the achievement of the project’s objective, led to requests by more states to join NEWMAP. In December 2014, after series of evaluation of applications from additional states, the Federal Project Management Unit (FPMU) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF) and the World Bank (NEWMAP Project task team), seven additional states – Delta, Oyo, Sokoto, Gombe, Plateau, Kogi and Kano were cleared to join the Project, thus making the total number of NEWMAP Project states fourteen (14).

Currently the project has commenced civil works implementation in 21 gully erosion approved sites across the seven participating states. Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) has been paid to likely Project Affected Persons (PAP) in some of the sites. This is  a compulsory aspect of the project prior to commencement civil works, without which no implementation of action could be carried out in the affected areas.”

Speaking on the achievement of the Project, the Cross River state project Coordinator, Mr. Fidelis Anukwa said NEWMAP is to invest about N2.1Billion on the first five project sites in the State. He said Engineering/civil works have commenced in the four of the five sites in state.

According to Mr. Anukwa “contractors have been mobilized and are currently working in Atakpa,   Edim Otop, Ikot Ekpo and Nyangasang project sites.”