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Monday, May 20, 2024

Gov. Soludo Doesn’t Renege — Environment Commissioner Assures, As Team Visits Ebenator Erosion Gully Ahead 2nd Phase of Intervention

 

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Anambra State Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Dr. Felix Odimegwu, has said Governor Chukwuma Soludo does not renege or disappoint in keeping his promises to Ndị Anambra, both on project execution and otherwise.

Commissioner Odimegwu stated this in an interview with this reporter shortly after a team from the Ministry visited to inspect the status of the Ebenator Erosion Gully in Ebenator Community, Nnewi South Local Government Area of the state, where the government had carried out a first phase of intervention project.

Recall that Governor Soludo had, in 2023, flagged off an the erosion control project on the popular gully site, beginning with the part where the gully cut off a major road in the area. However, the work paused after the completion of the first phase of the project, covering some parts of the gully, following the sudden arrival of the 2023 rainy season.

However, recently, as part of efforts towards resuming work at the project site, a team from the state’s Ministry of Environment visited the community, where they toured round the gully site, to inspect and assess its current status, from the part where the intervention work commenced, down to the heart of the gully and its tip at the Ọfara Okechukwu River.

The team was led round by some executive members of the Ebenator Development Union (E.D.U.) community, including the President-General, Mr. Chigozie Anadi (represented by his Vice, Hon. Amaechi Anyika); the Secretary General of the town, Mr. Uzor Ndianefo; as well as the Financial Secretary, Mr. Chidiebere Ojiego; among others.

When contacted by this reporter, Izunna Okafor, regarding the inspection visit and the future of the project, Commissioner Odimegwu, who gave an overview of the project explained that the first phase had been completed, while the inspection visit is part of the efforts that are already on motion to kick off the second phase of the intervention.

According to him, Governor Soludo does not renege in his promises or in executing any projects he undertakes, and executing them in the best of quality and agreed standard. He also revealed that the Governor holds environmental sustainability to the highest esteem, which he, said is the prime reason behind the concerns his administration has manifested in the environmental sector of the State through the various environment-oriented projects and initiatives it has so far championed.

The Commissioner called on the various households in the State, community leaderships other members of the public to complement the efforts of the State government by taking their environmental well-being very seriously and seeing it as part of their daily obligations, adding that the Soludo Administration sees communities as partners in progress.

He also disclosed that the Ministry had drafted a community engagement framework to ensure that every community in the state has an Environmental Sustainability Committee. The Committee, he said, will, among other roles, ensure the implementation of environmental mandate in the community, meet from time to time with government and community stakeholders; as well as take proactive measures to correct and mitigate against environmental degradation within their community.

While reminding Ndị Anambra of the government’s directive on desilting of drainage channels ahead of the oncoming rainy season; Commissioner Odimegwu also called on community leaderships in the state to always be quick to identify and tackle or correct any failed drainage portion or minor environmental issues, as such minor issues can escalate into a big gully on the nearest future, if left unchecked and unaddressed.

On his own part, the President-General of the Ebenator Community, Mr. Anadi, conveyed the hearty appreciations of the community to the Governor, and extended same to Commissioner Odimegwu, for the intervention works seen so far on the deadly erosion gully.

He highlighted and regretted the various challenges, damages and dangers posed to the community and her residents by the age-old erosion gully, including caving-in many houses, destruction of major access roads, farmlands, crops, and economic trees; as well as putting the lives of pupils of Ebenator Central School at high risk, as it has ‘eaten up’ half of the school fields and speedily approaches the school building itself, among many other challenges.

The PG, while commending the government and the inspection team, however, expressed optimism that Governor Soludo has come to bring a perpetual end to the erosion gully and its accompanying challenges and risks. He also expressed confidence on the Governor’s ability and commitment to deliver on his promise to the people, adding that Ndị Ebenator are highly expectant, as the gully has remained one of their key problems, especially due to its position as risk to human lives.

He further reassured of the people’s unwavering commitment to supporting the state government as it strides towards its vision of making Anambra a livable and prosperous homeland.

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