Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, at the weekend, said the government spent over $150m on flood control and erosion management, reassuring that the government will sustain efforts at protecting the environment and ensuring improved livelihoods for Edo people.
The governor lamented that most of the environmental challenges faced by the state were man-made, noting that the government was taking critical steps at building a progressive and prosperous atate that is resilient to climate change and anchored on sustainable environmental development and a circular economy.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant on Media Projects to Edo State Government, Obaseki spoke at the launch of Edo State Flood, Erosion, and Watershed Management Agency (Edo FEWMA), a new agency established by the state government to sustain the gains recorded in erosion control and flood management started under the World Bank-assisted Edo State Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (Edo NEWMAP).
Stating some critical steps by the government to sustain gains recorded in the management and control of flood and erosion, Obaseki warned that any agency intending to build roads in the state, including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), must first register its design with the Edo FEWMA to ensure proper engineering design and erosion control mechanisms.
He said: “Over the last 10 years, we have spent over 150 million dollars trying to repair what we have damaged ourselves. We should ask ourselves if this is the way we should continue to go. Can we not prevent some of these things that are leading to environmental challenges we are faced with?”
“Majority of the cases are all man-made. You have a contractor, who was given a contract, and he decides to begin construction, but he doesn’t share the plan, and he doesn’t tell how the water will be terminated.
“He does his own, collects his money and leaves the problem with the communities. That is a major cause of the problem we are having with erosion control.”
He stressed the need for people to change the way they lived in the past, saying: “The way we have lived in the last 20 years or more, I don’t think we should continue that way; we behave as if our environment does not matter, and nobody cares about land management.
“Communities sell and do not care about planning. People build where they should not and the water that should flow through a natural path does not have a way to go and goes where it shouldn’t and begins to wash away the land. As a government, this has become our priority.”