The Federal Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the World Bank organised a closing/Valedictory Ceremony and Award night for the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) yesterday in Abuja.
NEWMAP is Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project is a multisectoral and multi-level intervention that focuses on erosion and land degradation using the integrated watershed concept.
Addressing the participants at the event, the Chief Host, Barr. Mohammed H. Abdullahi, Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Environment, ably represented by Abdullahi Attah Abdullahi, congratulated the retiree of NEWMAP who worked tirelessly to ensure that this project is completed and the 23 NEWMAP participating states, represented here by virtually all staff of the Project Management Units, including the Federal Project Management Unit, for all the achievements recorded in the implementation of NEWMAP.
According to him, “It gladdened my heart when I learnt that all retirees that have worked in the Project are also here present to witness this important event. This is surely an indication that their contributions in the success of the Project have not been forgotten.”
In his words:
“Way back in 2012, the Federal Ministry of Environment had in partnership with the World Bank designed the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, with the aim of reducing vulnerability to gully erosion and other forms of land degradation in targeted watersheds, focusing on reversing and preventing further land degradation, and at the same time enhancing the livelihoods of beneficiary communities.”
According to him, “Further evidences of NEWMAP achievements are dotted all over the 23 states, covering various areas such as gully rehabilitation, restoration of degraded lands, urban stormwater management, climate change adaptation and resilience, water harvesting, climate Agriculture; Innovative Technologies/GIS; re-forestation, biodiversity conservation, support to community health care services, job creation, sustainable livelihood initiatives, etc”.
“The impact of NEWMAP has been felt all over the country, including in states that are not participating in the Project, such as Jigawa. NEWMAP has completed 56 gully erosion sites; reclaimed over 23,000 of degraded land, number of households that directly benefited from the Project stands at over 25,000, while over 185,000 persons have received Project Advisory training. In addition, NEWMAP won 5 Awards in 2019: Overall Best Project in entire World Bank Nigeria, Best Project in Results and Innovation; Best Project in Disbursement; 1 Position in Audience Award Category under Sustainable Awards for World Bank Projects in Africa Region; and 2nd Position in the Africa SD Team Awards Jury Results.
Briefing the Newsmen on the project, Salisu Dahiru, the National Project Coordinator, NEWMAP, said 23 states participated in NEWMAP including Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The project started in 2013 and ended in 2022.
According to him, “ World Bank Project does not exceed 5 to 7years; but because they lost about more than half a year, one year was added. Many states joined late and were not able to record great success in terms of implantation. This made World Bank gave one year extension and the project became the biggest within Nigeria portfolio and Africa at large. Also, the one that lasted longest; ten years of operation.
“First phase of NEWMAP had $500 for 7 states. Subsequently, the number of states increased to 23 states and more funds were needed. The world bank offered $400 million. Also, $8 to $9million grants for Global Environment Facility and Special Climate Fund.”
Salisu further said that the Team sat together assess the performance of these States and give them awards. Also put the record of NEWMAP achievement to the general public and the ministries and world bank that sponsored it.
A participants Dr God’ Time, who represented the Director General NASDA, applauded the effort of NEWMAP for the huge success recorded.
According to him, NEWMAP was formally meant to curtail gully erosion in the Eastern part of the country now extended to different states in Nigeria.
The Federal Ministry of Environment in partnership with the World Bank and it’s partner agencies came up with NEWMAP to address on a multidimensional scale, the menace of gully erosion and other forms of land degradation in Nigeria.
Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project is a World Bank assisted project aimed at addressing the Nigerian gully erosion crisis in different parts of Nigeria and land degradation on a multi-dimensional scale.