The Federal Government said it had received World Bank’s commitment of $500 million to support its efforts at addressing the erosion in Nanka and Agulu communities in Anambra State.
The World Bank support is coming as the United Nations also pledged to provide technical expertise for states ravaged by last year’s devastating flood, to enable them manage future occurrence.
The United Nations Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Baroness Valerie Amos, who stated this in Lokoja , Kogi State, at the start of a two day working visit to four states affected by flood in Nigeria, described the flood that devastated nine Local Government Areas of Kogi State last year as unfortunate, saying her visit was to seek ways of granting technical assistance to the state to help rebuild lives and damaged infrastructures.
Baroness Amos, who assured of partnership with the Federal and State Government to bring differences in the lives of the people whose lively hood were badly affected by the flood, described water as life but said the 2012 flood disaster was a threat to life, occasioned by the impact of climate change.
The flood disaster, the UN envoy noted , calls for better ways for the UN to improve early warning preparation and response to future flood disasters. The technical expertise to be provided by the UN, the Under Secretary disclosed, will include building infrastructures and managing displaced persons’ camp for future floods.
She explained that her team was billed to visit Kogi, Delta, Anambra and Bayelsa States that were devastated by the flood to assess post flood impact and see how possible best the UN will assist these states.
Speaking during the Ministerial Media Platform in Abuja organised by the Ministry of Information on Friday, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, said as part of Federal Government’s preparedness against this year’s predicted flood, the Ministry has deployed about 500 Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) in different locations in the country.
Mailafia, who lamented that erosion cases have posed serious threat to the people living the affected areas in the South East, said due to the gravity of the erosion menace, the World Bank’s support was enlisted by government in order to adequately tackle the situation and to bring succor to the people.
She said as a result, the World Bank has granted a $500million for addressing the the Nanka and Agulu erosion sites in Anambra State. On the whole, she said the ministry has successfully worked on 64 erosion sites, while some had been completed, with others still in progress.
On the plan by Federal Government to try and avert any disaster similar to that of last years massive flooding, Mailafia said a total of 307 web-based flood early warning systems and 15 community-based flood early warning systems have been established in Ondo, Niger, Cross River, Imo, Anambra, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Nasarawa, Riverss, Kwara, Akwa Ibom, Abia and Enugu States.
Mailafia whose presentation came as part of the Federal Government’s Mid-Term Performance Scorecard, said the ministry has recorded giant strides in the efforts to tackle environmental degradation caused by erosion, desertification, pollution and hazards from illegal mining. She said Government will not hesitate to impose stricter penalties on anyone who undermines the country’s environmental legislation, especially oil companies involved in oil spillage.