By Steve Unegbu
The Abia State government through the Abia Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) has commended the Governor of Abia State,Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for being sensitive and alert on global issues of environmental degradation and ecosystem changes as well as having the political will to key into the national program provided by NEWMAP .
Arising from the Abia climate change Summit with the theme ‘Eco-system Restoration’ to commemorate 2021 world environmental day,held at Women development center Umuahia ,the summit commended the NEWMAP Abia state for being efficient, effective and delivery quality service to the people with fairness to all parts of the local government areas of the State and called on communities to take advantage of the services provided through NEWMAP to constantly report soil erosion, flooding and other environment matters to Abia NEWMAP as well as to cultivate the habit of planting trees, avoid cutting trees, building on water ways and unnecessary bush burning.
According to the communique issued after the summit , which had in attendance spectrum of ministries , departments and Agencies , public relations, government functionaries, members of the press , students among others , called for transformation of NEWMAP to an Agency to continue its work, recommended effective enforcement of Abia State environmental laws as well as reactivation of existing planting law in the state.
In the same vein ,the panelists at the summit acknowledged that the ecosystem has collapsed with serious erosion and climate degradation and recommended sustenance of pro active measures and interventions to restore the ecosystem in the state.
The communique of the summit which was signed by Nze Okpani Nkama of FRCN , Umuahia,
Agha Onyeonoru Nick ,ABSAA , Umuahia and Egwu Chukwu Janet -NPF Zone 9 Umuahia, lauded NEWMAP for organizing the summit.
Speaking to Newsmen during the summit ,the Abia State Coordinator of NEWMAP, Engr. Izuchukwu Onwughara outlined some of the erosion control sites done by Abia NEWMAP to include Amuda Achara gully erosion site, Amuzukwu gully erosion site,Umuezeukwu gully complex ,Umuagu Ibeku ,Umuda ,Isingwu Amafor , Umuogele Umuakwu erosion gully among others.
He further disclosed while handing over the 1000 spectacles to Abia State Environmental protection Agency (ASEPA) that it is to help in the management of solid waste , according to the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s instructions.
He pointed out that one of the major challenges of NEWMAP in ecosystem management is response and attitudes of the people, adding that many people do not believe in climate change.
In his response, after receiving the receptacles, the General Manager Abia State Environmental protection Agency ,Mr Eze Okwulehie expressed appreciation to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for doing marvelously well and for fulfilling his promise as well as the Abia NEWMAP for their support, while promising to ensure that the receptacles are evenly distributed