By George Odok
Residents of erosion remediated communities in Calabar Municipality has returned to their houses after the completion of the gully erosion site that pulled down many buildings in the area.
The residents, who were filled with joy, expressed their gratitude when the state Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Dr Inyang Asibong, visited the area as part of her inspection tour of projects across the state.
Asibong, who oversees the Cross River Nigeria Erosion Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), was accompanied on the tour by management staff of the Project and government officials.
Speaking to newsmen at the site, Asibong said the inspection was part of efforts in ensuring that the project meets the Environmental and Social Management Plans and ensure completion before rainy season.
Commenting on the project, the Commissioner said that Gov. Ben Ayade of cross River was determined to execute meaningful and quality projects that would benefit the people.
“We are here at the Ikot Nkebre, Ikot Anwatim and Nyahasang communities courtesy of the Cross River Government and the World Bank NEWMAP to inspect the sites and the ongoing work happening here.
“Out of five fingers of the gully erosion, four fingers have been completed; the communities are actually happy with this, because the erosion ravaged the communities, destroyed and brought down houses before this intervention.
“We are happy at the pace of work we are seeing here. The contractors have promised to complete it by the end of the dry season.
“We are constantly monitoring this process and we know that with the way the work is going, by the end of April 2021 the work will be completed,” she said.
She commended Ayade for providing the enabling environment and counterpart funds for the project and the World Bank NEWMAP for their support.
Also speaking, the Project Director of AKPAVEN Integrated Service Limited, George Brown, thanked the inspection team and assured them that the project would be completed before the end of dry season.
Brown added that the vital aspect of the job which poses threat to the community would be completed.
“The job has gone over 80 per cent completion and hopefully we are looking at completing it before the rainy season.
“The erosion job is dynamic; we are trying to meet up before the rain start coming. We still have other aspect of the job that is yet to complete, like the bioremediation jobs, the planting of grasses and other things,” he said.
On his part, the Village Head of Ikot Nkebre, one of the affected communities, Mr Anthony Nkebre, showered lauded the state government, NEWMAP and the World Bank for coming to their aid.