Faced with serious negative effects of land degradation and the need to widely tackle the menace, the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor has called for the declaration of a state of emergency on erosion ravaging many parts of the country.
She said the call became imperative and urgent due to the devastating effects of flood and gully erosion on lives, property and the ecosystem across the six geopolitical zones.
The minister who spoke while inspecting erosion sites in Anambra, also said that government is coming up with renewed vigour to ensure of the erosion sites.
Ikeazor who was accompanied by Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke also acknowledged that Anambra State is losing its landmass, and means of livelihood to erosion.
She, therefore, assured that work would start immediately, adding that all contractors will be put on their toes to work with both the state government and host communities.
On the role of the citizenry in erosion prevention, the Minister emphasised the need to continue public awareness on waste management, afforestation, and reduction in green gas emission.
According to her, “we need to educate our people because a percentage of environmental challenges faced today are man-made. Don’t blame nature.”
The minister inspected Community Secondary School Obosi erosion site, where she bemoaned the devastating impact of gully erosion on the school and assured that urgent steps must be taken to address it.
In a remark, deputy governor, Dr. Okeke explained that the state is ready to partner with the federal government because Anambra is heavily affected by gully erosion.
He commended the efforts of the federal government through NEWMAP World Bank assisted projects in the state, stressing that soon the Minister would embark on-the-spot assessment of erosion sites.
He called on the federal government to do more because erosion has not only affected Anambra’s landmass but has also affected the people who are daily losing properties and means of their livelihood to erosion.
Speaking on behalf of Obosi Community, the traditional ruler of Obosi kingdom, Igwe Chidubem Iweka, thanked Mr. President for finding an indigene worthy of appointment as a Minister.