By Izunna Okafor, Awka
No fewer than 160 out of 179 communities in Anambra State are currently grappling with the imminent threat posed by erosion gullies.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Felix Odimegwu, disclosed this while speaking at the 2023 Spouses’/Award Night of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Awka Branch, which held over the weekend in Awka, the capital city of the State.
According to him, the devastating erosion menace are as a result of actions and inactions of the people, which he said require collective efforts and expertise of to control. While re-emphasizing the urgent need for collective action and expertise to mitigate the impact of these erosional issues, the Commissioner said negligence would undoubtedly continue exacerbating the environmental vulnerabilities.
“Environment is everybody’s business. Looking at what is happening in the State today, the ecological problems we’re facing, it is high time we all took responsibility for our actions and our inactions.
“And the engineers must play their roles and ensure the right thing is done at every point in time, especially in the areas of the designs and the construction, because unsustainable designs and unprofessional construction are parts of the major causes of these environmental challenges,” he said.
Commissioner Odimegwu, however, commended Governor Chukwuma Soludo for his remarkable efforts in transforming Anambra into a green, livable, and prosperous homeland. He specifically praised the Governor for steering the state towards becoming a destination lounge rather than a departure lounge. The Commissioner applauded the ongoing infrastructural developments facilitated by Governor Soludo and emphasized the positive strides made in the Environment Ministry.
In recognition of his significant contributions to the Society and his commendable initiatives within the Ministry of Environment, Engr. Odimegwu was honoured with a prestigious award by the NSE Awka Branch during the event.
Presenting the award to the Commissioner, the Chairman, NSE Awka Branch, Engr. David Chizoba Okeke reiterated that the honour was in acknowledgement of his unwavering support for the Society, and further lauded the positive impact of his stewardship and endeavours within the Ministry, especially in fostering positive change in State.
Themed “The Petroleum Refineries and the Sustainable Development of the Nigerian Economy”, the event also featured lectures, induction of 20 new members into the NSE Awka Branch; as well as recognition of some other eminent personalities, including the State’s Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources counterpart, Barr. Tony Ifeanya; Commissioner Offornze Amucheazi of the State’s Ministry of Lands; and the Anambra Fire Chief, Engr. Martin Agbili, all of whom were recognized for their good works and unwavering support to the Society.
Other awardees at the event include a UK-based engineer and humanitarian, Engr. Ifeakanwa Roseline; former Chairman of NSE Awka Branch, Engr. Dr. Odinaka Okonkwo; the Guest Speaker, Engr. Prof. E.N. Ikezue, all of whom appreciated the organizers for finding them worthy. They described the gesture as great motivation that will spur them to do even more, while also assuring of their continuous support to the Society and its activities.