Umuahia — ABIA State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Solomon Ogunji, says the Federal Government has awarded contracts worth over N1.7 billion to check erosion menace in the state. Abia is one of the South East states which are being devastated by erosion gullies.
According to him, the contracts were to tackle erosion in three different areas across the state. They are Ururuala in Isiala Ngwa, Ubakala in Umuahia South and Pepples road in Aba, the commercial city.
In a chat with newsmen in Umuahia, Ojunji said the state government, in partnership with the Federal Government, was determined to ensure that the erosion sites in the state are checked and controlled. He explained that the partnership entered into by the state entails that the state is to pay N30 million as counterpart fund.
The commissioner disclosed that the World Bank had also come into the issue of erosion control through the Federal Government with the introduction of National Erosion and Water-Shed programme.
The funds from the World Bank programme, he explained, will be used to handle other erosion sites, "like the five prominent erosion sites in the state and 77 newly identified erosion sites and work is going on right now at those sites".
Ogunji commended Governor Theodore Orji, saying that he has never failed to pay the state's counterpart funds, "which is why the issue of erosion is under check in the state".
On the issue of refuse in the state's major cities, the commissioner said that, in no distant time, the refuse would be disposed. He attributed the present condition to the delay in the effort harmonise the refuse revenue collection in the state.