Reporter : CHUKWUBUIKE MADU
The Federal Government has reiterated its call for communities to protect projects and facilities sites in their areas.
A member of the House of Representatives Committee on Ecology, Mrs. Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu, made the call at the inauguration and hand over of a 3.8 kilometer Erosion Control and Road Improvement Works in Eke Community, Idi Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Eke,a prominent community in Enugu State, is faced with challenging topography because of its undulating hills and valleys.
Also, perennial flooding associated with the terrain had made some roads in the community impassable.
In a bid to address some of these challenges, the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), embarked on Erosion Control and Road Improvement works of 3.8km on Enugu Eke-Ogui, Eke-Eke Market, Obodo Amankwo-Oma Eke road project.
The project benefits the people of Ogui-Agu, St. Paul’s Catholic-Eke and Umuoka villages.
According to the Special Guest of Honour and member House of Representatives Committee on Ecology, Mrs. Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu, the project is one of the eighteen ecological intervention projects approved by President Buhari in 2018 and awarded by the Ecological Fund Office Tenders’ Board (EFOTB) in 2019.
Mrs. Ikpeazu while handing over the projects to the benefiting community, urged the people to ensure proper management of the projects to guarantee their longevity.
“The importance of this project cannot be over-emphasied, as it particularly addresses the devastating effects of erosion and flood in these communities.
“I want to implore the communities to cherish this laudable project by preventing indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drainage channels. It is a collective responsibility to own and maintain the project to ensure longevity,” Mrs. Ikpeazu advised.
The Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, Dr. Habib Lawal, who was represented by a Director in the Office, Mr. Matthias Garba Eluma, also explained that the project was attracted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama.
“The project was initiated through a request for urgent intervention forwarded to the Ecological Fund Office by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama in order to arrest the continuous erosion, flood and other ecological challenges in the communities and avoid further environmental degradation, loss of lives and property,” the EFO Permanent Secretary remarked.
Similarly, Enugu State Commissioner for Environment, Chief Chijioke Edeoga, who represented Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, while commending the Federal Government for the intervention projects, encouraged the proof Eke to own the projects by seeing them as their own personal assets.
In a reaction, the Traditional Prime Minister of the Community, Onowu Dominick Obodo, who represented the Traditional Ruler described the road and the accompanying drainage as the first Federal Government projects in Eke.
He, however, appealed for urgent attention to the other stretch of the road, which had remained in deplorable condition.
“It’s a distance of about 10 kilometers, so we are hoping that probably in your second phase, you will complete the project,” Onowu Obodo appealed.
The Chairman Udu Local Government Area, Mr. Ifeanyi Agu applauded the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, for attracting the project.
Mr. Agu promised that the Local Government will work with the community to main the road and drains.
The Consultant, Mr. Kayode Igboro, displayed in pictorial forms the state of the road before its construction.
He commended the peaceful disposition and cooperation of Eke people through out the course of executing the projects.