In order to meet the challenges of flooding, which has resulted in the loss of lives and property, the Ekiti State Government has begun the construction of bridges and the dredging of waterways.
The state government has also taken steps to replenish the state’s depleted nine forest reserves, as well as acquire new lands for the planting of indigenous trees in order to combat desert encroachment in the state.
Dr. AKinyemi Akinyugha, the state Project Coordinator of a World Bank initiative, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), stated these in Ado Ekiti yesterday during a press conference.
Akunyugha, who is also the state Governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Environment, Kayode Fayemi, stated that the government, through NEWMAP, would soon complete the construction of the Arinkin and Ajolagun bridges in Ikere and Oke Ako Ekiti, respectively.
The NEWMAP coordinator described the two sites as being highly prone to flooding, which has put lives and property at risk.
“The government of Governor Fayemi is using the NEWMAP to change the landscape of the state,” he explained. In the first phase of the project, we are constructing drainages and culverts at Arinkin in Oke Ako and Ajolagun in Ikere Ekiti, after which we will proceed to the Ogbomu bridge in Kogi State, which is located between Irele and Ponyan. The Ajolagun bridge is scheduled to be completed in August 2021.
“We will also carry out erosion control works on Bisi Aloba Avenue and Temidire Road in Ikere Ekiti. We are focusing our attention in Ado Ekiti on Tinuola, Eminrin, Afao Road, Ajilosun, and Odo Ado, as well as Owode and Otete in Efon Alaaye, all of which are subject to World Bank approval.”
Akinyugha stated that the state government has purchased two 30-ton excavators to channelize flood-prone areas throughout the state.
Concerned that desertification was rapidly encroaching on the northern part of the state, Akinyugha stated that a total of 250 hectares of land had been acquired in order to plant 250,000 indigenous trees to drive the government’s afforestation policy.