By Friday Idachaba
Dekina (Kogi) – Federal Government says it has commenced work on the control and reclamation of gully erosion sites in Dekina town in Kogi, Mr Babangida Seidu, the Site Engineer in charge of the project said on Tuesday.
Seidu, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dekina said that the project was aimed at addressing age-long ecological challenges in the area.
Seidu said work actually commenced about a month ago with sand filling and reclamation operations on the Sabongari area, one of the three major gully sites in the town.
He said that the project, being executed by the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), was inaugurated by Prof. Stephen Ocheni, former Minister of State, Labour and Employment, was one of the ecological intervention projects approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for 2019.
Seidu said that the project was billed for completion within six months, though it might span to nine months, in view of the raining season.
The site engineer said with the reclamation of sites in Sabongari almost over, adding that the channelisation and blinding work would soon commence.
Dekina community stakeholders who spoke with NAN expressed delight that the erosion menace which they said had devastated the area many years had been tackled, adding that the intervention was a big relief.
The Eje of Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje, expressed his gratitude to the Federal Government and to the former Minister for the effort to address the gully erosion menace in the town.
The traditional ruler, who was represented by the Community Liaison Officer, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, said the erosion had threatened the socio-economic life of the people for over 30 years, washing away the community land and property into the river.
A resident of the town, Mr Yahaya Salihu, said that the people of the area had been crying to government to come to their aid for so long.
“I see this time as God’s time and it is the best. You can see the work going on now.
“This menace has been disturbing us for over 30 years. It is a thing of joy. I am very happy.
“We are grateful to the Federal Government and Prof. Ocheni who is not even from this Local Government,’’ he said.
Ocheni at the inauguration on May 10, had said the project would put an end to erosion menace and flooding and improve the environmental condition of Dekina after years of untold hardship and neglect.
“This is also a testimony to the administration’s promise that, no part of the country will suffer any neglect owing to its geographical location or political consideration,’’ the former minister had said.