As part of efforts to prevent flooding causing deaths and destruction of lives and property, the Ekiti State government has revealed its intention to embark on the construction of bridges and dredging of waterways in various towns in the state.
The government has also taken actions to rejuvenate the depleted nine forest reserves in the state and also acquiring new lands for the plantation of indigenous trees to check desert encroachment in Ekiti.
The State Project Coordinator of a world bank initiative, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Dr. AKinyemi Akinyugha, said these in Ado Ekiti, on Sunday, during a chat with newsmen.
Akinyugha, who is also the Senior Special Assistant on Environment to Governor Kayode Fayemi, said the government through NEWMAP, would soon complete construction of Arinkin and Ajolagun bridges in Ikere and Oke Ako Ekiti respectively.
The NEWMAP Coordinator, described the two sites as heavily proned to flooding and causing threats to the lives and property of the populace.
He said: “The government of Dr Kayode Fayemi is using the NEWMAP to change the landscape of Ekiti State. We are embarking on construction of drainages and culverts at Arinkin in Oke Ako and Ajolagun in Ikere Ekiti in the first phase of the project after which we will proceed to Ogbomu bridge located between Irele and Ponyan in Kogi State. Ajolagun bridge is to be delivered by August, 2021.
“We are also going to undertake erosion works at Bisi Aloba avenue, and Temidire roads in Ikere Ekiti. In Ado Ekiti, we are focusing attention on Tinuola, Eminrin, Afao road, Ajilosun, Odo Ado, while attention will be at Owode and Otete in Efon Alaaye, all these are subject to World Bank approval.”
Akinyugha said government has procured two 30-tonne excavators to channelise areas designated as flood flashpoints across the state.
On the fear that desertfication was fast encroaching into the Northern part of Ekiti, Akinyugha said a total of 250 hectares of lands have been acquired to plant 250,000 stands of indigenous trees, to drive afforestation policy of government.
“Going by our roadmap,150,000 trees are to be planted in the depleted nine forest reserves and 100,000 will be scattered across some towns in the 16 local government areas of the state.
“Deforestation has taken over everywhere. Forest is life, because it sustains ecosystem. Animal game reserves and the original environment will be retained with good afforestation policy and that is what we are planning to bring back.
“We are focusing more on indigenous trees that can bring profits like economic crops that we have like cassava, oranges, kolanut and others. With time, these will be means of income that can bring people out of poverty.”
Akinyugha said NEWMAP is fasttracking actions and looking up to finishing some of these projects within the lifespan of the current administration.