Gombe State Government Signs N12bn Contract to Tackle Erosion Menace

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe.

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The Gombe State Government has signed a contract agreement of over twelve billion naira (N12,000,000,000) aimed at tackling a 21-kilometre long gully erosion in the state, safeguarding lives, and preserving the environment.

The 21-kilometre contract, valued at N12, 057, 248, 267.00, spans from the Federal College of Education (Technical), Gombe, to the Railway Line, through several communities including London Maidoruwa, Malam Inna, Wuro Ledde, Wuro Kesa, and Arawa.

The erosion control work is a co-funded project between the Gombe State Government and a World Bank-funded initiative, the Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL).

The contract was signed by the Procurement Officer of ACReSAL Project, Gombe State Coordinating Unit, on behalf of the state government, while the Managing Director of Triacta Nigeria Limited, Engineer Eli Fahad, signed for the construction company.

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, who presided over the signing ceremony, explained that the event represented a very important step forward in its collective resolve to restore the agricultural and environmental landscapes previously ravaged by gully erosion and environmental degradation.

He noted that Gombe State, often referred to as “the erosion capital of the North East”, has witnessed decades of devastating effects from gully erosion, which has displaced communities and threatened lives and property.

The Gombe State governor stressed his administration’s commitment to environmental sustainability, citing initiatives like the Gombe Goes Green (3G) project, which was launched in 2019 with the aim of combating desertification, deforestation, and soil erosion through the annual tree-planting campaigns.

According to the governor, it is estimated that over four hundred thousand (400,000) people live along the gully corridor in constant fears for their lives and property, noting that about 89 per cent of these people are poor and, therefore, lack the resilience to withstand or mitigate against the devastating effects of environmental menace.

He enumerated the successes recorded in the intervention of his administration since taking over the realms in the state in 2019:

“This administration has undertaken various intervention projects like the GSU-Mallam-Inna project in conjunction with the World Bank, as well as the control of the gully site traversing Buba-Shongo-Federal Lowcost-Gambo Isari through Jekadafari up to Gombe Central Roundabout.

“The Unguwa-Uku gully erosion site, as well as those at Wuro-Shi’e, Hurumin Da’u, GGSS Doma and Liji, are among the list of gully erosion sites to be controlled in due course with the support of ACReSAL/World Bank,” Governor Yahaya said.

He expressed confidence that his administration would continue on a journey to reclaim the environmental landscapes, protect the communities, and secure a prosperous future for generations yet unborn, through the help of the ACReSAL project, like its predecessor, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).

Governor Yahaya called on stakeholders to partner with the contractors and other professionals that would handle the project so as to ensure its successful and timely completion.

While presenting the signed contract document to the Managing Director of Triacta Nigeria Limited, which emerged winner after the bidding process, the governor remarked that the contract represented a formal agreement and a pledge to the people of Gombe State that his administration was taking decisive steps to protect the environment against the impacts of climate change and its associated consequences.

In the meantime, the Commissioner for Water, Environment and Forest Resources, Mr. Mohammed Saidu Fawu, appreciated the commitment of the Gombe State Government in paying the five hundred thousand naira (N500,000) counterpart requirement and for also fulfilling all necessary conditions for the state to benefit from the project.

This historic event and many more that will follow under ACReSAL would not have been possible without the uncommon commitment of His Excellency, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, CON, who paid over 500 million naira counterpart contribution after meeting all the necessary conditions for the state’s participation in the project,” Mr. Fawu said.

He explained that the ACReSaL project in Gombe State had recovered about 31,000 hectares of degraded lands, and planted over 9,700 trees in strategic locations in the state.

Mr. Fawu called on the benefiting communities to support the project and take ownership of the project for its ultimate success.

Also, the Managing Director of Triacta Nigeria Ltd., Mr. A. B. Fahad, described the event as historic, pointing out that throughout the company’s operations in the state, it had never executed a project as significant as the gully erosion control project, which traverses across several communities of about 21-kilometre gully length.

He pledged to execute a qualitative project in line with its terms and conditions.

We will also try to ensure that we complete the project before the inception of the next rainy season,” he said.

Similarly, the Gombe State Project Coordinator, Mr. Sani Adamu Jauro, expressed his appreciation to the governor for his commitment and support to the ACReSaL project, which left in its wake remarkable successes.