The Data Validation team, from the federal project monitoring unit visited the Nigeria Erosion And Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) Abia State for a project validation tour on Tuesday March 24, 2020.
The team visited sites where projects have been carried out!
The NEWMAP data validation team inspected the erosion control site at Umuagu Ibeku in Umuahia North Local Government Area and also inspected the town hall and roads constructed for Umuogele Umuagu community in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area, all in Abia state.
They team observed and recorded the testimonies of beneficiaries of the host communities where these project are sited.
Some of the beneficiaries from the communities expressed their joy while speaking to Abia Pulse Online News correspondent who accompanied the team during the tour!
“We went through a lot of difficulties before this erosion was controlled with the road that accompanied it. We found it so difficult to and fro on this road. We are very happy the way the road is now, this gutter that has been constructed and channeled properly has in the past caused a lot of injuries to our people but now there haven’t been such casualties.
“I am also happy the way NEWMAP team handled erosion and that bridge. Now, when rain falls now, it just a free flow for water to go through the bridge. We thank NEWMAP and Abia state government for this helpful project.” Moses Onwuka said.
Patience Achumba who is also a direct beneficiary of NEWMAP project said, “I was given money and the money was so useful to me because I used part of it to treat my health challenges. If not that money I wouldn’t have been this healthy to talk to you. The way it is now is far different from how it was before. I want to also thank them for the stove given to me; it enables me to cook faster.”
Other beneficiaries like Dorothy Jacobs and Edith Onwunkwe also testified that money and stove given to them was used to treat health issues and pay school fees for their children.
Elder O. Nwankpa and Hon. Chinedum Johnson Okata on their own part, thanked Engr. Izuchukwu Onwughara for the project supervision and governor Okezie Ikpeazu for the realization of the projects by paying the counterpart fund. “We now have water with solar power system and a new town hall in Umuogele”.
“The coming of NEWMAP into this community has impacted both the indigent ones .The economic life of our people has changed for good.” Hon. Chinedum Johnson Okata added.
At Umuezeukwu community, Isiala Ngwa north local government area, NEWMAP also cited a cassava blending plant which is said to have reduced the stress of blending cassava in the community.
“I want to thank World Bank and NEWMAP for bringing this project to us. Where we formerly process our cassava used to be far from us but now we have it here with us. It has helped us to generate income to send our children to school.” Godwin Nnamdi, the chairman of Umuezeukwu United cassava processing society said.
The project coordinator of Abia NEWMAP, Engr. Izuchukwu Onwughara, while addressing pressmen revealed that what the validating team came to do is what they have been doing in other states.
“They are here to confirm the data we have transmitted to them. This is not the first time they are coming and this is particularly unique. They have to look at data transmitted over a period of eight years. If it was a scoring visit, am sure they ill score us high. The word bank conducted a survey last year and Abia NEWMAP came out to be the best.”
Mukhtar Yakubu Tanko, the monitoring evaluation specialist, Federal project management monitoring unit of NEWMAP also spoke about Abia NEWMAP.
“I must commend Abia project implementation unit for such implementation, I am really highly satisfied with what I have seen, in fact the level of work is really highly commendable in terms of quality of works done, I have seen road constructions that will really last for years. If I will rate them I think I will rate them 71% which is really good and the other 29% is really to close up. That has been put in place in terms of sustainability and exit strategy which they have also worked on and really done well in that respect. All of this wouldn’t have happened without the synergy and partnership with the Abia state government.”
Ruth Peter Mshelia , the social safeguard and livelihood specialist said “ we are satisfied with the implementation going on the state, we are satisfied with the resettlement action plan. The governor of Abia state has been doing his own part in terms of payment of counterpart fund. We have gone round and seen that all the jobs were well done.
The team is expected to visit the Abia NEWMAP in few months to access areas pointed for adjustment in terms of records and environmental assessment.