Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
Communities in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) benefitting from Ecological Fund disaster control projects have been charged to own and protect the infrastructure, in order to stem their relapse into another cycle of degeneration.
This point was made by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, when he recently commissioned the Abaji and Karshi ecological fund erosion and flood control works.
Bello, expressed hope that the projects would impact positively on the life and environments of the benefiting communities.
Our correspondent reports that the projects are among the 51 intervention projects, executed by the agency in various parts of the country under the second and third quarters of the agency’s project cycle.
According to the Minister, “ the successful completion of the project would improve the environment and welfare of the benefitting communities.
“This is because it would reduce the dangers to lives and properties posed by erosion and persistent flooding in these areas. There is also no doubt that it will open windows of opportunities for economic growth.”
Bello recalled that at the inception of the current FCT Administration, the paramount chief of Abaji, Alh. Adamu Baba Yunusa, had approached him with distress call on three main issues confronting Abaji residents, namely; the threat to houses occasioned by the widening gully, potable drinking water and the completion of the Abuja University of Technology, Abaji.
The Minister, who had taken the matter up with the Ecological Fund Office, commended the agency for the speed with which they responded to his request for intervention.
He however, expressed satisfaction that beside the gully, which has been checked, the contractor for the Abaji Water project has returned to site and expressed hope that the Abuja University of Technology would take-off as soon as the National University Commission gives the necessary clearance.
He opined that the efforts of the Ecological Fund bears testimony to the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to improving the living conditions of Nigerians, irrespective of their location in any part of the country.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, Dr. Habiba Lawal noted that the project was as a result of a passionate appeal forwarded to the Ecological Fund Office by the FCT minister.
Meanwhile, in their remarks at the occasions both chief of Abaji and Karshi, Alh. Adamu, Baba Yunusa and Alh. Ismaila Mohammed respectively, expressed appreciation to the FCT Minister for taking up their appeals and thanked the President for his prompt approval to the project.
Recall that the Abaji project involved the reclamation of a wide expanse of gully, in the heart of Abaji town, measuring over 7000 square meters.
Also, the ravine was created by prolonged erosion posing serious threat to surrounding vegetation, residences and businesses. Scope of work include land reclamation, reinforced drainages, water re-channelling, land-fills and surrounding road networks.
Furthermore, the Karshi project involved the reconstruction of 1.7 kilometre township road at the cost of N263 million, which was hitherto destroyed by persistent flood in the area.