Participants at a forum organised by the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) have lamented collapse of the nation’s ecosystem.
The experts said this at a one-day summit on this year’s World Environmental Day theme, “Ecosystem Restoration,” which was held at the Abia State’s Women Development Centre, Umuahia.
In attendance were top government functionaries from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), staff of the State’s Environmental Management Agency (SEMA) led by it’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Sonny Jackson and officials of the state’s Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) led by the General Manager, Chief Eze Okwulehie.
Others were the state chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) led by its former Chairman, Chief Nelson Nwosu, students and staff of tertiary Institutions.
The state’s NEWMAP Coordinator, Izuchukwu Onwughara, who warned that Abia State was prone to flooding this year, called for proactive measures to address the issue.
The measures he listed to curb the menace include, planting of trees and not felling them, avoiding un-necessary bush burning and building on waterways, relocating residents from flood prone areas.
A team of panelists, comprising, Sonny Jackson, state SEMA Executive Secretary, Mr. Kingsley Nwogu and Mr. Sylvester Ibeneme of NEWMAP Project Unit, urged the citizenry and communities to take advantage of government’s services to report soil erosion, flooding and other environmental matters threatening communities through telephone or emails.
The forum lauded governor Okezie Ikpeazu, for exhibiting political will to key into NEWMAP’s interventions in the areas of environmental degradation and ecosystem changes and challenges.
Participants also commended NEWMAP for undertaking and delivering effective services to the people across the state equitably and so doing the needful to address their environmental challenges.