World Bank-assisted Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, (NEWMAP), yesterday awarded N250 million contract for the control of the Ajali Water Works gully erosion in Enugu State.

The award of the contract for the 8-kilometer long erosion is the second of the 25 selected erosion sites NEWMAP penciled down for remedy in the state.

Handing over the site to the contractor, Engr Frank Nnaji, at Nsude in Udi Local Government Area of the state, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Nnaemeka Chukwuone, said that the state had also approved a counterpart fund of N150 million out the N700 million expected from the state government to augment execution of all NEWMAP projects in the state.

The commissioner disclosed that the engineering works of the erosion management would be executed, sustainable munching of the site provided and economic trees planted to avert further degradation of the area.

Chukwuone noted that the project was dear to the state government because of the location of the water works from where pipe-borne water was reticulated to the Enugu metropolis.

The traditional ruler of the affected community, HRH (Prof) Kenneth Onyia, who mobilised his subjects to the site, expressed gratitude to the funding partners, especially Governor Sullivan Chime, for extending dividends of democracy to his community.

The traditional ruler also alerted that the Okpuno erosion site starting from the source of Nyaba River located in his community had got to Okpuno village, posing great danger to his people than the Ajali erosion site.

“The 21 boreholes that used to supply water to Enugu and Nsude are located just down here and forms part of this Ajali erosion site.

“Part of the reason why they have not been functional for over 15 years now is due to erosion at the site. So, we’ve been buying water from vendors since. Erosion is a big problem in Nsude,” he lamented.

Also speaking, Nnaji promised to remedy the erosion site, promising that his company would execute the project on time.