The Akwa Ibom State Government has sued for cooperation and support from host communities of the IBB Avenue flood control project, to put an end to the menace.
The Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Sir Charles Udoh, who stated this during a stakeholder’s engagement meeting Tuesday, at Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio Hall, Uyo, described the flood menace as a 15-year old challenge that has claimed lives, destroyed properties and rendered most people homeless.
Sir Udoh explained that the project cuts across 18 communities in 3 Local Government Areas which is Uyo, Ibesikpo Asutan and Nsit Ibom and urged cooperation and support from affected communities.
The Environment boss assured that compensation will be paid directly to affected persons and added that the completion of the project will take a time span of one year.
While appealing for protection and support to the contractors, he urged the youths of the communities not to be hostile or obstruct the contractors but rather channel all complaints and challenges to his office so that the work can be completed in record time.
Speaking earlier, the State Project Coordinator of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Dr. Ubong Harrison who called for cooperation appealed to the communities to bear the inconvenience that will be accompanied with the project adding that at the completion of the project,more development and advancement will be brought to the state.
Assuring on quality and timely delivery, representative of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) Engr. Eric promised that his firm would deliver according to work design and specifications and thanked the state government for giving them the contract.
The Chairman of Nsit Ibom, Hon. Eric Akpan pledged full support from Nsit Ibom people to the project and appealed that the compensation plan should start from Nsit Ibom being that it is the lowest catchment area affected by the flood and also requested a Community Liaison Officer (CLO) from Nsit Ibom.
The House member of Ibesikpo Asutan, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko thanked Governor Emmanuel for bringing a lasting solution to the IBB Avenue flood menace and appealed that the project should be properly executed, maintaining that water from the site should be channeled appropriately so that it will not become a problem to his Constituents.
Speaking on the Compensation plan, Hon. Uko said third parties should not be involved and payment should be made directly to the persons and properties affected.
The Paramount Ruler of Ibesikpo, Edidem Clement Ekpenyong called for unity among communities to reciprocate the gesture of the Governor, and emphasized that the diligence be observed in the compensation process.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Petroleum Resources, Mr. Nsudoh Nsudoh appreciated the community leaders and stakeholders in the affected local governments areas for professing total support and cooperation to the project adding that they will be held to their words throughout the duration of the project.
Issues discussed at the meeting included, Commencement of the construction work, Constitution of IBB and Environs NEWMAP Community Association, Constitution of a Grievance Redress Committee at Community and State level, Constitution of site committee and Resettlement Action plan implementation.