By Abdulrahman Zakariyau
World Bank environmental specialist, Nagaraja Rao Harshadeep, has said the organisation has supported the Nigerian Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) with $500million to execute its projects across Nigeria.
Harshadeep disclosed this while addressing journalists at the ongoing NEWMAP and Federal Ministry of Environment 2017 World Space Week, tagged “World Bank South South Knowledge Exchange SSKE/NEWMAP knowledge fair” at Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja.
He explained that the amount was to enable NEWMAP execute some projects across Nigeria for infrastructure development in areas associated with major land and gully erosion.
According to him, “what the Bank has done in this particular event is to bring together its biggest clients in watershed management, India, China and Nigeria.”
NEWMAP National Projects Coordinator, Salisu Dahiru, explained that the workshop was to promote exchange of knowledge with countries like China and India on the use of space in solving erosion issues.
Dahiru explained that, “the government approached the World Bank to come up with projects that will look for integrated approach on how to deal with gully erosion, so the projects was established”; hence the 2017 Space Week was one of NEWMAP’s ways of achieving its objectives.
He noted that NEWMAP would use space technical gadget to address gully erosion problems in watershed areas, help reduce the vulnerability of states and people living around gully erosion area.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice, said development is knowledge driving, and as such, the 2017 World Space Week would enable exchange of knowledge of knowledge on the use of space to solve problems created by erosion.
He explained that space was not only important in erosion and watershed management, but important in many aspects of life including agriculture, business, social and economic development.
Boroffice urged all participants to get involved in the Nigeria, China and India South South Knowledge Exchange (SSKE) training to enhance the nation’s relationship with the countries that are also affected.