By Morenikeji Amole
Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, has distributed compensation cheques to 343 property owners affected by the ongoing erosion control project, across several communities in the outskirts of Gombe metropolis.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Governor Yahaya said a total of N389,740,014 has been allocated for the compensation and the general Implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan.
The affected areas include the Federal College of Education (Tech) Gombe, Railway, London Mai Dorawa, Malam Inna, Wuro Ledde, Wuro Kesa and Arawa Quarters.
The state government, in collaboration with Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi Arid Landscape (ACReSAl), a World Bank-assisted project, had in November last year awarded over a 12 billion naira contract to control a 21 kilometres gully erosion.
“Our administration recognizes the impact this project has on the lives and livelihood of our people, and it is our duty to ensure that those affected are adequately compensated to enable them to relocate with ease,” Governor Yahaya stated.
Speaking further, he said “Our administration has so far paid the sum of N 892,740,114 as a government counterpart contribution to enable the implementation of the FCE(T) Gully Erosion Project.
“Previously, we had ensured the successful execution of the GSU-Mallam Inna gully erosion project under NEWMAP, and we are committed to addressing other gully erosion sites through partnerships with ACReSAL and other stakeholders”.
The Commissioner for Water, Environment and Forest Resources, Alh. Muhammadu Sa’idu Fawu said the exercise consists of 226 beneficiaries whose residences were completely affected, 317 persons whose residences were partly affected, and 165 economic trees.
The Gombe State ACReSaL Coordinator, Sani Jauro urged the beneficiaries to take ownership of the project.
He also presented the governor with the 13 prizes won by Gombe ACReSaL at the Federal level for their unmatched achievement in project management and implementation, some of which are the Social Safeguard, Catchment Plan, GIS Application.
In their separate goodwill messages, Barnabas Malle, Commissioner of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Hon Ali Baba Manu, member representing Gombe North at the State Assembly, and the district heads of Nasarawo and Shettiman Gombe appreciated the state government for the compensation.