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Akwa Ibom to pay N2b compensation for erosion control, drainage project

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Charles Udoh, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Akwa Ibom State.

Akwa Ibom state government has disclosed that it will spend N2b for payment of compensations to land and crop owners along the right-of-way (ROW) of the IBB Avenue flood control and drainage project in Uyo.

Commissioner for Environment, Charles Udoh, said the N14b World Bank assisted project was initiated to control flooding in an area known to be the lowest point and the epicentre of flooding in Uyo, which had always constituted a menace to residents.

He stated this after a tour of the project site with journalists yesterday in Uyo, adding about 499 persons have benefitted from the first tranche of the payment, while the next phase would commence next week.

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The 8.4km drainage project would be completed before the rainy season as excavation and casting have been completed in some portions, noting that enough would have been done on the drainage to control flood water before the rains begin.

Udoh explained that the World Bank would be providing N12b while the state government would provide N2b balance for compensations on the drainage project awarded to China Roads and Bridges Corporation after a bidding process in May last year with a 19-month completion period.

He added that when completed, it would serve as the major link to several other flood control drains and would check the perennial flooding problems in Uyo and its environs.

“The project spans over 8.4km stretch and is designed to carry flood water from the IBB Avenue to Ibesikpo traversing 17 communities in Uyo, Nsit Ibom and Ibesikpo Asutan council areas. The project is the biggest NEWMAP project in the country.

“So it is like building a river and so because of the depth we will cover the drains in built-up areas to avoid casualties, while the less built-up areas will have perimetre fences on both sides and a service lane to ensure that people can patrol and conduct checks and service the drains whenever the need arises.

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“We are also aware that some natural sources of water would be destroyed by the project and so we are providing boreholes for such places and communities whose natural source of drinking water will be affected as remediation measures. We are also building bridges in communities that could be affected by the drains,” he said.

Udoh further said a new technology was being deployed to ensure that the drainage does not damage its outfall and that a stream in Ibesikpo Asutan council already accommodates two other major drainage outfalls from Uyo.

“We are using a new drainage termination technology-Gebion and Reno Mattresses used to terminate drains before it gets to where specific grasses will be planted to allow natural sedimentation,” he added.

The commissioner added that the ministry had also streamlined activities of miners and sand dredgers in the state to reduce the negative impact of their businesses on the environment.

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