Edo begins compensation for persons affected by erosion project
AS part of global best practices, the Edo State Government has begun the payment of compensation to persons affected by on-going construction work at gully erosion sites in the State.
A statement by the Communication Assistant of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project [NEWMAP], Oladipo Airenakho said the exercise started with Auchi gully site and that it is in compliance with World Bank guidelines on such assisted projects which require that payment of compensation will be borne by the State Government through its counterpart funds.
The statement said at a brief ceremony in Auchi, the Project Coordinator of Edo State (NEWMAP), John Adisa, an engineer, informed the Otaru of Auchi, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Aliru Momoh, the Project Affected Persons [PAPs] and the community that the exercise was very strategic to the successful execution of the project in the area and called for the cooperation of the community.
On his part, the Edo NEWMAP Social Livelihoods Officer, Mr. Chris Abode noted the part played by the Otaru of Auchi in facilitating the execution of the project and expressed appreciation to all stakeholders.
He disclosed that the compensation was being paid to a total number of 121 Project Affected Persons and not to those who had already lost their properties before now to the ravaging gully erosion in the community. In his words, ‘’this is not the totality of gully erosion affected persons, but this is the total numbers of persons directly affected by the operations of the contractor.’’
He explained that more money was being expected from the World Bank that will benefit far greater number of persons in the community than the present 121 persons that would receive compensation immediately, stressing that there was also a plan to involve other members of the community affected by the erosion through remediation programme.
The Social Livelihoods Officer asserted that the compensation exercise, which was a culmination of earlier enumeration and verification processes undertaken by a World Bank consultant and officials of Edo NEWMAP, would also involve a Non-Governmental Organization [NGO] to witness the operational mode of payment to beneficiaries.