Operation Green Parrot - Newsreel

Over 1000 Erosion Gullies Threaten Anambra - Gov. Obi

Governor Peter Obi, while receiving a team visiting from the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) at his Amawbia Lodge, lamented that Anambra state has over 1000 erosion gullies out of which more than half are actively expanding. He reminded his guests that Anambra is the "worst hit in erosion disaster in the Saharan Africa, with attendant huge economic loss and havoc on the psyche of the people who are full of entrepreneurial spirit".

Stressing that "preventive measures still remain the most effective and sustainable means of combating erosion menace", Governor Obi "handed over" erosion gully sites at Umuchiana Ekwulobia and State Judiciary Complex, Awka to the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan for "Biological Control Measure Intervention". He added that "the engineered-biological work will compliment ongoing control work by the state Government at the sites".

As part of the erosion gully preventive measures, the governor stated that "the government had prohibited all manners of illegal mining activities, soil excavation and had instituted a state Monitoring and Enforcement Team on ecological matters in the Ministry of Environment to track down offenders".

Commenting further, Governor Obi disclosed that "the State Government had also completed the preparation for the State Erosion Control Policy Document as part of concrete steps towards a sustainable erosion control programme". The governor, during the official launching of WIEF's Inaugural Seminar/Work in Awka on August 20, 2007 had presented the draft policy document on Erosion and Flood Control for Anambra. In response his request, the WIEF expert technical team had collaborated closely with the Ministry of Environment personnel to vet the draft document which was formally presented to the commissioner on completion in the 3rd quarter of 2007. Governor Obi has made no mention pertaining to this crucial policy document on erosion control developed by his administration until now.

In his own comment, the Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Solomon Badejo said that the United Nations had estimated the economic losses due to environmental degradation in Nigeria at about five billion USA dollars and commended Governor Obi for the commitment and determination demonstrated in tackling the menace. Dr. Badejo said the Institute was convinced that "effective control of gully erosion was beyond the financial capacity of the government and would require concerted efforts of all stakeholders in environment including Federal Government, international organizations, the private sector and the general populace".

The Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) was established as Federal  Department of Forest research in 1954 to conduct research into all aspects of  forestry and forest products utilization and for the training of technical and  sub -technical personnel for the forestry services in the country.  The mandate has since been extended to include research in wildlife,  watershed  management and agroforestry.  The Institute's Decree of 1973 and the Order establishing Research Institutes  of 1975 later superseded by Decree No. 5 of 1977 changed the status of the  Department to an institute.

The Institute Offers consultancy services in the following areas: Forest plantation establishment and management, supply of seeds and seedlings for afforestation, identification and classification of plant specimens, landscaping, saw milling, wood seasoning (drying), wood preservation (chemical treatment), and furniture construction, wall paneling. Others are in areas of band saw maintenance, termite control and phytosanitary services.



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