Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has reiterated his determination to collaborate with agencies towards curtailing practices that harm the environment.
The governor gave this assurance during the flag-off of a pilot project to promote clean and efficient cooking stoves and low-carbon resilient development held at St. Cyprian’s Secondary School, Nsukka, and Ohom Orba, in Udenu Local Government Area.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, said the need to step up actions to stop the continuous degradation of the environment has become quite urgent given the adverse changes being recorded in the weather condition globally. “The environment seems no longer conducive for human habitation, the ozone layer being the protector of the present system is being depleted as a result of gaseous emission,” he said.
“The negative effects of this abnormality cannot be quantified given the current outbreaks of cancer and other attendant consequences. The incessant flooding and ocean surge being experienced are pointers to these man-made inadequacies. These necessitated the Enugu State government to partner the World Bank and the Nigeria Environmental Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) with a view to providing these environment-friendly stoves to stem the rising risk associated with our cooking stoves and firewoods that breed deforestation and smoke discharge,” he added.
He noted that the current free distribution of the clean and efficient stove is a pilot scheme that will later spread to other rural areas, adding that it will not only reduce the dangers involved in the way people cook, but will also provide a cost effective cooking method for families.
Earlier, NEWMAP’s acting project coordinator in Enugu, Mr. Vincent Obetta, stated that the project development goals are aimed at reducing their catchment area’s susceptibility to soil erosion.
“It is a multi-sectoral project in selected states to prevent and reverse land degradation, initially focusing on gully erosion sites such as the Enyazurum gully site at Ohom Orba and Onuiyi, at Nsukka, which have threatened infrastructure and livelihood in the areas. The rising global temperatures will very likely increase the frequency of heat waves, drought and heavy rainfall, adversely affecting agriculture, forest, water resources, human health and settlements,” Mr. Obetta said.
He commended Governor Ugwuanyi for being up to date in the payment of Enugu State’s counterpart fund which, he noted, has yielded immense benefits.
The traditional rulers of Ohom Orba, Igwe Evaristus Onah, and that of Nsukka, Igwe Patrick Okolo, both commended Governor Ugwuanyi’s gesture, describing it as unprecedented as they also pledged their support.
The stoves were later distributed free of charge to people in the communities and at the St. Cyprian’s Secondary School, Nsukka.