13 December 2016

South-eastern Nigeria is a zone in tropical Africa that is notable for high population growth rate and unrefined thickness of wild forest, high rate of urbanization and poor rural asset base. Evidence has demonstrated that these are the primary main driving forces for the change in the rural land use in the area. In any case, since land usage will keep on being a piece of human environment and advancement, it is proper that the change is not opposed but be adapted in order to gain from the improvements in human welfare that may be associated with it if managed well. Accordingly, proper management of the transitions of the land use systems becomes vital for the sustainable environment and development of southeastern Nigeria. In such manner, population distribution in Igbo states in southeastern Nigeria, relating to soil types, cultivable land, and per capita acreage under cultivation. The dependence of individual per square mile ranges from 477.8 persons/square mile to 644.3 persons/square mile in the south east region as opposed to the appropriate World Bank Recommended capacity of 57 persons per Square mile see statistics http://bit.ly/2gVR10h .This subsequently leads to “over-farming” and over dependence on the meagre available natural resources.

One of the major peculiarities of NEWMAP as a project is the Livelihood enhancement programme. In respect to this, the State project management unit in accordance with World Bank Procurement guidelines boarded a Focal NGO (GRACODEV) who are tasked with the sole responsibility of seeing to the social and Livelihood needs of the community where the erosion interventions are taking place. This activity is called the Community Impact Group(CIG); under the Community Action plans (CAPS) These groups were formed based on the livelihood need assessment of the project affected persons carried out by a certified world bank evaluator who sources for alternative means of livelihood for these communities to reduce the pressure on the land.

With respect to this, the state government in Conjuction with the world bank and the funding partners released some Grants to the affected communities namely Amuda/Achara Isuochi Community, Umuezuku Nsulu Isiala Ngwa Community and Amuzukwu Ibeku Community. These grants as the name implies were given to the communities to learn one trade or vocation or the other to enhance their livelihood and reduce over-dependency on soils. This activity was carried out on the 18th of November 2016 at Kolpin Hall Umuahia Abia state. Fifty percent of the whole sum was deposited into the corporate community CIG accounts. Dummy cheques were presented to signify the sum of money deposited. During the presentation, the Commissioner of Agriculture Rt. Hon. Uzo Azubuike stated that these funds will be monitored and the FOCAL NGO will see to it these funds were used for the purpose intended. The represented communities where the erosion remediation is taking place expressed their joy and satisfaction with Abia state Government, Abia NEWMAP and world bank in general

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