With respect to the Project development objective which is to reduce vulnerability to soil erosion in targeted sub-catchments. NEWMAP; an eight year innovative, multi-sectoral project that finances state-led intervention to prevent and reverse land degradation, initially focusing on Gully Erosion Sites that threaten infrastructure and livelihood. Investments include a strategic combination of civil engineering (both rigid and flexible structures), Vegetative land management and other catchment protection measures and community led adaptive livelihood initiatives was tasked with a responsibility of creating a sense of ownership of the project by the general community.
At the last Mid Term review (MTR) of NEWMAP, one of the agreed actions is to organize a workshop to re-orient Abia SPMU staff and state level project partners to the broader context and objectives of NEWMAP. The workshop will involve sensitization, town hall discussion between key stakeholders and partners in the private and public sectors, as well as, communities burdened by the menace of erosion. It will also involve technical site visits to some of the erosion sites to review progress and map out way forward.
NEWMAP has these four major components, namely:
 Erosion and Watershed Management Infrastructure Investment
 Erosion and Watershed Management Institutions and Information Services.
 Climate change Response and Agenda Support
 Project Management
Tasked with this assignment, On the 18th Of November 2016, Abia SPMU organized the said Stakeholders workshop at Kolpin Society Hall Umuahia. The programme started by 10am prompt by a brief visit to one of the authorizing environment; Ministry of Environment and Solid Mineral Development Umuahia Abia state. The visit was to the permanent secretary in the person of Dame C.I. Nwoko who went further to emphasize the need for the workshop.
The Abia State Project Management Unit of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) with the consent of the Permanent Secretary and Honourable Commissioner Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals Development proceeded with the workshop.
OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP
The objectives of the workshop are:
- To reiterate the Project Development Objectives (PDO) of NEWMAP
- To underscore the importance of implementing Component 1 using an integrated, holistic approach;
- Discuss the MTR agreed actions and set out a work plan to achieving those that are yet to be actualized.
- Develop policy guidelines for NEWMAP that will be integrated into a revised Project Implementation Manual (PIM) as needed.
- Consultation with project intervention communities on importance of project ownership for sustainability.
The stakeholders’ workshop is a major deliverable from the Mid-term review of the Project which held at Nike Lake resort Enugu in January 2016. The main objective of the workshop is to increase the engagement, understanding and ownership of the Project by all stakeholders of the project and improve Abia State’s overall rating in the Implementation of the Project.
Participants were drawn from Government authorizing environment, (Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Advisers, and Special Assistants to the Governor, the leadership of the legislature), line MDAs, NEWMAP service providers, and representatives of host communities of our gully erosion intervention works.
It has afforded all participants the opportunity to understand the workings of NEWMAP and enhance mutual cooperation towards ensuring maximum benefit to Abia State in the NEWMAP Project.