Gombe Signs N12 Billion Contract To Tackle Gully Erosion, Environmental Degradation

Gombe State Government has signed a landmark contract agreement, valued at N12,057,248,267.00, aimed at addressing the menace of gully erosion, safeguarding lives, and preserving the environment.

A statement on Wednesday, 22nd November 2023 signed by the Director-General (Press Affairs) Gombe Government House, Ismaila Uba Misilli, said that spanning 21 kilometers from the Federal College of Education (Tech) to the Railway Line through several communities including London Maidoruwa, Malam Inna, Wuro Ledde, Wuro Kesa, and Arawa, the erosion control work is a co-funded project between the Gombe State Government and the Agro-Climate Resilience In Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL), a World Bank-funded initiative.

The Procurement Officer of ACReSAL Project, Gombe State coordinating unit signed on behalf of the State Government, while the Managing Director of Triacta Nigeria Limited, Engineer Eli Fahad signed for the construction company.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya, who presided over the signing ceremony, explained that the event represents a vital step forward in the state’s collective resolve to restore the agricultural and environmental landscapes previously ravaged by gully erosion and environmental degradation.

He noted that Gombe State, often referred to as the erosion capital of the North East, has witnessed decades of devastating effects from gully erosion which displaced communities and threatened lives and property.

He stressed his administration’s commitment to environmental sustainability, citing initiatives like the Gombe Goes Green (3G) project, launched in 2019, aimed at combatting desertification, deforestation, and soil erosion through annual tree planting campaigns.

The Governor expressed confidence in the partnership with ACReSAL, drawing parallels with past successful interventions.

He affirmed the project’s alignment with Gombe’s 10-year Development Plan (DEVAGOM).

The Governor explained that it is estimated that over four hundred thousand people live along the gully corridor with constant fears for their lives and property, noting that about 89 percent of these people are poor and, therefore, lack the resilience to withstand or mitigate against the devastating effects of environmental menace.

“On assumption of office in 2019, our administration made it clear that a sustainable and resilient environment is crucial to the sustainable livelihood and prosperity of the people.”
“It is this unwavering commitment to environmental preservation and sustainability that informed the launch of the Gombe Goes Green (3G) project within the first weeks of our administration, which targeted the planting of 1 million trees annually to combat desertification, deforestation, and soil erosion”.

“Since 2019, this administration has undertaken various intervention projects like the GSU-Mallam-Inna project in conjunction with the World Bank, as well as the control of the gully site traversing Buba-Shongo-Federal Lowcost-Gambo Isari through Jekadafari up to Gombe Central Roundabout. The Unguwa-Uku gully erosion site, as well as those at Wuro-Shi’e, Hurumin Da’u, GGSS Doma, and Liji, are among the list of gully erosion sites to be controlled in due course with the support of ACReSAL/World Bank”.

The Governor expressed confidence that with the help of the ACRESAL project, like its predecessor project (NEWMAP), his administration will continue on a journey to reclaim the environmental landscapes, protect the communities, and secure a prosperous future for generations yet unborn.

The governor used the occasion to congratulate the project-impacted communities and the entire people of Gombe State on the historic achievement.

He stressed that his administration will continue to leverage opportunities such as this to restore the environment, enhance productivity, and improve the livelihoods of the people.

He called on stakeholders, to partner with the contractors and other professionals that will handle the project, to ensure its successful and timely completion, describing the project as a beacon of hope for communities, especially those grappling with the daunting challenges posed by the monstrous gullies.

While presenting the signed contract document to the Managing Director of Triacta Nigeria Limited which emerged winner after the bidding process, the Governor remarked that the contract represents not only a formal agreement but a pledge to the people of Gombe State that that his administration is taking decisive steps to protect the environment against the impacts of climate change and its associated consequences.

Earlier speaking, the Commissioner for Water, Environment and Forest Resources, Mohammed Saidu Mohammed Fawu, appreciated the commitment of Gombe State Government under the leadership of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for paying the counterpart funds and fulfilling all the necessary conditions for the state to benefit from the project.

“This historic event and many more that will follow under ACReSAL would not have been possible without the uncommon commitment of His Excellency, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, CON who paid over 500 million Naira counterpart contribution after meeting all the necessary conditions for the state participation in the project”, he said.

The commissioner explained that the ACReSaL project in Gombe State has recorded remarkable achievements including recovering about 31,000 hectares of degraded lands, planting over 9700 trees in strategic locations in the state, calling on the benefiting communities to support and take ownership of the project for the ultimate success of the project.

The Managing Director, of Triacta Nigeria Ltd, Engr A. B. Fahad described the event as historic, pointing out that throughout the company’s operations in the state since Hashidu’s regime, it has never executed a project as significant as this gully erosion control project traversing across several communities of about 21 km gully length.

He pledged to execute a qualitative project in line with its terms and conditions. “We will also try to ensure that we complete the project before the inception of the next rainy season”, he said.

In his remarks, the state Project Coordinator, Sani Adamu Jauro expressed his appreciation to the governor for his commitment and support to the ACReSaL project in Gombe State which led to the project recording remarkable successes.