Nigeria: Govt, World Bank to Build Watersheds in 2,800 Communities in North, FCT

The federal government has assured of its willingness to partner the World Bank on projects to build watersheds in 2,800 communities of the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu gave the promise during a high-level discussion with the World Bank and the AGRO-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) Federal Project Management Team in his office in Abuja.

The team were in the office of the Minister on Tuesday to brief him on the ACReSAL Project implementation status.

ACReSAL is a 6-year World Bank Assisted Project in 19 northern states and the FCT. The project would partner with approximately 2,800 communities in the targeted watersheds.

The project was approved by the World Bank Board of Directors in December 2021 and became effective on June 9, 2022, with its Project Development Objective (PDO) to increase the adoption of sustainable landscapes management and enhance livelihood in the targeted watersheds in Nigeria, it has three key components mainly Dryland Management, Community Climate Resilience and Institutional Strengthening and Project Management.

Speaking earlier, Senior Environment Specialist, World Bank and Task Team Leader 1 ACReSAL, Dr. Joy Agene, briefed the minister that part of the requirement for project implementation take-off was the approval of the work plan by the lead ministries, (Ministries of Environment, Water Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development) and appealed to the minister for his participation in the forthcoming ACReSAL workshop where the work plan from all the participating states would be looked into by steering committee of ACReSAL which the minister is a co-Chairman.

She also informed the minister that Federal Ministry of Water Resources would be playing a key role in the project; under the project component A.

Also, the Ministry of Water Resources would be responsible for the development of 20 strategic watershed plan.

The National Project Coordinator, ACReSAL, Dr. Salisu Dahiru, informed the minister that ACReSAL was the first of its kind among other project in Nigeria that is complex and domicile in three ministries to achieve great mile stones within five months, this he said is as a result of the harmony and cooperation the project has received from the three ministries.

He noted that the workshop/clinic would serve as a training ground for especially 10 new states that were not part of NEWMAP and also an avenue to consolidate on the work plan for effective project implementation.

The Minister of Water Resources while welcoming the team, noted that World Bank is an institution the federal government of Nigeria partners with and the Ministry of Water Resources is carrying out its mandate, and the actual focus is on Nigeria.

The minister said that he understands the importance of having a workshop especially at this effective stage of the project.

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