Catchment Areas Are The Lifeblood Of Ecosystems – Environment Minister

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Mediaage NG News – ABUJA, Nigeria (Monday 20th May, 2024)

The Nigerian Environment Minister on Monday presided the contract signing ceremony for the engagement of consultancy services for the development of twenty Strategic Catchment Management Plans (SCMP) for ACReSAL project.

While revealing that the ceremony is a crucial step towards responsible management of the country’s natural resources, he said catchment areas are the lifeblood of ecosystems supporting livelihoods, agriculture, and biodiversity.

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“Catchments are vital ecosystems that support livelihoods, provide high-quality water, and sustain biodiversity. However, they face numerous challenges, including soil erosion, poor waste management, and climate change”, Balarabe Abbas Lawal said on Monday in Abuja.

MediaageNG Catchment Areas Are The Lifeblood Of Ecosystems - Environment Minister The Nigerian Environment Minister on Monday presided the contract signing ceremony for the engagement of consultancy services for the development of twenty Strategic Catchment Management Plans (SCMP) for ACReSAL project.
National Coordinator, ACReSAL Project, Abdulhamid Umar

“The SCMP is designed to address these issues through efficient, effective, and sustainable management practices”, he added.

The Minister stated that the integrated Catchment Management Plan provides a long-term strategy for sustainable development and utilization of water and related resources.

“It ensures that land, water, and related resources are developed and managed in a coordinated manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems”, he further said.

He disclosed that the purpose of the CMP is to provide a number of agreed investments in infrastructure and other interventions and actions meant to help resolve conflict, conserve and protect the catchment and its natural resources, and ensure equitable access to and use of water resource.

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The Managing Director of Mecon Geology and Engineering Services Ltd, Chuka Offodile said the strategic catchment management plan study of the northern parts of Nigeria begins with the scientific delineation of the entire northern Nigeria into 20 mega-catchments.

MediaageNG Catchment Areas Are The Lifeblood Of Ecosystems - Environment Minister The Nigerian Environment Minister on Monday presided the contract signing ceremony for the engagement of consultancy services for the development of twenty Strategic Catchment Management Plans (SCMP) for ACReSAL project.

Mecon is the company providing the consultancy service.


Mr. Offodile said the scientific assemblage and analysis of data provides the framework as a planning tool in an integrated manner. He said it will lead to the recommendation of knowledge-based infrastructure and investment implementation, guided by a community-based sustainable, climate-resilient solution to environmental challenges within each catchment in the northern parts of the country.

“At the core of environmental issues is water, he said.

“In many areas in northern Nigeria, it is either there is too little or non available. In other words, we would identify and study the notable water resources within each catchment or the challenges associated with the anthropogenic (socio economic activities) and natural phenomena, evaluating the geospatial relationship or interplay of the entire factors within each catchment”, Mr. Offodile enumerated.

According to the National Coordinator, ACReSAL, Abdulhamid Umar, the plan is essentially a water shed deliverable that seeks to delineating and defining specific locations. Most settlements he said are around water areas or places that are far from flowing rivers.

He said people tend to migrate to where access to water is available and where water is not available makes the inhabitants of that area apply extra efforts to ensure that there is water.

“This Catchment seeks to define localities where people live in watersheds. Data and statistical evidences will be provided through the federal government to find out the challenges that are perculiar to these locations”, Mr. Umar stated.

He listed the benefits of the plan will have on the environment, the nation’s economy and communities.

“It will help to ensure the long-term health of our water resources, protect vulnerable ecosystems, and support sustainable development, he said.

He added that the Catchment Management Plan which stems from collaborative efforts and stakeholder engagement, is critical to achieving the goals of the ACReSAL Project, ensuring its long term health on the ecosystems.

“We are grateful for the support and input from all parties involved”, he said.

“The plan’s implementation will help us balance human needs with environmental protection, ensuring a resilient and thriving catchment area for future generations.

“We recognize the importance of integrated catchment management and are committed to working together to address environmental challenges and promote sustainable development.”

“The ACReSAL Project is dedicated to supporting sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, and this plan aligns with our objectives.

“Our work is far from over. We must continue to work together to ensure its successful implementation and make a positive impact on our environment.”

“Let us commit to making a difference and creating a better future for generations to come”, the National Coordinator stated.

The Minister of State, Environment, Dr Ishaq Salako said that coming up with the twenty catchment areas in the north, is a proof that the project has reached the grassroots, “bearing in mind that the north is very important to food production in the country.

He also said the ACReSAL Project shows the centrality of the environment to human existence and a strong link between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to ensure that Nigeria is able to meet its commitments nationally and globally.

“We know that one of the top priorities of President Bola Tinubu is food security and ACReSAL is central to achieving that”, Mr. Salako added.

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