As part of efforts in controlling the menace of erosion, the Delta State Government has signed a 2.4 billion naira contract with Levante Construction Limited for the Owanta Gully Erosion Project in Ika North-East Local Government Area.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie, witnessed the signing of the contract between the Delta State Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management project (NEWMAP) and Levante Construction Limited.

According to Mr Ebie, the administration of Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa saw the need to partner with the World Bank through the Delta State NEWMAP to tackle erosion challenges in the state and called on Levante Construction Company to ensure that the project was executed on time and to specifications.

He said that the project was expected to last for 18 months and that the state government had identified four other critical erosion/natural disaster sites in the state which needed urgent attention and they would be tackled one after the other.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Christian Onogba, said that the contract signing agreement between NEWMAP and Levante Construction Limited was historical, saying the menace of erosion in the area would be a thing of the past and that it would erase the impression of pessimists who thought the project was a fluke and a political deceit.

Mr Onogba also said that the importance of the project could not be overemphasized, explaining that it would impact positively and improve the livelihood of residents who hitherto had been suffering untold hardship as a result of the erosion in the area.

Earlier, the Project Coordinator of Delta NEWMAP, Mr Isaac Ofiofio, commended Governor Okowa for his intervention in ameliorating the sufferings of the people and expressed happiness that the project would commence soon.

In the same vein, the Senior Project Coordinator of Levante Construction Limited, Mr Emma Adidi, thanked the Delta State Government for awarding the contract to the company while promising that they would ensure that a standard project was delivered according to the contract specifications.