By Festus Fifen.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has inaugurated Local Government Implementation Committees for the World Bank-supported Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project.
Speaking at the Inauguration exercise in Abuja The Mandate Secretary of the Secretariat, Mr Lawan Geidam said the goal of the committees was to foster a sense of ownership and encourage community participation in aspects of the project being implemented at community and household levels.
He explained that the committee would be made up of the Chairmen of the Area Councils as chairmen, with the Head of Departments of Works, Agriculture and Environment as members respectively.
Other members according to Geidam include facilitators who are subject specialists and relevant non-governmental organisations.
He added that the committee will be responsible for the overall supervision of the project at the Area council level.
In his words, “The committee will also act as liaison to the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) and Secretariat, Departments and Agencies and provide support to stakeholder analysis and identification for implementation activities.
“Facilitate the implementation of the watershed management strategies and report to the SPMU on the Area Council’s progress towards meeting intervention targets.
“They will also supervise maintenance of intervention works.”
He explained that the ACReSAL Project was a community-based initiative specifically designed to tackle the challenge of landscape degradation and promote effective watershed management adding that the project is funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, and Water Resources.
He also added that it would build community resilience to climate change and bolster agricultural production for enhanced livelihood in the 19 northern states of Nigeria and the FCT.
Geidam said that FCT became actively involved in the project in 2022, under the guidance of the Federal Project Management Unit (FPMU).
Speaking Earlier, the Project Coordinator, FCT ACReSAL, Mrs Caroline Opara, said that inaugurating the committee was crucial considering the community approach to the implementation of the programme.
Opara said that the committee, inaugurated for each of the Area Councils, would ensure inclusiveness and effective implementation of the project and sustainability of the intervention made in any community.
She said that some of the interventions to be made in the communities include provision of solar powered boreholes, standalone solar light, farmer-led irrigation, and reclamation of degraded forest reserves among others.
“Your support. is therefore, highly needed for the successful implementation of the ACReSAL project across communities in the FCT,” Opara said.
The National Coordinator of the project, Mr Abdulhamid Umar, said a $700 million loan was secured from the world bank in 2021 for the ACReSAL project and became effective in 2022.
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