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Results Briefs April 18, 2019

Building Climate Resilience: Experience from Nigeria


Edo State gully erosion, Before and After.

Photo: Daniel Aigbavboa, Edo State NEWMAP

The Development Objective of the NEWMAP is to reduce vulnerability to soil erosion in targeted sub-watersheds. The integrated approach is aimed at alleviating poverty, maintaining sustainable ecosystems and improving disaster risk management. Results achieved include the reclamation of over 1,558.62 hectares of degraded land with over 9, 318.00 project beneficiaries.


Nigeria, despite its middle-income status, the incidence of poverty is high compared to its neighbors, where almost four out of ten people live below the poverty line. The country is highly vulnerable to climate change and is classified as one of the ten most vulnerable countries in the world, according to the 2017 Climate Change Vulnerability Index. Nigeria is exposed to extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, sand storms and heat waves. Almost 6% of Nigeria’s land mass is estimated to be severely degraded, at a time when population is increasing at over 2% per year and numerous sectors depend on the integrity of land resources to deliver on key sector objectives. A preliminary inventory conducted under NEWMAP identified 6,000 sites with degraded land, including both gully erosion and landscape contexts of dry lands, a number far beyond what a single-project resources could address.


In support of Nigeria’s goals of achieving sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, the project delivers solutions that reduces the vulnerability of people, infrastructure, assets, natural capital, and livelihoods to land degradation through preventing erosion, reclaiming valuable land and focusing on sustainable livelihoods to enhance resilience. Project activities are a combination of civil engineering, vegetative land management, watershed protection measures, and community-led livelihood enhancements. This demands engagement from government at national, state, local levels, community and non-state actors, policy makers, academia and private sector organizations that provide services in multiple areas which include road rehabilitation and waste management. NEWMAP has three main components:

  1. gully restoration, catchment management, and livelihoods
  2. capacity building in key national and state institutions related to erosion and watershed management
  3. climate change and alternative energy in rural areas


Despite challenging circumstances: including weak institutions; overlapping responsibilities; conflicting mandates; capacity gaps; and, challenging environmental factors (fragile soils, heavy rainfalls, high population density and rapid urbanization), the NEWMAP’s approach effectively delivered results. Based on the Federal Government of Nigeria’s progress report (March, 2019), the following results have been achieved:

Planning Tools

  • 15 participatory sub-watershed management plans developed under the project in the States’ of Cross-River (5), Abia (5) Anambra (4) and Enugu(1).
  • Storm Water Master Plan  developed for  Onitsha in  Anambra State
  • 13 improved erosion risk maps developed in Abia, Anambra, Cross River, Edo, Enugu, Ebonyi, , Akwa Ibom, Delta, Kogi, Plateau, Kano and Sokoto States

Land Restoration

  • Average physical progress within the 21 old sites is 92% with over 1,558.62 hectares of degraded land reclaimed.   
  • 55 sites specific designs are ready for implementation. Which has exceeded the project’s original ambition of restoring 30 gullies.  Interventions in 25 sites have been completed with transformation results achieved by the project.

IDA funds have supported Nigeria’s Climate Change Agenda and is helping the country meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)

By providing technical, advisory, financial and global knowledge, the project supported the issuance of Africa’s First Sovereign Green Bonds:  In December 2017, Nigeria issued Africa’s first sovereign Green Bond with a capital value of US$30 million.

Livelihood restoration to project affected persons [1]

  • 2,980 Project Affected Persons have been compensated.
  • 9, 318 households are benefitting from livelihood enhancement activities such as gabion box welding, cement sales, block molding, aquaculture, tailoring, horticulture (plant nurseries, vegetable farming, planting of fruits etc.), renting of chairs and canopy (done by the physically challenged), cassava processing, palm oil production and processing etc.

Sustainability and ownership

Erosion and Watershed Management Agency has been established in Enugu State by the Executive Governor.

Bank Group Contribution

The total International Development Association (IDA) credit allocation is US$ 900 million.  NEWMAP is financed by IDA credit of US$500 million and based on demands from States to scale up intervention and the request of the Nigeria Government, IDA provided additional financing of US$400 million in 2018.


There is a strong partnership among key development partners and stakeholders. The project is collaborating with respective ministries, departments and agencies in carrying out activities to ensure sustainability. Likewise, the Minister of Environment is the Chair of NEWMAP steering committee. The allocations include: US$ 900 million International Development Association funds, US$ 3.96 million grant from the Global Environment Facility and US$ 4.63 million grant from the Special Climate Change Fund. Support for analytical studies underpinning NEWMAP’s operation in northern Nigeria include: US$ 61,683.25 TerrAfrica and US$ 235,781.69 German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). Food and Agriculture Organization provided technical services.

Moving Forward

The Federal Ministry of Environment has signaled its willingness to adopt the NEWMAP’s approach as the gold standard in addressing land degradation issues throughout the country. To build up on this success, the European Investment Bank is planning to invest about US$ 200 million into NEWMAP to scale up investments and restore additional sites.  The project also supports the country in the issuance of its first Sovereign Green Bond to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) target of reducing Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions unconditionally by 20 percent and conditionally by 45 percent.


[1] Project affected persons: anyone affected by land acquisition, relocation, or loss of incomes associated with project-changes in use of land.



Prof. Ben Ayade Cross river State Governor: (NEWMAP has built the resilience of Calabar, the CRS Capital to erosion and restored livelihoods to communities), “NEWMAP is one project, I got value for money. The partnership is bottom-up, you take decision with us, and you do not take decision for us”.

Madam Anagbogu: (the woman whose house was rescued from the ravaging gully erosion at Amachala) “I am grateful to the World Bank, Federal Government of Nigeria and Anambra State for the intervention”. Currently an advocate for sensitization in practices that could lead to land-degradation”.

Chief Okon Etim said: “I have been residing here since 1983, the erosion ‎started and was unstoppable. After NEWMAP’s intervention, we are happy to be alive and still have a property to call my own”.