Nigeria Erosion & Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP)

Lead agency
World Bank


Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Water Resources

SLM Focal Point

Richard Nzekwu

Country Focal Point

Richard Nzekwu

Contact Information


Product Development Objectives

To reduce vulnerability to soil erosion in targeted sub-watersheds. This innovative, multi-sectoral project will finance State-led interventions to prevent and reverse land degradation on a demand-driven basis, initially focusing on gully erosion sites in ready southeastern States that threaten infrastructure and livelihoods. Investments are a strategic combination of civil engineering, vegetative land management and other watershed protection measures, plus complementary community-led livelihood enhancements.

Over the course of the 8-year project, sites in up to 11 States will phase in as States and their designs become ready. The sustainability of these investments will be reinforced by strengthening institutions and information services across sectors in all three tiers of government, including support to help improve governance, regulatory compliance, environmental monitoring, watershed and land use planning, and by strengthening the country’s capacity to promote and implement climate resilient, low carbon development. An impact evaluation is included to test aspects of project design.

Project Components

Component 1: Investments in targeted areas

This component would aim to support on-the-ground interventions to address, prevent and reverse land degradation. The primary focus would be on addressing severe gully erosion in southeastern Nigeria, focusing on but not limited to the Anambra-Imo and Cross River basins. A strategic combination of engineering, biological, and community-centered lowtech measures would be deployed to (i) stabilize severe erosion sites, and (ii) prevent emerging erosion problems early on when intervention costs are low. Accordingly, interventions will include structural, vegetative, and adaptive natural resource based livelihood measures, coupled with micro-catchment planning where necessary; examples include:

  • Structural land management measures and civil works such as cross-drainage, check dams, gabions, terracing and other slope stabilization works, river groynes, geotextiles, etc.
  • Vegetative land management measures such as afforestation, agroforestry, grassing, bunds, live check dams, no tillage, buffer strips, etc.
  • Adaptive livelihood measures important for mobilizing local stakeholders to carry out, maintain and monitor erosion management practices, and to reduce pressure on land.
  • Strengthening of communities and local authorities to carry out participatory micro-catchment planning in targeted investment areas, establish community resource management areas, promote selected land and water management and livelihood practices, and participate in investment implementation and monitoring.

This component will be implemented with appropriate planning, preparation, stakeholder involvement, and monitoring. A Gully Rapid Action for Slope Stabilization (GRASS) Facility is proposed to address the many emergency situations in existing gully propagation that pose immediate threats to lives, livelihoods, and critical infrastructure. Investment priorities for the GRASS facility will be informed by a rigorous typology of erosion problems. In addition, the component would support communities and local agencies to stem rills and incipient gullies in their early stages of formation, and address constraints to collective action.

Component 2: Institutional development and information systems for erosion management and watershed planning

This component would address longer-term sustainability by strengthening the enabling environment to address erosion and watershed degradation problems in a comprehensive manner across sectors and States. The component would support modernization and coordination of the many institutions involved in planning, management, assessment, enforcement, and monitoring of watershed and erosion related activities from sub-watershed to basin scales. To reinforce good design and prioritization of investment, the component would also support improvements in the policy environment, data modernization, development and application of analytical and monitoring tools, and diagnoses of watershed problems. The component would tentatively finance:

  • Development of watershed action plans and monitoring arrangements based on analytical and stakeholder input including land use/land cover mapping.
  • Development of coordination mechanisms for multi-sector and multi-scale planning, joint approaches; enabling policies, regulations, and by-laws; and harmonized guidelines for improved land and water management across actors at Federal and State levels;
  • Strengthening of regulatory compliance, environmental assessments, and contract management related to erosion management at Federal and State levels; and Establishment of a comprehensive Dynamic Information System as well as other analytical, data, ICT, and monitoring tools that would support planning, prioritization, outreach, and management of investment activities. These could include real time land/water data networks; innovative use of ICT, remote sensing and use of Geographic Information Systems.
  • Training to modernize federal and state institutions, coupled with outreach activities
  • Establishment of an innovation facility to pilot possible payments for environmental services, investment competitions, innovation fairs, and other events.

Component 3: Project management

This component would aim to support the government at Federal and State levels to implement this project. This will include support for project management, including fiduciary aspects (procurement, financial management, environmental and social safeguards), project M&E, strategic communications, and documentation. In particular, a strong monitoring and learning framework will be set up to learn from past and ongoing interventions for adaptive management all through the process of project planning, implementation, and evaluation.