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Air Pollution: Trees, easiest means of clean air — NCF says

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The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) says having trees around is the easiest means of cleaning the air we breathe.

Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, the Director-General of NCF, made the assertion at an event organised by the NCF to mark the 2019 World Environment Day in Lagos with the theme: “Beat Air Pollution’’.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that World Environment Day is annually commemorated worldwide on June 5 and the theme for 2019 was: “Air Pollution’’.

Aminu-Kano said that trees absorb pollutants in the air, clear them and bring the air back to us as clean air.

According to him, the Lagos State Government and the World Bank set up seven centres in Lagos to test air pollution in Lagos and the Lekki Conservation Centre is one of the centres.

“The result of the test shows that Lekki Conservation is the least polluted area in Lagos.

“This is because the Lekki Conservation has trees all around the whole place.

“It is not that there are no cars, waste, other pollutants around and in the centre.

“The trees help to absorb all the carbon dioxide emitted in the environment and make the air clean again,” he said.

Amina-Kano said the cheapest way of beating air pollution is planting trees in commercial and residential areas, on the roads and all around us.

He said that bush burning, transportation, household, industry and waste were the five sources of air pollution in Nigeria.

Aminu-Kano said that emissions from vehicles, chemicals from the industries, cooking with firewood and burning of waste all releases pollutants into the atmosphere.

He said the use of alternative source of power should be developed and concerted efforts made to stop the use of electricity generators sets as source of power in the country.

According to him, the regeneration of the power sector is a must to ensure that people do not rely more on use of electricity generators as source of power.

Aminu-Kano said that many deaths resulting from breathing in fumes from generators as well as chronic illnesses caused by breathing contaminated air were all preventable.

Also, Mr Diran Olojo, Group Head, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), said that the people’s health depended on the quality of air they breathe.

According to him, sudden deaths are rampant in the magnitude not yet known due to pollutants in the air we breathe.

Olojo said that global reports show that the quality of air in Nigeria is the dirtiest and this is alarming.

Consequently, he called for national, state, local, organisational and individual actions to combat the situation.

“That is why the bank took up the protection of the environment as one of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

“The bank believes in the promotion of all means of preserving the natural resources.

“A cleaner Lagos is a task which has to be done gradually,’’ he said.

NAN reports that highlights of the celebration included drama presentations on Beat Air Pollution by some schools in Lagos.

The acts were in different categories of five, eight, nine and 11-years as well as 15 years and 18 years.

Some of the schools represented included the Army Children Junior High School, Refiner Schools, Genesis School and Falomo High School.

Environment

Paris agreement: CSOs wants youths inclusion

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Dr Ibrahim Choji, Chairman Board of Trustees, Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet), has called for youths inclusion in the activities of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), for effective implementation.

Choji said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Sunday in Abuja,

According to him, NDCs was one of the key tools for measuring what each country was doing in addressing the climate change issues.

He said that the population of the youth should be about 50 per cent, adding that they have not been effectively engaged on their expected roles in ensuring the successful implementation of the NDCs.

“It is pertinent to discuss about youth participation and inclusiveness on the NDCs, as well as using them as key stakeholders of NDCs implementation in the country.

“The full and meaningful participation of youth in all activities, processes and platforms for climate action is very necessary.

“The youth need to understand the approach, concerning the well being and equity of current and future generations.

“The youth are the ones who will most likely face difficult living conditions in a changing climate such as drought, flooding and food security.

“But they are not historically responsible for those conditions.

“It is very important we examine actionable things so as not to see inputs by youth continuously ignored as it is often the case,’’ he said.

Choji said that recently, CSDevNet had a national youth discussion on Nigeria youth inclusion and the implementation of the NDCs.

He said that the organisation collaborated with the National Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement, (NCSFPAS), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) for the discussion.

He added that the discussion was organised to galvanise and harvest ideas on what the youth can do to tackle the impacts of climate change across the country.

The chairman explained that the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 marked a new chapter for international cooperation on climate.

He added that the Federal Government agreed to develop country-specific NDCs which are national climate plans to highlight climate actions, climate related targets, priorities, policies and measures.

“These climate actions are to be implemented by the government in response to climate change.

“Other concerns covered by the NDCs include gender equality and a just transition for those whose jobs or livelihoods are threatened by ambitious climate policies and protection of human rights.

Choji noted that a survey revealed that about six out of 10 young people in Nigeria do not know much about climate change issues as well as it activities.

He said that there was need for an effective awareness and mobilisation at the local communities, adding that such would help to educate people about the effect of climate change.

He added that the youths are the major contributors in mitigating the impacts associated with climate change.

He added that the youths need to embark on an organised advocacy to break the existing knowledge gap.

Choji, however, urged the youth to always be at the forefront of actions and innovations on climate change activities.

He said that the efforts would be put in place for the youth to make inputs to enable implement the NDCs.

VOE/EAL

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi

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Flood damages key roads, submerges houses in Jigawa

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Flood triggered by days of incessant rainfall has damaged the Guri-Adyani and Guri-Dolanzugo roads in Guri Local Government Area of Jigawa, the Nigeria News Agency , reports.

The roads, according to Alhaji Sanusi Doro, the area’s information officer, are critical for the transportation of rice, sesame, watermelon and onions to the markets.

Doro, in a statement on Saturday in Guri, said that the damage had cut off residents of Adyani and Dolanzugo from Guri town, the local government headquarters.

The statement also said that the flood had submerged 400 houses in Guri town, forcing residents to take shelter in schools.

“Hundreds of people displaced by the flood are now taking shelter in Senior Arabic Secondary School and Nurulhuda Arabic School, both in Guri,” he said.

The information officer listed other towns threatened by flood in the area to include Musari, Gaduwa, Abunabo, Zoriyo, Margadu and Dagana.

On efforts to manage the disaster, he said that the Acting Chairman of the local government, Alhaji Umaru Dodo, had distributed 50,000 sacks to residents in flood-prone areas to erect sand-bag embankments.

Doro commended the state government for providing blankets, mosquito nets and food items to those displaced.

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Harnessing young peoples potential to mitigate climate action in Nigeria

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Harnessing young peoples’ potential to mitigate climate action in Nigeria

By Dianabasi Effiong, Nigeria News Agency

The Federal Ministry of Environment, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Aug. 15 hosted a two-day Regional Youth Climate Incubation Hub for select youths in Nigeria’s South-South Zone.

The forum was the first in a programme designed by organisers to cover six zones and further strengthen Nigeria’s position as a member country of the United Nations’ Youth Engagement and Public Mobilisation track at the Climate Action Summit.

The summit is slated for Sept. 23 in New York for participants to offer ideas on ways to stop the increase in emissions by 2020 and “dramatically reduce emissions to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century’’, among others.

The Port Harcourt event, facilitated by Health of the Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), an environmental think-tank organisation, had participants drawn from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers States.

A trending document on UN Climate Action Summit 2019 from the global organisation stated that Global emissions had reached record levels.

It stated: “The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990.

“Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heat waves and risks to food security.

“The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow.

“But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.

“The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and even, as asked by the latest science, to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.’’

“Thankfully, we have the Paris Agreement – a visionary, viable, forward-looking policy framework that sets out exactly what needs to be done to stop climate disruption and reverse its impact.

It also stated, sadly, that “the agreement itself is meaningless without ambitious action’’.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, expects from world leaders at the proposed summit, innovative, concrete and realistic plans “to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050’’.

In reaction to such expectations, Mr Nnimmo Bassey, an Environmental Justice Advocate and Director of HOMEF, underscored the importance of the Youth Round table on Climate Action to unlock youth innovation in Nigeria’s climate action.

He also told participants at the forum, which included about 70 young people, that they were capable of brightest ideas for solving problems of climate change in Nigeria.

According to him, the greatest action government can take on gas flaring is to stop it and not to reduce it.

“If government can stop gas flaring by the year 2020 it will be a great achievement for the people to be released from the embarrassment on our environmental health and our children’s health,” Bassey said.

He also said that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) should be put in place to penalise anybody or company that defaulted on gas flaring in Nigeria.

He called on government to take seriously, the ideas of youths on how to tackle climate change and global warming because it encapsulated their future and that of their children.

Also, Mr Sheyifumi Adebosey, a youth activist, told the forum that young people were the second most important group in addressing climate change because it is about their future.

Adebosey, who said that youth action on climate change to protect our environment had national value, also renewed the call for urgency in tackling the global climate change.

Similarly, Miss Anumenechi Stephanie, the Digital Communication Head of International Climate Change Development Initiative Africa (ICCDI), called for government’s collaboration with companies and Non-Governmental Organisations to stop gas flaring.

She said that such collaboration should ensure that gas is used for economic growth nstead of being flared.

Expectedly, the Federal Ministry of Environment, through its Department of Climate Change, charged participants on the imperatives of the event, adding that climate and climate change have become issues of global concern particularly in Third World countries like Nigeria.

Sa’adatu Gambo, a Senior Scientific Officer at the Department of Climate Change, who represented the Federal Ministry of Environment, said that the Department of Climate Change remained Nigeria’s focal point for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The expectation of the organisers were that “there will be an acceleration of key improvement on climate change’’ at the end of the event.

They also expected what they called “creative ideas that are specific, measurable, achievable, bankable, realistic and time bound, which will be harnessed and built from concept stage to actual implementation’’.

Participants also observed that issues of climate change called for emergency in Nigeria and that proactive measures should be taken by the Nigerian government to tackle it.

They also observed that the non-implementation of extant environmental laws and policies continually serve as major setback in the fight for a safe climate in Nigeria

The need to create more awareness among Nigerians, financial investment and transfer of technology to build human capacity and groom basic ideas to mitigate climate crises in Nigeria were also restated by participants at the Port Harcourt event.

The young people engaged in series of brain storming and Focused Group Discussion (FGD) where innovative ideas were proffered.

These included the need for that Climate Change Desk Officers at both Federal and State ministries in Nigeria who should ensure that participants in the Youth Climate Hub were further engaged on climate change issues.

They also recommended that biogas should be generated from household biodegradable waste and bio-digester while effort should be made on recycling in regards to plastic bottle collection and reuse and also waste segregation and separation.

The group as called for the establishment of environmental clubs and advocacy for target groups and also creating certain social documentaries on climate change in local dialects.

According to the “Youth Climate Incubation Hub’’, `Apps should be available to map vulnerable and non-vulnerable areas to climate change impact’ and solar panels should be made more affordable for the people.

The young people also called for Mangrove reclamation and tree planting, especially indigenous species and economic crops.

They said: “There is need for government at all levels to stop paying lip service and amplify action on climate change policy  implementations.

“There should be a massive advocacy campaigns on the impact of climate change; the inclusion of climate change education in our curriculum at the various levels of learning in Nigeria.’’

According to the group, youths voices should be further amplified and their creative ideas on climate change harnessed.

They also stressed the need to strengthen existing structure to integrate women and marginalised groups’ participation in all levels in climate action in Nigeria. (NANFeatures)

 

 

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Environment

Gov.Sule launches flood sensitisation campaign, cautions against erecting structures on water ways

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By Awayi Kuje

Launching

Garaku(Nasarawa State), Aug.23,2019 Gov.Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has launched a flood awareness campaign with a call on residents of the state to avoid erecting structures along drains and water ways so as to avoid flooding.

Sule made the call on Friday in Garaku,Kokona Local Government Area while launching a sensitisation, Education and Awareness Campaign on Disaster Risk Management of the 2019 seasonal rainfall prediction on impending flood in the state .

He said flood had negative effects on societal development, hence the need for the people of the state to take precautionary measures against it in their own interest and for the overall development of the state.

“Let me appeal to the good people of Nasarawa State, particularly those that are living in areas that are prone to floods to take precautionary measures.

“We must as well educate ourselves on proper ways of refuse disposal, avoid erection of structures along drains and water ways which will block free passage of running water.

“It will be recalled that the Federal Ministry of Environment and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in collaboration with Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) have earlier issued warning of flooding particularly in 2019.

“They have predicted that this year’s rainy season will threaten communities living along river banks which will be affected by flood.

“It is on this note that the government considered it imperative to embark on mass sensitisation and awareness campaign to local government areas and flash points that are prone to flood disaster, in the state,”he said

The governor disclosed that the State Government was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Environment in tackling environmental degradation in the state for the overall development of the country.

He directed the state Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA) to intensify campaign in sensitising and educating communities on the dangers of flooding to societal development.

He restated his commitment to key into good policies and programmes that would have direct bearing on the lives of the people of the state.

The Executive Secretary, state Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA), Mr Zachariah Allumaga ,urged the people of the state to avoid indiscriminate dumping of refuse on waters ways.

Allumaga said his called was based on NIMET prediction of impending flood in some Local government areas and flash points in the state.

In his vote of thanks, the Abaga Toni of Toni Chiefdom,Mr Lawrence Sylvester Ayih, commended the governor for launching the awareness campaign considering the negative effects of flooding on the society.

Mr Saidu Kurki, the Executive Chairman of Kokona Local Government Area of the state, thanked the governor for his developmental efforts toward improving the standard of living of the people.

“The event of today, no doubt is yet another manifestation that demonstrate your total commitment and concern toward the improvement of the living standard of our people.

“We as a council, therefore are indeed overwhelmed because the gesture will go a long way in saving lives and property of our people in the area and the state,”he said.

Edited by Saidu Adamu and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Zaria water project: Kaduna govt. seeks refund of N24.4bn from FG

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has asked the Federal Government to refund N24.4 billion, representing 30 percent of the money spent by the state on Zaria water project.

According to the governor, the refund was in line with relevant laws that stipulated 30 percent refund to states for any capital project executed.

The governor’s demand was contained in a statement by his Senior Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adeleke, issued in Kaduna on Friday.

El-Rufai however commended the Federal Ministry of Finance for earlier approving a refund of N17.3 billion for the project, but said the actual sum was N24.4 billion based on the current exchange rate of naira to the dollar.

He therefore appealed to the Federal Government for timely release of the fund, promising that the amount would be ploughed back into the Greater Kaduna Water Supply Project.

The governor further urged the Federal Government to construct the Itisi Dam to enable the state government execute the Greater Kaduna Water Project with ease.

According to him, the Greater Kaduna Water Supply Project, designed to expand water supply in the state capital, would cost 600 million dollars.

On the Zaria Water Supply and Expansion Project, the governor said N81.3 billion had been spent so far.

He said that the amount was expended on the project by the state government, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

El-Rufai explained that the state government funded the Water Treatment Plant at the cost of N24.6 billion and paid  N914.1 million for consultancy services.

“AfDB funded the rehabilitation and construction of water and sanitation facilities at the cost of 101 million dollars, which translates to N30.9 billion at the exchange rate of N306.50 to a dollar.

“While IsDB funded the construction of water facilities at the cost of 81 million dollars amounting to N24.8 billion.

“The amount injected by AfDB and IsDB was a loan that will be repaid by the state government,” he said.

The governor described the commissioning of Phase II of the Zaria Water Project as another milestone in reversing about three decades of water scarcity in the city.

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