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Nigeria reclaims over 70 gully sites, 2,500 degraded hectares in 6 years

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The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) says it has reclaimed over 70 active gully erosion sites and 2, 500 hectares of degraded land across the country.

Mr Salisu Dahiru, the National Coordinator of NEWMAP disclosed this to the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abuja.

Dahiru said that over 70 gully erosion sites and 2,500 hectares of land were reclaimed in less than six years of the projects implementation.

He said the hectares of land were reclaimed through afforestation projects in the northern part, while civil work construction and bioremediation measures were carried out on the active gullies sites in South East.

He said that the projects were achieved through the 500 million dollars given by the World Bank as an advance to cover phase one of the projects.

The national coordinator said NEWMAP got additional grant of 3.96 million dollars from the Global Environmental Facility and 4.63 million dollars from the Special Climate Change Fund to support the projects.

According to him, the Federal Government also contributed 150 million dollars equivalent as part of its counterpart contribution for staff salaries, trainings and office accommodation, among others.

He said the affected states also contributed a matching grant of about 10 to 12 per cent of the total cost of the civil works.

Dairy recalled that a study earlier conducted on gullies in Nigeria revealed that over 3000 active gullies were scattered in different parts of south east alone.

He said that some of the gullies in the south east were as deep as 100 feet that could contain more than five storey building and government’s attempt to recover some of these sites were not successful.

He said the advent of NEWMAP seven years ago to address the issues of active gully sites that threatened lives, property and infrastructure in the country had yielded “tremendous” results.

“Also as part of NEWMAP success are the Ninth mile corner erosion site in Udi Local Government Area, Ajalli Water Worka site in Eziagu Local Government Area, Umueshi in Ideato South Local Government Area in Enugu State,” he said.

The national coordinator said another severe erosion sites in Queen Ede and Oshiobugie in Auchi that claimed more than half of the city was also recovered successfully in Edo state by NEWMAP.

He said that Etim Umana gully site in Uyo metropolis in Akwa-Ibom, where major high ways was threatened had also been reclaimed.

“NEWMAP also reclaimed the Federal High Court, Ekwueme square, expanded gully sites in Awka metropolis where the state secretariat, federal high court, government lodge, judges quarters were almost affected.

“Another erosion emergency site was Jibia in Katsina state where more than 20 lives, farmlands, infrastructure and property were lost as a result of erosion and flooding that occurred overnight.

“We have completed the design of the area and construction work will soon commence.

“Looking at the results recorded by NEWMAP in all of these severe gully sites, the issue is not the number of sites we reclaimed but the critical gullies we were able to handle and reclaimed,” he said.

Dahiru said that trees and grasses were planted in all these sites that were reclaimed, adding that NEWMAP project development objective was to address gully erosion and other forms of land degradation in targeted watershed.

“For each of the watershed where we have our project sites, we do catchment management plan which include tree planting, water harvesting, integrated livelihood activities in a manner that is in conformity with green revolution, making the environment sustainable.

“The idea is not for us to deal with all the gullies but to demonstrate how they can be sustainably done using the best technique and methodology that will give value for money and cost effectiveness.”

Dahiru said that at the onset, the initial 500 million dollars given by the World Bank was earmarked for 11states in the entire project lifespan.

He said that due to the progress made in the initial seven mover states, Abia, Anambra, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, and Imo through the fund, it was later spread to cover 19 additional states.

“At the onset many states applied to partner with the project but then the project only accommodated the initial seven states.

“Based on the outstanding results of great physical achievement in participating seven states, more states such as Delta, Oyo, Sokoto, Gombe, Plateau, Kogi and Kano came on board in 2015.

“In 2016, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Katsina, and Niger were cleared to participate and Ondo also joined the project in 2018.”

He said that going by the success rate of these projects and efforts of the Federal Government and other critical stakeholders, the World Bank Group (WBG) approved additional fund for the projects.

Dahiru said the additional fund would be used to scale up investments in gully restoration, integrated watershed management and supporting livelihoods consistent with sustainable land management practices.

“The additional finance will continue to support the government in building its resilience to climate change.

“Part of the additional finance will also be used to develop opportunities for future watershed and landscape management support in arid and semi-arid in the northern part of Nigeria.”

He said that NEWMAP would not take any additional states for now due to unavailable funding and because of the expiration date of the project by 2021.

Edited by Grace Yussuf

Environment

Forum tasks estate surveyors on urbanisation, slum upgrade

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The Chairman, Raden Investment Ltd., Mr Niji Raji, has called on real estate surveyors to be more proactive in influencing measures that would facilitate proper urbanisation of the country.

Raji made the call at the Investiture of the 26th Chairman and Executive Committee Members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Lagos Chapter, in Lagos on Friday.

He said that many cities of the country were rapidly becoming slum zones due to poor attitude to planning and urban renewal.

According to him, the physical conditions of most areas in Lagos State which have been abandoned to swamp can be upgraded to harbour residents through the help of the estate surveyors.

He said that the estate surveyors could influence urban policies and promote strategies that would specifically respond to the urbanisation challenges.

Raji said that estate surveyors could create an advocacy group with strong government political action committee to influence effective urban planning policies.

“I fully appreciate the agenda for the next two years of this branch particularly in the area of strategic partnership.

“We are all aware that in the recent past, we have seen the growth of public private partnerships in real estate development which I believe is a very welcome development.

“However, some of our urban centres are rapidly becoming slums because of lack of proper planning.

“I, therefore, will suggest that this branch creates, if you do not already have one, an advocacy group.

“The mission of the group will be to protect the real estate industry and, of course, your livelihood but more importantly, a strong political action committee with effective lobbying with the state government including proposing legislative reviews in key areas of the industry.

“It is in this area that I believe NIESV, Lagos Branch, should have a standing advocacy group with the Lagos State Government to influence urban policies and promote strategies that specifically respond to the urbanisation challenges of today,” Raji said.

In his keynote address, Mr Bode Adediji, the 19th President of NIESV, identified poverty as the major challenge confronting the Nigerian economy.

Adediji urged the Federal Government to focus on policies aimed at alleviating poverty in the country, saying that insecurity, killings, hatred and other challenges in Nigeria were linked to poverty.

According to him, if citizens can have access to decent houses, good living standards and other basic amenities, the rate of criminal acts will reduce.

He called on Nigerians to refrain from apportioning every blame and responsibilities to government, saying that the government alone could not do everything.

He said that both the government and citizens had responsibilities to play to facilitate economic growth and development of the nation.

Mr Adedotun Bamigbola, the 26th Chairman of NIESV, said that there was the need to establish a regulatory framework in the real estate profession for better performance.

Bamigbola said that the real estate sector of the economy had witnessed uneven growth in the country overtime as a result of limited regulation.

According to him, the challenges of the real estate sector call to question the drive toward specialisation.

“It is,  therefore, our plan, as an executive committee, to take up the responsibilities the system has trusted upon us, by promoting and ensuring that NIESV, Lagos State Branch, will take favorable leadership strides in the sector, going forward.

“My vision as the 26th Chairman of the Institution has been captured in the document called ‘The Agenda: The Future Is Now’.

“The agenda is an action plan aimed at leading us to the future in our activities, development and network as the leading branch of NIESV in the real estate space.

“The programmes in the document were conceived and designed to impact both private and public sector players as well as impact on the well-being of our members,” he said.

 

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Environment

Flooding: Delta govt. charges communities to clear drainage channels

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The Delta government has charged communities in the state to clear water drainage channels and desist from blocking natural waterways to avoid flooding.

The state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba, gave the charge on Friday in Owhelogbo community when he led officials of the ministry on an inspection tour of flood prone areas in Isoko North Local Government Area of the state.

Onogba said that in view of the perennial flooding in the area, there was an urgent need for communities to evacuate drainage channels and natural waterways to curb flooding.

“Building on natural waterways and blocking drainage channels have been a serious problem in some of our communities.

“Flooding arises whenever the river overflows its banks and when natural waterways are blocked, flood takes over.

“People should stop illegal dumping of refuse into drainage channels to mitigate the effects of flooding,” he said.

While condemning the act of dumping of waste inside drainage channels by people, Onogba urged them to cultivate the habit of patronising waste collectors to enhance proper disposal of wastes in government-approved dumpsites across the state.

The commissioner also advised people living in low land to relocate to safer places rather than wait to be displaced by ravaging flood.

Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Environment

NGO calls for massive sensitization for people living in flood-prone areas in Kaduna

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An Environmental Expert, Mr Yahaya Mohammed, on Friday called on relevant stakeholders to carry out massive awareness campaign to sensitize people living in flood-prone areas to relocate, to avert disaster from eminent flooding.

Mohammed, Controller General, Safety Awareness and Environmental Support Initiative (SAEASI) made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Kaduna on Friday.

He noted that while some flooding in parts of the state was natural, the larger incidents were man-made due to blockage of drainages.

He added that the blockage was through indiscriminate refuse disposal, a behaviour that must be curtailed through awareness campaign to reduce flooding in the state, especially in urban areas.

Mohammed particularly frowned at the irrational behaviour of people who build on river banks, water logged areas and water ways, thereby putting their houses at risk of being flooded.

“Building in such areas is dangerous and can cause havoc to the community, affecting not only the person that caused it but the entire neighbourhood, especially vulnerable children.

“Relevant stakeholders must be proactive and embark on massive sensitization of members of the public against building on water ways and those who already built to vacate the area to avoid preventable death and loss of property to flooding,” he said.

On desilting of drainages, Mohammed urged the state government to empower relevant agencies to effectively enforce environmental laws to ensure compliance.

According to him, some of the flood incidents will be averted with full enforcement and compliance to environmental laws.

He commended Christian Aid for installing gauge in some communities in the state to assist in flood mitigation.

Mohammed appealed to the government and other stakeholders to replicate such in other communities in order to save lives and properties.

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Environment

Okitipupa LG boss re-introduces monthly environmental sanitation day

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Mr Abayomi Adesanya, the Caretaker Chairman, Okitipupa Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State has declared a compulsory monthly environmental sanitation day for residents.

Abayomi, in a statement on Friday in Okitipupa, said that the monthly sanitation was to ensure that the environment was clean, healthy and safe against dirt, diseases and flood, which had degraded drainages and roads.

He noted that restriction of human and vehicle movements would be enforced during the sanitation which would hold every last Saturday of the month from 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m.

“In view of the recent flooding that devastated major cities, towns and villages in Okitipupa LGA, which had caused untold hardship to our people, it is now pertinent to observe the monthly sanitation.

“The monthly sanitation is now back and compulsory for all and sundry to cushion the effect of flooding and to make our environment clean of dirt and diseases.

“We implore all houses, churches, mosques, business premises, motor parks and all residents to comply with this new directive to evacuate all drainages and clean their environment,” Adesanya said.

He appealed to traditional institutions, spiritual heads, drivers’ unions, market women, business owners, corporate organisations, school owners, artisans and health practitioners to educate their members on the importance of sanitation.

The chairman warned that offenders who flouted the directives would be arrested and prosecuted according to the environmental laws of the state.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the local government monthly environmental sanitation will be effective on Aug. 31.

 

 

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Environment

NGO trains youths on global warming, climate change mitigation

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No fewer than 48 young people selected from the six states in Nigeria’s South South Zone have been trained on global warming and climate change mitigation in Port Harcourt.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the two-day training tagged “Youth Climate Incubation Hub’’ was concluded on Friday in Port Harcourt for the selected youths.

The exercise was conducted by Health of Mother Health (HOMEF), a non-governmental Organisation, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

According to Mr Nnimmo Bassey, an environmental Activist and Director, HOMEF, the training seeks to harvest ideas on mitigation of global warming and climate change challenges in Nigeria.

The Director of the ecological think tank also said that similar exercise would be conducted in 11 states to enhance environmental education in the country.

He said that the training was in line with Mr António Guterres, the United Nation’s Secretary-General’s desire to get countries around the world to improve on the level of admission on climate action.

“If you look at the whole scenario you will see that the youth will be the ones to be the worst impacted because the impact of global warming are still coming to the future.

“So, they are here to bring out their ideas on what government and global leaders can do to tackle the action; we want to get practical ideas from young people  at the end of the day,” he said.

Bassey also said that the greatest action government could take on gas flaring was 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 PIB bill should be put in place to penalize anybody or company that defaults on gas flaring in the country.

Bassey called on government to take the ideas of youths on how to tackle climate global warm serious because it’s their future and that of their children.

Mr Sheyifumi Adebosey, a youth activist, said 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.

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

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

Select youths from Akwa Ibom; Bayelsa; Cross River; Delta; Edo and Rivers States were part of the Youth Climate Incubation Hub.

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