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29 passengers rescued unhurt in Lagos canal accident



The 29 passengers on a board a commercial bus that plunged into a canal in front of the National Theatre complex, Iganmu, Lagos, on Monday. were all rescued unhurt, the Nigeria News Agency reports.

NAN learnt that the vehicle, with registration number MISA 68 XH, suddenly developed technical problem and plunged into the canal opposite National Theatre entrance.

The driver of the bus, Mr Augustine Okorie, who spoke to NAN, described the survival of the passengers as a “miracle’’.

“I was bringing in 29 passengers from Shinbiri area in Okokomaiko along the Badagry Expressway and on getting to the front of the National Art Theatre,  I lost control and the vehicle plunged into the canal.

“As I was about to change the gear and could not do that immediately, the vehicle started to swerve uncontrollably and before you know what was happening, we found ourselves inside the canal.

“In spite of the situation, I was so worried about my conductor who was hanging by the door, but we thank God none of us sustained injury,” Okorie said.

An official of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), who refused to be identified, told NAN at the scene of the accident that they quickly alerted other emergency and traffic management agencies who assisted in the quick rescue of occupant of the vehicle.

NAN, however, reports that the vehicle was brought out of the canal 30 minutes later by officials of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) (NAN)


Edited by Edwin Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi




Kebbi Assembly calls for rehabilitation of Koko-Mahuta-Dabai road



 The Kebbi State House of Assembly, has urged the State Government to rehabilitate Koko-Mahuta-Dabai road in the state.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Alhaji Muhammad Usman (APC-Zuru), at plenary on Wednesday.

Speaking on the motion, Usman explained that the people in the area have been subjected to untold hardship due to the bad state of the road.

“The rehabilitation of the road has social and economic importance to the people because it is one of the areas with largest number of farmers in the state.

“Therefore, if the road is rehabilitated by way of asphalting, it will assist in boosting commerce and farming activities in the area, especially as the state government is on the verge of producing bio- fuel from that area.

“If the road is rehabilitated it will help to improve business and farming activities and this will also boost the economy of the state and increase job opportunities for our unemployed youths ” Usman said.

The lawmaker added that due to the deplorable condition of the road, most civil servants and business people in the area found it difficult to pass the road, especially during rainy season.

The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers after voice vote.

The sitting was presided over by the Speaker, Alhaji Abdulmumeen Kamba.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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SH edits—Climate change: stakehokders call for collective effort




Abuja, Nov. 20, 2019 Stakeholders in the Environment sector have called for collective efforts towards mitigating the effects of climate change.

They made this call during The National Consultations on Pre-Conference of Parties(COP 25) Workshop organised by Climate & Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) in Abuja on Wednesday.

Dr Uzodinma Adirieje, President, Society for Conservation and Sustainability of Energy and Environment in Nigeria, said that humans were the most affected by climate change.

Adirieje, therefore , said it was important for everyone to collectively protect the environment and mitigate the impact of climate change.

He said more than half of the SDGs were linked to climate change which showed how important is was to tackle the issue.

“We are at a big cross road in human development. Everything nature has bestowed on us is at war with human beings.

“From the technologies we apply to the pollution we are all inhaling, to the refuse scattered around both degradable and bio- degradable, to the generators we use and vehicles that carry us around.


“We are tampering with our environmental equilibrium especially our climate.”

He said Nigeria , must embrace renewable energy, embrace green economy, green environment and green energy which would help reduce the impact of climate change, .

According to him we must do our best to protect and preserve our environment, yes we can, yes we should.

Also speaking, Mr Ochuko Odibo, from the REDD+ secretariat urged participants and Nigerians to come up with nature based solutions , build resilience and adaptation measures.

According to him Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a nature based solution designed by a student, we use trees to engage and teach people and it has been a successful programme under the UN.

“I want to challenge us to start thinking, you can do REDD+ in any state as long as there are trees irrespective of if those trees are depliting.

“You can be the next person to come up with a solution to address the issue of climate change; i want to challenge us as Nigerians to start thinking of how we can solve this problem that will be adopted internationally.

Also contributing, Dr Pricilia Achakpa, Founder, Women Environment Programme, said CSOs involvement in climate change activities was key because they provide oversight to the government.

Achakpa, , said that nobody was linking the issues such as flooding, herders and farmers clashes, Boko haram, draught and experienced in different regions in the country to climate change.

” We need to come together and we need a voice that will hold government accountability, we cannot always antagonise Government.

“Gender issues must also be looked into in the National Determined Contributions and must be discussed as we go for COP because no one will beat our drum for us.”

Mr Atayi Babs, National Co-ordinator, CSDevNet, said the time to take action was now if ” we want to leave a better planet for our children”

Babs represented by Samuel Jinadu, Programme Officer, CSDevNet urged participants to come up with local solutions to address climate change.

According to him we must know what you all are doing at the local level and in your Various communities.

” Whatever we discuss and arrive at here Will be delibrated at COP25, so your voice needs to be heard.”

Dr Peter Tarfa, Director, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, in his address said a lot of activities were being done in silence to achieve the Paris Agreement on Climate change.

Tarfa,represented by Chioma Edeh, Principal Scientific Officer, in the Department however said government could not do it alone and platforms should be created to discuss how to address the situation.

According to him, the Ministry is coming out with a mapping on Monotoring Reporting and Verification ( MRV) in 2020 which would put figures on activities of our reduction footprint .

“So this will allow everyone have access to information and data on what we have done.

“We have are going forward . A lot of have been done on all the sectors the National Determined Contributions focus areas but we cannot put figures to it until we have the MRV.

“Government cannot do it alone we have to create a platform where we can all discuss how we all can address the situation.

“The activities towards COP25 is not soley on the government we are open to observation, suggestions, interactions ,whatever it takes for the government to come out with a very objective and good outing is welcomed.”

Mr Pius Oko, Project Officer, CSDevNet, had earlier said that the workshop was aimed at getting government and CSOs perspective as a build up to COP25.

Oko said the initiative seeks to sustain synergy and collaborative effort in Nigeria and the global call for action against climate change, and responses to the challenges posed by global warming.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the workshop is being organised in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement and SDGs (NCSFPAS) and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).

Other partners are ECOWAS, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment and other

key collaborating agencies at the national level.

CSDevNET us a network of over 300 civil society

organisations cutting across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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FG to push for sustainable awareness campaign to  protect environment – Parm Sec



The Federal Ministry for Environment on Tuesday said it would promote policies for nationwide sustainable awareness campaign on the importance of environmental protection.

Mrs Ibikun Odusote, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, made this known in Kaduna at the opening of the 13th meeting of the National Council for Environment (NCE).

The meeting has as its theme, Promoting Environmental Advocacy for Sustainable Development: A Panacea for Achieving the Next Level Agenda.

According to her, the council would come up with policies that would create awareness on the consequences of neglecting the environment on the society.

She called for research and innovations to enhance sustainability of nature and securing quality environment conducive for good health and wellbeing of fauna and flora.

“Therefore, the Ministry has sought to proffer solutions to challenges on environment in line with the current administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERPG)”, she said.

Earlier, Ibrahim Hussain, Commissioner, Kaduna State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, said advocacy is a strong tool for promoting sustainable environmental protection practices.

“Many people in urban and rural areas may not be aware or are negligent of their environmental responsibilities.

“Wilful destruction of forests, poaching, dumping of refuse in drainages, illegal mining, buildings within areas liable to flooding are common place in our communities”, he noted.

He however said through comprehensive advocacy programmes, “I strongly believe that we can educate, sensitize, mobilize and convince people to be aware and responsive to their environment which will make enforcement and compliance easier.”

In a remark, Bolatito Bisesan, Director, Planning Research and Statistics, Federal Ministry of Environment, called on participants to generate a roadmap for reversing adversities in the sector and build a buffer to wedge the rapidly degrading areas.

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Maharazu Ahmed

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Leaking Pipeline: LASEMA, NNPC apply chemicals to minimise explosion risk



The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Response Team said it had taken measures to minimise the risk of explosion from a leaking pipeline at Baruwa area, Jakande, Ipaja, Lagos.

The Director-General of LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Tuesday.

According to him, the team discovered that petrol was leaking from the pipeline at Baruwa area, Jakande in Ipaja.

He explained that further information gathered at the scene revealed that the cause of the leakage was due to improper sealing of the pipeline.

“We were also informed that the pipeline had been damaged before now.

“Safety measures have been taken by our response team and officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by blanketing the region of leakage with chemicals to avoid explosion.

“No casualty was recorded. The LASEMA response team, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Lagos State Neighbourhood Agency (LNSC) are on ground to ensure the safety of people and their property, ’’ Oke-Osanyintolu said.

He added that the Maintenance Team of NNPC had done the proper sealing off of the affected parts of the pipeline.

He said that while the operation would last, the use of fire had been prohibited in the area.

Edited by Moses Solanke/Adeleye Ajayi

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World Toilet Day: Minister urges governments to provide eco-friendly sanitary facilities




Abuja, Nov. 19, 2019 Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, the Minister of State, Ministry of Environment has advised stakeholders and government at all levels to ensure Nigerians have access to eco-friendly sanitary facilities.

Ikeazor, who gave the advice during the celebration of World Toilet Day on Tuesday in Abuja, said that eco-friendly sanitary facility would help in addressing open defecation and other sanitation related matters.

The theme for the 2019 World Toilet Day is: “Toilet for All’’, which focuses on leaving no one behind as the world strives to achieve universal access to sanitation.

“I am challenging all the stakeholders on environment, particularly government at all levels not only to do the talking but to take practical action as agent of change to ensure everyone has access to eco-friendly sanitary facilities.

“One of the major consequences of poor excreta disposal is the high rate of diarrhea disease which is the second cause of high morbidity and mortality among children under the age of five,’’ she said.

She said that the persistent re-occurrence of annual incidences of cholera outbreak in some states and the occurrence and re-occurrence of other excreta related diseases were caused by inadequate toilet facilities.

“This can be prevented through safe excreta disposal by every individual,’’ she added.

The minister said that this year’s commemoration “leaving no one behind’’, draws the attention to the fact that billions of people that do not have access to toilets should be carried along.

According to her, the Federal Government is committed to addressing the sanitation challenges including ending open defecation in the country and ensure proper management of excreta.

Ikeazor said that the 12th National Council on Environment (NCE) held in Akure, Ondo state in 2018 approved and directed the ministry to develop a National Policy for the declaration of National Emergency on open defecation.

She said that the ministry through the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council (EHORECON) had promoted and strengthened the capacity of environmental health and sanitation manpower training institutions.

Alhaji Idi Farouk, the Country Director, Foundation for Sanitation Improvement (FSI) in his goodwill message said the event was a crucial one to the foundation.

Forouk said that the foundation was conceived at the 2015 world toilet day organised by Green World Matters Ltd.

He said that it was realised at the programme that poor sanitation was responsible for stunted growth in children and the death of children under the age of five years, cholera, typhoid, polio among others.

According to him, it was decided that the FSI be registered as non-profitable organisation and also as a social service to concentrate solely on issue bordering on sound sanitation practices and enhance public health.

Forouk said that the foundation had resolved that in 2019 it would develop public toilets, establish women and youths cooperatives and train them in Community Led Total Sanitation Techniques (CLTS).

“We will allow them to run the toilets as their own businesses while engaging them to provide and supervise sanitation activities in their communities.

“We propose to build modern toilets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and at the headquarters of the six area councils.

“ECOSAN toilet will be provided in rural communities, especially in areas with access to water challenges.”

Mr Damian Mgbaramuko, the President, Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), FCT said the state of environmental sanitation in the country generally should be a source of concern to all Nigerians.

Mgbaramuko appealed to the ministry and other relevant stakeholders that apart from creating awareness on the ills of open defecation, toilets should be provided within places and areas of high human traffic.

He said that toilets should be provided in areas such as bus tops, schools, motor parks, markets, event centres, camps, expressways among others across the country.

Mr Charles Ikeah, the Director, Pollution Control and Environmental Health Department of the ministry said that institutions such as education and health were fundamental building block in the fight against national poverty and preventable diseases.

According to Ikeah, Nigeria is yet to achieve such in terms of ensuring people have access to basic sanitation.

Edited by Kabir Muhammad/Grace Yussuf

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World Toilet Day: many Plateau residents practice open defecation –NGO



A Jos-based NGO, Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) says many Plateau residents indulge in Open Defecation (ODF).

NEWSAN Project Officer, Mr Jephtha Daleng said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on the occasion of the 2019 World Toilet Day celebration tagged: “Leave No One Behind’’on Tuesday in Jos.

NAN reports that the United Nations had in 2013 set aside every Nov. 19, as World Toilet Day.

According Daleng, out of 30 plateau residents, 16 of them indulge in open defecation and described the situation as alarming.

“The rate of open defecation in the country is very alarming. Today, Nigeria is first in the practice of open defecation, with India already moving out.

“For us on the Plateau, the situation is not any better, because we are second in the country with high level of open defecation.

“As I speak, many Plateau residents practice open defecation. In every 30 Plateau residents, 16 defecate in the open,’’ he said.

Daleng also said that many households in the state don’t have toilet facilities.

He explained that lack of toilet facility in households’ forces residents to defecate in the open, adding that the spate of deaths particularly among children in the state was due to various water and air borne diseases.

He also decried the lack of sanitation facilities in public places in the state, a situation he said also compel people to defecate in the open.

“As I speak to you, many households in Plateau don’t have toilet facility. I am not talking of pit latrines that are not covered, but a safely managed toilet.

“Even in public places, there are no sanitation facilities provided. For instance, in the state secretariat and Specialist Hospital, people defecate in the open.

“This is why we have increased rate of deaths among children under-five, as a result of communicable diseases easily contracted because of bad hygiene practices,’’ he added.

Daleng called on the state government to be proactive in improving sanitation and hygiene in the state, particularly in providing sanitation facilities in public places.

He also advised the state government to key into the national campaign on the use of toilets, urging it to channel resources to promoting sanitation and hygiene.

“Poor sanitation and hygiene practices don’t only affect the health of citizens, but their social life and the economy of the state.

“So, government must take deliberate steps towards addressing the worrsome situation,” he advised.

Daleng also advised residents of the state to improve on their personal hygiene practices and desist from open defecation.

Edited by Shittu Obassa/Ese E. Ekama

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