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Mining activities: FG donates vehicle to committee in Niger

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The Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has donated a Toyota Hilux to Niger state’s Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) to monitor mining activities.

Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger presented the vehicle to members of the committee on behalf of the Federal Government in Minna on Tuesday.

Bello, who was represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe, his Chief of Staff, said the vehicle would ease movements of the committee members to check activities of miners in the state.

The governor stated that the donation would also enable members to interact with the various actors in the mining industry within the state.

‘‘This interaction is to help promote peace and unity among miners and members of the communities as well as promote cordial relationship among key actors in the mining industry,’’ he said.

He added that the vehicle would help the committee members to monitor activities of miners in order to ensure that such activities do not pose any security threat to the state.

‘‘We must pay serious attention to the influx of miners coming into our state to mine, this is to ensure that mining activities are carried out hitch-free without associated banditry and other security threats in the state,’’ he added.

The governor said the state government would continue to partner the Federal Government to ensure that mining activities were carried out in a conducive environment.

Also, Alhaji Mohammed Babatifin, Chairman of MIREMCO, disclosed that the role of the committee was to ensure sustainable management of mineral resources of the state.

He said the committee had helped to resolve conflicts and promote peace among miners and members of the communities.

Babatifin noted that the MIREMCO had embarked on campaign against child labour such as the involvement of under-aged children in mining activities.

He, however, disclosed that the state chapter of Mine Workers Union and Miners Association of Nigeria were presently undertaking re-registration of its members and issuance of new identification cards.

Environment

Borno govt. to rehabilitate 42-year old Maiduguri zoological garden

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The Borno Commissioner of Environment, Alhaji Kabiru Wanori, on Friday, announced plans by the state government to rehabilitate the 42-year old Maiduguri Zoological Garden.

Wanori told the Nigeria News Agency in Maiduguri that the zoological garden would be restocked and upgraded, in line with international standard.

He disclosed that the state government had adopted proactive measures to reinvigorate the garden, encourage tourism development and boost its revenue base.

Wanori explained that the moribund zoological garden would be stocked with various animal species of reptiles, monkeys, cats and birds, among others.

“Some of the ageing animals, such as lions, monkeys, hyenas, elephants and leopards could not be replaced for the past many years.

“The zoological garden lost some of its precious animals, including buffaloes, rhinos and giraffes. We have a special place where their biographies are kept for interested visitors.

“Rehabilitation of the zoological garden will encourage wildlife conservation, tourism, generate employment opportunities and boost the state revenue base,” Wanori said.

He noted that the number of visitors to the zoo had dropped drastically in the last 10 years due to lack of animals and insurgency.

The commissioner added that the rehabilitation effort would lead to the upgrade of the zoological garden and enhance its operations.

/WAS

Edited by Cecilia Odey and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Environment

2 injured in Tejuosho Lagos fire — LASEMA

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The Director General of LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said that the fire, caused by power surge, was put out by rescue officials and Lagos State Fire Service.

He said that the fire started from one of the rooms before escalating to other parts of the building.

Oke-Osanyintolu said that the intensity of the fire had caused physical cracks of the building.

He, however, said that no loss of life but two male adult sustained injuries. .

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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Environment

NGO advocates increased awareness campaign on climate change

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Dr Benjamin Ubleble, the Senior Project Officer of National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills in the Niger Delta (NACGOND), has called for increased awareness campaign on climate change at the grassroot level.

Ubleble made the call on Thursday in Umuahia during a workshop organised by NACGOND, in collaboration with Foundation for Environmental Right Advocacy and Development (FERAD), on the theme, “Community sensitisation on adaptation to climate change in Abia.”

He said that communities ought to be educated on the best strategies for building resilience towards climate change.

Ubleble said that efforts had been made in evolving policies to tackle climate change, adding that the efficacy of such policies could be felt through community level sensitisation.

He said that the programme focused on assisting rural dwellers to understand that their activities could play a major role in causing climate change as well as the importance of adapting to better life patterns.

“We expect that at the end of the day, the level of their awareness will change.

“This is the reason that informed our decision to choose to educate community leaders in Abia.

“These leaders will be the vanguards of our objective of helping communities build resilience to climate change,” Ubleble said.

In his address, Mr Nelson Nwafor, the Founder of FERAD, hoped that the participants would take advantage of the workshop to learn more about the challenges of climate change in Abia.

Nwafor said: “I believe that the deliberations which will take place at the workshop will produce solutions to the climate change challenges in the state.”

In his remark, Mr Arisa Kalu, an Official of Abia Ministry of Petroleum, described the theme of the workshop as apt.

Kalu also said that the topic was an important determinant of socio-economic growth.

He called for intensive advocacy to address the challenges of climate change in the region, in order to reduce the resultant environmental degradation and other issues to the barest minimum.

In his lecture, Mr Ikechukwu Ukaegbu, the Desk Officer in the Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, said that it was imperative to apply adaptation measures at the grassroot level.

Ukaegbu said that climate change could be effectively managed through a bottom-top approach because of the first-hand impact of climate change on rural dwellers.

He highlighted the need to expedite action in creating environmental awareness platforms at the grassroot level because of its numerous benefits to society.

He called on relevant agencies to implement a climate change action plan that would boost disaster risk management at the community level.

In an interview with newsmen, a participant, Mrs Ngozi Ogidi, described the workshop as impactful.

Ogidi said that she had learnt something meaningful that she could teach other women in her community.

“The workshop is interesting and educative,” she said, adding that it had increased her knowledge about climate change and the adaptation measures for addressing it.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)

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Environment

Buhari writes Scientific Magazine, says planting trees solution to conflicts

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President Muhammadu Buhari says planting tree is part of the solution to conflicts in Nigeria and across the Sahel region.

The President, in an opinion article published in Scientific American Magazine, in which more than 150 Nobel laureates have been published, opined that desertification – driven by climate change was exacerbating conflict in Nigeria.

A statement by the President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Thursday, said ”the article comes ahead of the project launch later this month by the National Youth Climate Innovation Hub – the organisation mobilising youth in the tree planting exercise.

President Buhari believed that, in tackling these challenges, the government had resolved to involve young people in the decision-making processes on climate action because, ”ultimately, it is their future that shall be affected.”

According to the Nigerian leader, his administration is taking action against the ecological breakdown that drives conflicts.

“Ecological restoration reduces the threat of land disputes.

”Planting trees is part of the solution, and the reason Nigeria is planting another 25 million, on top of the 1 million hectares already reforested.

”The tree planting is part of a larger project: a Great Green Wall that shall stretch across the Sahel to hold back desertification,” Buhari said.

The president argued that to achieve this goal, the project must be driven by communities, innovative climate financing solutions, and a methodical planting based in ecological research.

On the need to plant trees, President Buhari said: “Trees lend a base to build on. They aid water retention in the ground; they shield the land from erosion; and they enrich biodiversity, key for recycling the nutrients in the soil required to grow crops.

”In the process, they underwrite food security.”

On previous issuances of green bonds, he stated: “Fortunately, these initial forays show a clear appetite for this sort of investment, and we are currently working on further issuances.”

The President said that the government would mobilize the youth in the planting, breeding a sense of ownership of their region’s future and strengthening community bonds.

He added: “Those who manage the systems should be the community on the frontline: the same people who will benefit from reforestation.

“We intend to mobilize the youth in the planting, breeding a sense of ownership of their region’s future and strengthening community bonds.”

Buhari, who touched on herder-farmers clashes in the article, said: “Critically, ecological restoration reduces the threat of land disputes.

”In the dry season, barren—often drought-stricken—pastureland in the Sahel forces nomadic herders to drive their cattle further south to graze.”

Edited by Felix Ajide

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Environment

Gov. Bala inaugurates waste collection centres,pledges commitment to healthy environment

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Bauchi State Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammad,  on Thursday pledged his administration’s commitment to evolving policies that would enthrone a healthy environment for the people.

Mohammad, who stated this in Bauchi while inaugurating two completed waste collection centres in the state capital, explained that more of such projects would be established in Bauchi.

Represented by Hamisu Shira, the State Commissioner for Housing and Environment, Mohammad said that four other waste collection centres were at different levels of completion.

According to him, the six projects will gulp the sum of N28.7 million to complete.

“As a government, we are embarking on this project to make the environment healthy and productive for the people,” he said.

The governor stated that his administration had remained committed towards ridding the state of filth and unhealthy environment.

“Barely two weeks in office, we began a special environmental sanitation exercise in Bauchi metropolis.

“Our objective was to clear the piles of solid wastes in various dumping centres within the metropolis,” he said.

Mohammad futher stated that N9.8 million had been approved for the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency to ensure effective evacuation of household waste.

Earlier, Emir of Bauchi, Alh Rilwanu Adamu, had commended the governor for the projects, describing the gesture as a positive development.

Represented by Alhaji Nuru Jumba, Bauchi District Head, Adamu said that tackling environmental waste a good way of reducing disease outbreaks in the state.

He urged the state government to replicate such projects in rural areas, especially council headquarters.

Edited by Azubuike Okeh

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Environment

Open defecation: UNICEF to support Katsina Govt. to construct latrines in rural communities — official

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it would provide ”technical support” to support the Katsina State Government to construct latrines in markets places and commercial centres in rural communities as part of efforts to check open defecation in the state.

The UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mr. Rabiu Musa made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Katsina.

“UNICEF will provide technical support for the construction of standard VIP latrines that will serve the desired objective in the identified local communities across the participating local government areas,” he said.

The UNICEF communication specialist further said that the agency would provide experts who would construct the standard latrines under the Katsina state Government, UNICEF and Private Sector Partnership strategy.

Musa assured that UNICEF would continue to support the state to get out of open defecation by year 2025.

“We are happy to be part of the investment plan committee to provide the necessary support in ensuring the success of this laudable initiative,” he said.

The communication specialist also urged all stakeholders particularly community and religious leaders to intensify efforts in enlightening their people on the need to construct toilets in their houses, and in the communities through self-help communal efforts.

Musa advised people in rural communities to continue to inculcate the habit of using latrines and hand washing after using latrines, as well as before and after eating.

According to him, these measures were necessary as they would assist greatly in reducing outbreak of diseases in the society.

It would be recalled that Gov. Aminu Masari had recently declared State of Emergency in Water and Sanitation, and launched campaign against open defecation in the state.

Masari said that the administration had so far provided over 3,500 hand pumps, 100 solar boreholes and constructed 450 latrines in various communities, primary schools and healthcare facilities in the state.

Also, 3,000 communities have been certified Open Defecation Free by the UNICEF, all under the Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) project.

He said that open defecation is discouraged by both the religion and culture of people of the state.

“Traditionally, we know even if people are travelling in the bush, they should dig and burry their shit so that flies will not carry it into our food,” he said.

The governor urged the media to assist in sensitising the public on the importance of using latrines in their households as well as dangers associated with the ugly trend of open defecation.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Tukur Muntari.

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