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Environment

NiMet predicts cloudy, sunny weather for Tuesday

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Weather

Abuja, April 22, 2019 The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy to partly cloudy and sunny weather conditions with localised thunderstorms over most parts of the country on Tuesday.

NiMet’s Weather Outlook on Monday in Abuja predicted partly cloudy to cloudy conditions over the central states with scattered thunderstorms in Lokoja, Abuja, Minna, Bida and Ilorin in the morning hours.

It also predicted partly cloudy to cloudy conditions and scattered thunderstorm over Mambilla Plateau, Minna, Makurdi, Ilorin and Abuja with day and night temperatures of 30 to 41 and 20 to 30 degrees Celsius.

The agency predicted that Northern States would experience sunny conditions in the morning hours with prospects of localised thunderstorm over southern Maiduguri and scattered thunderstorms over Yelwa axis later in the day.

It further predicted partly cloudy to sunny conditions over the region with day and night temperatures of 38 to 43 and 22 to 28 degrees Celsius.

According to NiMet, Southern States will experience cloudy morning over the eastern part with chances of scattered thunderstorm activities over the western part.

“Scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening with day and night temperatures of 32 to 36 and 22 to 26 degrees Celsius.

“With the consistent influx of moisture into the country, there are chances of scattered thunderstorm activities over some parts of the central, inland and coastal cities in the next 24 hours,” NiMet predicted.

Environment

COVID-19: Environment sector must be placed in front burner – D-G NOSDRA

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National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) says the environment should be placed in the front burner as it plays a key role in the fight against COVID-19.

Mr Idris Musa, the Director-General of NOSDRA made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday.

“Whatever source the virus emanated from, be it land or water are part of the environment, hence the need to pay close attention to it and make it a priority.’’

Musa noted that the medical materials and kits used by health workers and those infected with the virus would have to be treated specially and disposed of properly in the environment.

“Are we right to put them in the garbage where we keep remnant food or some other things? They have to be treated specially, that is part of environmental management and waste management.

“So environment plays a very key role in this COVID-19 management; that is why we say environment should be taken seriously.

“When we mention three things as priority in Nigeria, environment should be one of the three under any circumstances.

“Whatever you want to do, environment must be there. students are not in school or workers in their workplace because the environment is not safe or conducive.

“You make the environment conducive before any other thing can come into play. That is just the message; we will keep advocating that the environment must continue to be in the forefront not in the back burner. ”

The D-G called for adequate funding for the environment sector, saying that funding had been a major challenge.

He said that it was important to fund the sector adequately to enable it always prepare for emergencies or pandemics as the case may be.

Musa stressed the need for contingency plan rather than taking the “fire brigade approach ” when emergencies occurred.

Musa said that the ministry of environment was ensuring the environment became conducive and safe for people to live and work in.

Speaking on oil spills in the country, he urged those who perpetrated the act of vandalising oil facilities to refrain from it, saying willful damage to oil facilities should not be found in any civilised realm.

He said that these oils spills were affecting the flora and fauna of the environment negatively, “that is the land, air and water’’.

“We have been advocating a stop to those engaging in illegal refining; we must join hands to discourage illegal refining because its activities harm us and the environment and when it harms, it affects everybody.”

Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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Equipment failure caused 2 spills from Agip’s oilfields in Bayelsa – NOSDRA

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The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) says the two recent leaks from Agip’s oilfields in  Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa were caused by equipment failure.

Mr Idris Musa, Director-General, NOSDRA, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Yenagoa.

Musa explained that officials of the agency conducted a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to Agips 10″ Cough Creek-Tebidaba pipeline at Ologbobiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and found the cause to be equipment failure.

He said that officials of the agency also visited the 24″ Ogoda-Brass trunk line site at Okpoama in Brass where a leak discharged a yet-to-be ascertained volume of crude oil into the environment.

The people of Okpoama in Brass local government area had earlier sent a ‘Save Our Soul’ message to the Federal Government, following widespread pollution by the oil spill in the area.

The Chairman of the Okpoama Kingdom Oil and Gas Committe, Percy Jerry Wemi-Kwomain, said that the incident happened at the Amangaetima bush near Ewoama-Brass.

“The oil spill occurred two weeks ago and it discharged enormous amount of crude oil into the adjourning creeks and rivulets, thereby affecting the environment and the livelihood of the people of the area,” Wemi-Kwomain said.

According to him, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) made two secret attempted to fix the leaking pipeline without a JIV conducted by the relevant authorities.

He said the efforts were frustrated by youths placed on surveillance in the area.

“Without letting us know, they came with a swamp-buggy to fix the leaking point. We stopped them twice before they came to inform us that they want us to join them for the JIV.

“The oil is still leaking and that was why we have sent SOS to the Federal Government to come to our aid,” Kwomain had said.

The community leader further noted that the high pressure pipeline was built since 1972 and had recorded failure in several points.

Reacting to the disagreement between Agip and the host communities, the NOSDRA director-general however told NAN that the JIV was done and concluded amicably.

“The host community wanted to be paid a fee before repairs. That was the source of the disagreement, but the matter was later resolved,” Musa said.

Officials of Agip however declined comments on the two incidents.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

 

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COVID-19: CSDevNet, Unilever take advocacy campaign to communities, distributes supplies

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A group, Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet), in collaboration with Unilever, have taken advocacy campaign on COVID-19 to Akpanya and Odolu Communities in Kogi.

Mr Monday Abuh, Advocacy/Stakeholder Engagement Manager, CSDevNet, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

Abuh said Akpanya and Odolu are communities bordering Enugu and Kogi, adding that Kogi has yet to record any COVID-19 case, hence, the need for the interstate border campaign.

He said that items such as handwashing machines, reusable nose masks, hand sanitisers, soaps, and other personal hygiene essentials were distributed.

“CSDevNet, in collaboration with organisations such as WelfareAid Initiatives, Nigerian Civil Society Framework for Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, have been involved in massive campaigns on COVID-19.

“Donation of some handwashing facilities across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria have been made.

“Some of the most recent of such activities held in Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi, where the campaign was taken to various public places and palaces of traditional rulers, where the items were donated.

“In a bid to intensify this effort, CSDevNet went into collaboration with Unilever, which has before now made huge donation to both government and non-governmental organisations across the country and beyond.”

Abuh said the traditional rulers, Michael Atuluku of Odolu and Sylvester Onoja of Akpanya, who took delivery of the items on behalf of their communities, appreciated the gesture.

He said the duo called for increased collaboration with the government from corporate organisations and individuals to overcome the disease in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria describes CSDevNet as a coalition of corporate social organisations in the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, working on the SDGs.

The CSOs commonly promote and advocate pro-poor, climate-friendly and equity-based responses to climate change and sustainable development.

CSDevNet unifies and coordinates isolated civil society efforts on climate change advocacy in Nigeria, to ensure that people-centred response mechanisms are accorded desirable attention and relevance.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Experts highlight impact of climate change on ecosystem

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Dr Kevin Njabo, Africa Director, Centre for Tropical Research (CTR), University of California, USA, has warned of the devastating impact of climate change on the ecosystem.

Njabo spoke during the Zoom meeting organised by the Conservation Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Lagos, on Saturday.

The event is in commemoratiin of the 2020 Biodiversity Day with the theme “Our Solution Are In Nature”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the International Day for Biological Diversity is a United Nations’ international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues.

The African director, who spoke on, “Wildlife and Pandemics,” said that climate change could also have effect on wildlife and environmental sustainability.

According to him, rising global temperature due to climate change will negatively impact on food, water security, increase the spread of diseases and put pressure on the ecosystem.

He said that increase in the spread of zoonotic diseases was as a result of human activities such as agricultural expansion, logging, mining and so on.

“In the last 50 years, the world has lost 60 per cent of all wildlife and the number of new infectious diseases has quadrupled in the last 60 years,” Njabo said.

Also speaking, Dr Joseph Onoja, Technical Director, Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), in his lecture titled “The Role of Wildlife to a Pandemic” listed four ways by which nature provided solutions to pandemic.

According to Onoja, the four ways are sanitation, flood prevention, regulation as well as pest management.

He explained the role of vultures in cleaning up carcasses before they develop bacterium, noting that forest was important in the prevention of flood and landslides.

Another speaker, Dr Anil Kumar, Foundation for Natural Conservation, India, compared the Biodiversity of India to that of Nigeria.

Kumar said that biodiversity was thriving in India because of religion, yoga system, tolerance, strong and legal support.

He said that the main threats to biodiversity are habitat destruction; introduction of invasive species;

genetic pollution; overpopulation of human; over exploitation; climate change and diseases.

On COVID-19, he explained that viruses generally coexisted with their hosts and ecosystem and would be violent when forced to another host or system.

Kumar said that the destruction of biodiversity and habitat loss of their (viruses) primary hosts was the cause of the outbreak of diseases.

He urged people to stop animal trade and the disruption of the ecosystem. .

AIC /

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Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Environment

Expert harps on numerous benefits of tree planting

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An Environmental activist, Mr Rasheed Lawal, has harped on the benefits of tree planting to address climate change.

Lawal made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos.

He said that it was important to actively pursue tree planting because of its inherent commercial benefits.

“With tree planting, we will achieve a better world through mitigating the rapidly changing climate; these trees will be a ‘sink’ and a form of balancing greenhouse gas emissions.

“There will also be provision of jobs and source of livelihood to planters and maintainers of these trees.

“We can make tree planting a front burner issue by promoting the commercial and profit making side of tree planting. This is one way of getting private individuals to establish plantation of commercial trees.

“There are wide ranges of trees whose by-products could be exploited for commercial gains,” he said.

Lawal also called for government’s intervention in provision of incentives for tree farmers as they were doing to food crop farmers.

“Forestry departments of the ministries of agriculture across states have neglected the campaign for tree planting and the impending benefits. This should be revived.

“Just as arable crops farmers are getting incentives from the government, tree farmers should also benefit from such grants.

“The usual or correct answer to address deforestation issues will be government regulations and control. But with experience, that alone will not stop these acts, especially the illegal wood miners,”Lawal said.

The expert said there was need to reduce the toxic and climate wrenching greenhouse gases directly linked to most companies and industries.

“Hence, it is now up to us to engage in ventures that will curb the excesses of company’s emissions into the environment. It is a form of balancing the scale.

“Trees being planted will definitely suffice for the deficit,” he said.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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One feared dead, 2 injured in accident on Otedola Bridge

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A tanker loaded with petrol on Thursday rammed into a bus and a car on the Otedola Bridge,  Lagos State, resulting in loss of a life.

The Director -General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu,

told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that two people were severely injured in the accident which occurred at 8:30a.m.

Oke-Osanyintolu said that the agency’s officials had, however, removed the vehicles from the road to ease traffic.

According to him, a female adult lost her life to the accident, while a male adult and a child got injured.

He said  that the corpse  of a female adult had been taken to a mortuary, while the injured were being treated.

IMG-20200521-WA0012-300×225.jpg 300w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200521-WA0012-768×576.jpg 768w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200521-WA0012.jpg 1008w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-lazy-src=”https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200521-WA0012-300×225.jpg”>IMG-20200521-WA0012-300×225.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”225″ srcset=”https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200521-WA0012-300×225.jpg 300w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200521-WA0012-768×576.jpg 768w, https://portal.nannews.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG-20200521-WA0012.jpg 1008w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px”>
A picture of accident scene at Otedola Bridge in Lagos on Thursday

He said that the affected vehicles are a Volkswagen car marked AAA 722 FU, a Mazda bus marked KJA 581 XL and a tanket that had no number.

AIC /

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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NGO urges FG to do environmental audit of Nigeria coal mining sites

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A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), on Thursday urged the Federal Government to carry out environmental audit of coal mining sites in the country.

Its Executive Director, Mr David Michael, gave this advice in a statement to newsmen in Abuja.

According to him, coal mining in some communities has led to extensive environmental degradation such as contamination of air, water and soil which continue to negatively affect the health of local communities.

He mentioned that Coal mining was currently being done in Maigaga community in Ako local government area of Gombe, Awo Apkali and Onupi communities in Ankpa LGA of Kogi.

He also mentioned Okobo community in Ankpa LGA of Kogi as well as Owukpa in Ogbadibo LGA of Benue adding that some of the sites were mined by some indigenous cement manufacturers.

Michael  said also that the Federal Government should investigate and correct the human rights violations in coal mining communities in the country.

He said Federal Government needed to wade into the human rights violations in coal mining communities as Nigeria was one of the countries that made commitments against climate change.

“We would like to urge the Federal Ministry of Environment to immediately carry out an environmental audit of all the coal mining sites in Nigeria.

“Furthermore, we would like to urge the Federal Government to immediately investigate and correct the human rights violations in coal mining communities in Nigeria

“(This is) particularly in some communities such as Maigaga, Itobe, Onupi, Awo Akplokuta, Awo Ojuwo, Awo Ate, Ajobe Afeanyaka and Utala communities in Kogi,  Benue and Gombe states,” he said.

Michael said that all mining operations especially those undertaken by multinational companies should adhere to the UN Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights.

“What has been witnessed in Kogi and Gombe states is that fossil fuel companies and large corporations when in need of natural resources, initiate talks with the local communities and consequently enter into agreements whose benefits are heavily skewed against the local people.

“These companies are benefiting greatly from the goodwill of the local communities and are not honouring the agreements entered into.

“There is an urgent need to review the Community Development Agreements signed between the coal mining communities and the companies,” he said.

Michael said Federal Government made commitments under the Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which were reductions in greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“This was where all countries that signed the UNFCCC were asked to publish their commitments to fight climate change.

“In order to reduce carbon emissions, Nigeria should therefore ensure the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions starting with the phasing out of coal-fired plants.

“Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa should be a beacon for other African states by accelerating its national plans that would see a rapid, just transition towards 100 per cent renewable energy for all Nigerians,” he said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Lockdown: Parents, pupils examine effectiveness of e-learning

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Against the backdrop of e-learning adopted by some schools, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant closure of schools, some parents and pupils on Thursday appraised the effectiveness of e-learning.

The parents and pupils, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said that the online study was meant to keep pupils busy during the lockdown.

They, however, noted that online study could not be compared with physical teaching and learning in the classroom.

NAN reports that the Federal Government and State Governments in the wake of the lockdown to curb spread of the COVID-19, initiated various online learning platforms for conventional education to continue.

Mrs Ndidi Ofodile, the Proprietress of Nitabel Nursery and Primary School Ojo, Lagos, one of the private schools into e-learning, said that though parents were informed about it through text messages, not all pupils were participating in the online learning.

Ofodile said that the online learning would have been more comprehensive if parents had made devices available to enable the pupils receive the study worksheets sent through WhatsApp, Google classroom and zoom networks.

“Parents are billed half of the pupils’ regular school fee to pay the teachers and procure other essential devices to aid the online learning sessions,” she said.

Mr John Williams-Lawal, whose two children in another private school had been participating in their school’s online classes, noted that the online teaching lacked coordination.

“It is just like sending a text message to someone at the other end and expecting a reply from the person. This variant of teaching and learning is incomplete.

“Most time, the channel or the platform gets crowded with responses from participants and that of the teacher will be blurred in the system, making it difficult for pupils to know what the teacher says on a particular topic.

’’The challenges are numerous; physical teaching is far better.

’’In a physical class, the teacher employs different teaching aids to enhance the pupils’ assimilation. In the class, a teacher compels pupils to learn by intuition which is difficult to implement online,” he said.

Williams-Lawal urged parents to provide the required learning materials like text books for their children to study before the schools reopen, saying that one rarely forgot knowledge acquired physically.

Janet Alaobi and Adeola Arowolo, both pupils of a public school in Lagos, said that they seldom watched and studied on television channels organised by the state ministry of education.

Alaobi in Basic Four said that because she rarely understood what the teachers on television were teaching, she did not show interest in the sessions.

She noted that the teachers were unlike her school teachers.

She wished that schools should reopen to enable them continue normal academic works, noting that staying at home was no longer exciting.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

 

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COVID-19: Electricity consumers decry tariff hike, say timing is bad

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Some consumers in Lagos on Thursday decried the hike in electricity billings which had been proposed to take-off on June 1.

The consumers decried this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria   in Lagos.

They described the move as insensitive to the plight of people who were still grappling with the distorted livelihoods occasioned by the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.

They however, confirmed that there had been improvement in electricity supply which had reduced their spending on fuel to power their generators.

NAN reports that the hike was initially planned for April 1, but was put off by the National Assembly to give room for its deliberation.

It reports that the Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) had earlier in the week indicated its plan to implement the hike by June 1 to the consternation of users.

One of them, Mr Joseph Ogu, Director, Joe Tech Engineering and Construction Ltd., a welding outfit, said the hike would further increase overhead cost of production and excert economic pressure on people.

According to him, hiking the tariff this time will reduce job intake as cost of production will increase resulting in some hired workers being dropped as overhead increases.

“The economy and people are still trying to come out of the coronavirus pandemic; anything in that direction now will portray government in bad light.

“Though the energy sector is being run by private companies, people do not know this and will still look in the direction of the state for solutions and will cast aspersions on the state for any ill-treatment from the sector,” he said.

Ogu appealed to the electricity companies to put the plan on hold to allow Nigerians recover from coronavirus pandemic that had made life difficult for people these past three months.

Mr Anthony Ibezim, a bottled water producer, said people were looking forward to the two months non-payment of electricity bill muted by government as part of the palliative for coronavirus pandemic.

“So many people are finding it difficult to pay the current charges and here we are, talking of an upward review.

“This is some of the things that alienates people from their government that gives rise to citizens disregarding the state.

”It is appalling for the state to keep churning out policies that will see people in despair,” he said.

Ibezim said that his electricity bill in the water factory was in the region of N65,000 monthly, which he struggle to pay in addition to other runing cost.

He said with the planned increment, he might pay up to N100, 000 per month, adding that for him to cope, he might lay off some staff and also increase price of bottled water.

Ibezim noted that he was yet to see any reason to hike electricity tariff considering the number of hours people enjoy power supply in a day.

He said that if there were any need at all to hike tariff such plan should be reexamined, so that the hardship in the society with this Coronavirus pandemic did not get out of hand.

Mr James Okorafor and Mr Kenddy Azu, Barbar shop operators, said that such increment was a disincentive to small scale businesses that were managing to stand on their own.

Azu called on the government to prevail on the electricity companies to drop the idea for its bad public posture.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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AFDB funding 37 road projects in Abia – Commissioner

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Roads

Aba (Abia), April 20, 2020 Abia Commissioner for Works, Chief Bob Ogu, says the African Development Bank (AFDB) is funding about 37 road projects in the state.

Ogu disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Aba.

He said that apart from the Osisioma interchange project, the state was still planning out the construction of 37 road projects across the state which was being funded by the AFDB.

“That of African Development Bank is on course; there are about 37 roads that are funded by AFDB and the projects have phases.

“We have passed the first phase which is getting approval for the projects to take off, while the second phase is the actual design for the roads.

“The bank gave Abia state a grant of 1.7 million dollars for the designs of the roads. They ought to come for the design inspection.

“We have recruited consultants that will do the design, but it is still this COVID-19 that’s keeping them.

“When the design is completed, it will be sent to them for approval and they will release the money for the actual construction,” he said.

Ogu said that when there would be free movement, the bank’s personnel would pay Abia a visit to supervise the progress of the project.

He said that the Abia State University Teaching Hospital road was also being worked on by the China Zhonghau Construction company handling the flyover.

He said the state’s agreement with the contractor China Zhonghau was that the dry season would ensure that the road was completed before the end of the year.

He said that no one could tell when the road and some others would be completed because of the hitches caused by the COVID-19 infections.

Ogu said that before the year ends, the descent and the ascent of Osisioma interchange would be completed as work was still going on at the site in spite of COVID-19 challenges.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

 

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Anambra Assembly urges Obiano to intervene in erosion-ravaged communities

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The Anambra State House of Assembly on Wednesday urged Gov. Willie Obiano to intervene through relevant ministries and agencies to control the erosion ravaging some communities and roads in the state.

The resolution followed a motion moved under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, by Mr Patrick Udoba representing Anambra West Constituency.

According to Udoba, there is the need to urgently address the problem as the residents of the community affected cannot move about easily as most of the roads have been damaged by gully erosion.

“It has become necessary for me to notify the assembly on the need to call on the governor to rescue our community before erosion takes over.

“The government needs to take steps to control the gully erosion ravaging Ngene Okwuazu and INEC Roads in Umueri, Anambra West Local Government Area of the state.

“These roads are the major links that connect the area with the rest of Omambala region and the entire state at large.

“This erosion problem has become a great challenge to the economy of the area and the state in general,” he said.

Contributing, Mr Emeka Aforka (Orumba North), expressed worry that the area might be cut-off from the entire state if nothing was done to salvage the situation.

Aforka, however, suggested that the state government set-up a taskforce on erosion and declare a state of emergency on erosion in the state.

In his views, Dr Paschal Agbodike, the Deputy Speaker representing Ihiala Constituency said that ecological problem was a major problem in the state and the commissioner for environment needed to do something about it.

“The safety and lives of the people are at risk and the government cannot turn a blind eye to their plight. They voted for this administration and they need to feel the impact of government in that area,” he said.

The assembly presided over by the Speaker, Mr Uche Okafor, unanimously adopted the motion and called on the state government to rescue the people of the affected communities.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

 

 

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Flood: Lagos Govt says ongoing cleaning of drainage will continue till Sept.

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The Lagos State Government says the ongoing clearing and dredging of all drainage channels across the state will continue till September to prevent flooding.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources,(MOE&WR), Mr Tunji Bello made the disclosure during the inspection tour of all the ongoing drainage projects in the State on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to him, the cleaning have been designed to ensure that water flows through all the drainage channels unhindered all year round.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Tunji Bello was accompanied by Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr Joe Igbokwe and Permanent Secretary, Mr Olalekan Shodeinde and other senior officials in the ministry.

Bello reiterated that the present administration was committed to proffer a lasting solution to the issue of flooding across the state.

He explained that special attention were being paid to heavily  clogged up and drains through out the state, which has aided flooding of such areas.

Bello explained that the tour became necessary so as to ascertain the true state of canals, drains as well as resolving every problem identified with flooding while listening to the residents.

“I will like to appeal to all residents to take good care of these canals and drains as the government is cleaning them, kindly take ownership and do away from encroaching canals and drains right of way.

“Some of the areas visited today include: Yaya Abatan Drainage channel by Ajobo street, Road collector drain/Alamutu collector (Fagba-Gudugba), Ajuwon River by Iju/Ajuwon bridge, Ilo River Upstream (by Toll Gate, Ifako Ijaiye).

” Others are Pipeline collector Drain Idimu, Irepodun collector Drain Idimu, kotun Channel by Ikotun, Abeokuta Anjorin Channel/ Egbe Stream by Egbe Bridge, Guiness Idi Mangoro collector drain Agege and Oko-Oba Channel.

“The Iju Road collector drain/Alamutu collector (Fagba-Gudugba) should be revisited with extra dredging, directing all illegal structures constructed on the alignment be removed,” Bello said.

He explained that the on going clearing of Ajuwon River, by Iju/Ajuwon bridge was necessary so as to link up with Yaya Abatan Drainage channel by Ajobo street for free flow of water, adding that the saw mill erected on the canal would have to give way.

Also speaking, the Special Adviser on the Drainage Services, Engr Joe Igbokwe said resident engineers from the ministry would always be around to work with the Community Development Association (CDAs) to ensure adequate monitoring after the completion of the clearing and cleaning exercise.

The Permanent Secretary, Drainage services of the ministry, Mr Olalekan Shodeinde, called on residents whose buildings were on governments drainage alignment to be prepared to vacate such buildings as government would not relent in it’s effort to ensure a flood free Lagos.

The Chairman of Ilo Awela Community Development Association in Ifako Ijaiye Local Government, Mr Emmanuel Ajayi expressed great appreciation to the government for the clearing of Ilo River Upstream (by Toll Gate, Ifako Ijaiye).

Ajayi said that residents already had committee in place to monitor the drains against refuse dumping.

He said that ever since the project commenced that residents were no longer experiencing flooding challenges that they usually experienced in the past with loss of lives and property.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Expert calls for enforcement of EPR policy to boost recycling in Nigeria

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A recycling expert, Mr Adewole Taiwo, has called for the enforcement of the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) policy to boost recycling business in the country.

Taiwo, an Executive Director at Recyclepoints, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos.

The expert said it was necessary for the government at all levels to ensure the enforcement of the EPR if recycling business would thrive in the country.

NAN reports that in the field of waste management, the EPR is a strategy to add all environmental costs associated with a product throughout the product life cycle to the market price of the product.

Taiwo said the recycling activities in Nigeria was quite low and the informal sector controlled 80 per cent of the market.

The director said that the government needed to pay attention to the informal sector.

“The formal recyclers still rely on the informal sector to meet up their demand, I believe a full implementation of EPR will boost recycling in Nigeria.

“If the EPR policy is fully activated and implemented at state and national level, this will help push recycling business forward in the country.

“It is important that the government enforces full implementation of the EPR and provide incentives that would drive the recycling industry to greater heights.

“There is a policy already that addresses recycling and recyclables; the EPR policy which is meant to drive the recycling initiatives nationwide but the problem is improper implementation,” Taiwo said.

The expert encouraged more people to tap into the recycling business sector owing to its viability as he called for more responsibility on the part of producers of recyclables.

“Most producers of these recyclable items are just on holiday making money pushing out more production without provision for collection or buy back.

“There are only a few of these recyclable producers that are members of the Food and Beverages Recycling Alliance.

“Recycling is a lucrative job and the space is not yet fully occupied, this is the best time to come in. There are, indeed, many value chains in the business.

“However to succeed in the recycling business sector, you have to bring in innovation and idea of driving collections.

“For young graduates seeking employment, there are many ways of getting involved in recycling, they can first start as interns, learn on the job and there are many value chains in the recycling business,” the expert said.

In addition, the expert spoke on growth witnessed in the recycling sector during the COVID-19 lockdown period as so many people were encouraged to pick up recycling.

“During the COVID-19 Pandemic, a lot of household took time to understand recycling and embarked on waste sorting.

“Some corporate bodies also encouraged their staff to embark on waste sorting because they engaged on corporate recycling at their organization’s level,” he said.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Environment

Environmentalist urges strict action against oil sector’s Greenhouse gas emissions

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An environmentalist, Mr Emmanuel Emechete, has urged  the Federal Government to take strict actions against the increasing Greenhouse Gas (GhG) emissions coming  from the country’s oil and gas sector.

 

Emechete made the appeal  in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.

 

The expert said  that the government should prioritise saving  lives and  future generations by protecting the environment from  GhG emissions,  the monetary gains notwithstanding.

 

“The Nigerian oil sector,  apart from its direct emissions of GhG,  also contributes to a large part of the total emissions in the country indirectly,  through its many products used by millions of Nigerians.

 

“The oil and gas sector is a major producer of Greenhouse gases. However,  recent technology to turn gas to liquid fuel has been introduced such as  the Escravos Gas-to-Liquid plant located in the shores of the Niger-Delta region and Lagos State.

 

“The government needs to be more strict with the companies and multinationals in the sector to prevent them from ruining  the nation’s environment.

 

“Everything should not be about monetary value, we need to think of the harm our actions and inactions bring to our health and  future generations,” the expert said.

 

Emechete said  that the nation’s oil and gas sector produced all the major greenhouse gas categories and the country should take necessary actions to curb these emissions to save the lives of Nigerians.

 

“Statistics show that Nigeria’s oil sector is said to be the biggest emitters of Greenhouse gases.

 

“Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Methane (CH4) Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Water Vapour, and Ozone (O3) Water Vapor (H2O) Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)etc. are the major sources of Greenhouse gases.”

 

He said that  the oil and gas sector had been  producing a large quantity of these harmful gases on daily basis.

 

“Many of the oil fields, plants and refineries work non stop and have been doing so for years.

 

“The volume of GhG they emit per week surpasses what one can imagine,” Emechete said.

 

In addition, he said  that greenhouse gases made the earth warmer and caused global warming,  leading to climate change (or variation as some experts would prefer to put it.)

 

“This greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop some of the solar radiation that is normally expected to leave the earth after it has reached the earth’s surface.

 

“Greenhouse gases reduces production and reproduction in plant, animals and humans. They affect life expectancy and health.

 

“They damage crops and the whole ecosystem. They make the environment unsuitable for many animals, humans and vulnerable species of animals and plants,” he said.

 

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Dada (NAN)

 

 

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Environment

Group donates items, sensitises community on COVID 19 prevention in Kaduna

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Crock City Homecoming Group, a community advancement initiative, has sensitised residents of Ungwan Boro, Chikun Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, on how to prevent coronavirus (COVID 19) infections.

Timothy Felix, Project Coordinator of the group, said on Friday that apart from enlightening residents, the group was also distributing face masks, hand sanitisers, and food stuff such as rice, garri (cassava flakes) and noodles.

He said the initiative was aimed at complementing efforts of the state’s Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies, on safety precautions as the best method of defeating the virus.

“Since the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic, more sensitisation and enlightenment need to be carried out in rural areas that are vulnerable to the virus due to inadequate water and hygiene facilities.

He said the group had donated more than 600 hand sanitisers each to four communities in two LGAs across the state in the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic.

Felix said the items were donated by well-meaning Nigerians from across the country.

“The individual donors got across to us from our social media platforms to support our cause in ensuring COVID-19 free communities.

He advised the communities to always clean and disinfect their environment, avoid touching surfaces, handshakes, hugs and touching of eyes, nose or mouth for now.

Responding on behalf of the residents, Mrs. Rakiya Ayuba thanked the group for the sensitisation.

“Since the COVID 19 pandemic, we have not received any palliative, so we really thank the group for the support, and I assure you that we will take advantage of the information we have acquired, as well as put into good use the palliatives.

Another resident, Mrs Mary Kuhiop, said that the donations would assist many families in the community, and called on other well meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of vulnerable communities at the grassroots.

Edited By: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

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COVID-19: CSO cautions Nigerians against stigmatisation, misinformation

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Amb. Ahmed Shehu, Chairman, Northeast Civil Society Network, a CSO, on Friday warned Nigerians against stigmatisation of coronavirus (COVID-19), patients that either tested negative or positive, but had been discharged.

Shehu, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , in an interview in Abuja, also warned against the dangers misinformation on the global pandemic posed, saying it could lead to more health challenges.

According to him, the rise in harmful stereotyping, stigmatisation and pervasive misinformation related to COVID-19, can further complicate the already serious situation.

“Stigmatisation can increase the ongoing transmission, and this can make it difficult for the disease to be controlled.

“Stigma and misinformation can increase the likelihood of potential infected persons”fear of seeking immediate medical attention.

“It will also encourage the patients to hide, instead of boldly coming forward for medical help,” he said.

Shehu urged Nigerians to support broader dissemination of public health messages and ensure that such information reached marginalised and vulnerable communities.

He said the information must be based on reliable scientific data and the latest official health advice.

The chairman noted however, that some Nigerians were being fed information that could be more deadly than COVID-19, adding that such act should be discouraged.

“While disseminating any COVID-19 information, make sure you use simple language and avoid clinical terms and abbreviations, this will help the vulnerable communities to understand the message clearly.

“Also, ensure that reliable and accurate information is provided at community level. All these measures will prevent stigmatisation, misinformation, as well as promote the importance of proper prevention,” he advised.

Shehu, who also the member representing civil society in the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee, advised Nigerians to always report any symptoms or cases of COVID-19 to appropriate authorities for immediate medical action.

He said that the organisation’s objective was to  support effective and massive awareness creation on COVID-19 in various communities to curb spread.

He said it was in line with this that the organisation collaborated with UNICEF and Borno State Government, to train 25 community-based organisations and 350 volunteers on COVID-19 sensitisation in the state.

He said that the intervention greatly impacted on more than 94 communities and three local government areas in the state.

Edited By: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

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Environment

Environmental lawyers demand action on fish death in Niger Delta

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Environmental lawyers in the Niger Delta have expressed concerns over the looming public health danger occasioned by the contamination and massive death of fish along the Atlantic coastline of the region.

The lawyers under the aegis of the Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria (AELN) urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to check the increased toxicity of the nation’s territorial waters.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that residents along the Atlantic coastline in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers have reported massive death of croaker fish floating and littering the coastline since February.

The group made the call in a joint statement by Prof. Sam Dike, the President AELN and Mr Iniuro Wills, the President Ijaw Professionals Association, Homeland chapter on Thursday in Yenagoa.

Mr Kennedy Woryi, the Secretary, AELN who also signed the statement, called on the Federal Government to urgently initiate a full scale independent investigation into the matter with a view to saving lives.

The association noted that in the last eight weeks, varying from location to location, communities along the Atlantic coast in the Niger Delta had been inundated with masses of dead contaminated fishes washing up on their shores.

”This strange phenomenon portends grave danger to the affected states and communities as it will further compound the public health and economic complications that they are still struggling to grapple with as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

”Due to limited awareness of the health consequences, rural poverty and slow action by governments at all levels, some community dwellers have been selling and consuming the dead contaminated fishes, some of which may find their way into the markets and meal tables, in neighbouring communities and cities.

”This marine disaster and the global coronavirus crisis together pose a threat of double jeopardy for Nigeria’s coastal communities and our territorial marine ecology.

”There is need for quick action by the state and federal governments to combat the strange and continuing incidence of masses of dead and contaminated fishes, washing up ashores and beaches along the Atlantic coast.

“Worst hit are Bonny, Foropa, Sobiekiri, Okololaunch areas to Light House all the way to Ifoko in Andoni area.  Numerous other coastal communities of the Akassa Kingdom, Twon-Brass and other such communities in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Akwa Ibom are affected.

“There are reports that coastal communities in Ondo, Lagos and Cross River States may also be affected,” it said.

It added that some dwellers in the affected communities have been harvesting and selling these fishes to the general public.

The group described the development as unfortunate, saying that the communities and the general public were yet to be sensitised about the dangers of consuming hazardous dead fish.

According to AELN, the stench of dead fishes has also polluted the air around the affected communities adding that it is therefore imperative to ensure the restoration of the ambient air and polluted marine ecosystem.

”The impact of the disaster extends to most of the coastal states of Nigeria and will therefore require an inclusive and cross-cutting plan of action for verification of causation, impact scoping and adequate remediation.

”It is against this backdrop that we are calling on the Federal Government to promptly institute a full scale independent investigation of this marine pollution disaster by a multi stakeholder panel of experts, reflecting the appropriate environmental and marine related agencies.

“It should include experts representing affected communities, relevant state government agencies, the private sector of the petroleum and marine/maritime industries and credible environmental NGOs.

“This is without prejudice to the ongoing investigations by various state governments.

”At the conclusion of investigations, all persons or organisations directly culpable (if any), for this disaster on our coastal populations, no matter how highly connected, should be brought to book.

“The culprit should be compelled to restore the environment, pay adequate compensation to all affected communities and face stiff sanctions.

”We particularly call on the federal and state governments to take accelerated action on all fronts against this disaster and the looming danger that official inaction may pose,” the association said.

Meanwhile, the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on Thursday said that its investigations on the massive death of the fishes had traced the incident to the discharge of toxic industrial and domestic wastes entering the water bodies.

Mr Idris Musa, the Director-General of the NOSDRA told NAN that the agency discovered that the dead fishes and water sediments were polluted by heavy metals in high concentrations beyond regulatory limits.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

 

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Environment

10 buildings collapse at erosion site in Onitsha North LGA

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No fewer than 10 buildings including a school and church have collapsed at Obeleagu St. and Nkissi Aroli axis of Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra following erosion caused by downpour.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Obeleagu community in Onitsha metropolis has been threatened by gully erosion which has turned into an unending nightmare for the people of the area.

NAN recalls that the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor accompanied by the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Nkem Okeke had in October 2019, inspected the erosion site and promised that work would be carried out on the site.

However, member representing Onitsha North 2 State Constituency, Mr Edward Ibuzo described the situation as “an emergency that needs urgent attention”.

Ibuzo, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Environment, expressed sadness that the erosion had continued to worsen each time it rained.

“The issues have been discussed at the plenary of the state House of Assembly and we have informed the state governor, even the Federal Government had some time ago sent a delegation to inspect the damage.

“Things like this should be taken seriously because it involves lives and property which is the responsibility of government,” the lawmaker said.

While promising to draw the attention of NEWMAP to the erosion site, Ibuzo advised residents of the area to relocate pending when palliative work would be carried on the site.

A resident of the area, Mr Godwin Aniakor expressed sadness that several property had been destroyed due to the erosion.

Aniakor, who said the erosion had rendered many citizens homeless, noted that it started eight years ago.

He described the level of menace as “devastating and worrisome” and urged both the federal and state government to come to their rescue.

Another resident, Mr Christian Onwudinjo, who was seen dismantling the structure of his building said they were living in danger therefore had to make plans for relocation.

Onwudinjo also appealed to the government to intervene in the situation as the erosion might worsen and lead to unavoidable deaths as well as further loss of property.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

 

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Coronavirus: Community transmission, crowdy ATM veritable source – EHOAN

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The Environmental Health Officers Association (EHOAN), Lagos State Chapter, has observed that a crowded Automated Teller Machine (ATM) constituted a veritable source of community transmission of the coronavirus disease.

Mr Taiwo Awonuga, the EHOAN Lagos chapter President, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.

Awonuga was reacting to findings that social distancing was being jettisoned at many ATM points.

He said that it was the obligations of banks to ensure their customers obey all safety guidelines.

Awonuga decried the exponential rise in the number of infected persons in the country.

He, therefore, tasked banks to streamline their services to be in tandem with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s (NCDC) social distancing recommendation to check personal transmission of the disease.

“The rat-race going on in many ATM outlets calls for decreeing approach by all to discourage the high level of infection through in such crowded outlets.

“People line up in very close contact in the sun amidst sweat and droppings from their bodies.

“It calls for a change in attitude from banks and customers too, if we must halt community spread of the coronavirus, especially in the suburb where ATM are few but with dense population.

“The confusion at ATM points are a common sight in the country because people need their money to cater for daily needs in that zeal to get cash to lose their guard and get infected by vectors around them,’’ he said.

The environment health officer, who advised people to be safety conscious in public, called on the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on the management of the coronavirus, to compel banks to open up more cash dispensary outlets to forestall people getting infected at crowded ATMs

NAN reports that more than 5,000 Nigerians have been infected with the virus within two months, as health authorities are battling with limited resources to bring the crisis under control.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Anambra: Agulu/Nanka/Oko erosion project not yet awarded — NEWMAP

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The Nigeria Erosion and Water Management Project (NEWMAP), Anambra Office, said the Federal Government had yet to award the contract for the intervention and control of  Agulu/Nanka/Oko massive gully erosion.

NEWMAP made the clarification in a statement issued by Mr Emeka Achebe, its Project Communications Officer, in Awka on Thursday.

Achebe said this while reassuring leadership of the three communities on their joint letter of appeal to the World Bank, being joint financiers of NEWMAP, that the project would be given priority attention.

He, however, urged the communities to exercise patience, saying NEWMAP had met with the representatives of the affected communities and that their appeals would be forwarded to the national office of NEWMAP for due consideration.

The NEWMAP Communications Officer, described as false the allegations that the leadership of the communities had embezzled the money meant for the gully erosion project.

He stated that NEWMAP had met “following the letter of appeal by the leadership of the Agulu, Nanka and Oko communities of Anambra State to the World Bank Country Director”.

He acknowledged that the letter tried to insinuate that the erosion project of the World Bank through NEWMAP had been abandoned.

“The Anambra NEWMAP has met with the leadership of the three communities to address the concerns raised in the said letter and redress the misinformation carried in the news media following their appeal.

“The World Bank, Federal and Anambra governments have not abandoned the three communities.

“We sympathise with the people of Agulu, Nanka and Oko communities, especially their traditional rulers, on the erosion menace in their communities.

“The misinformation and accusations against leadership of the three communities of embezzling the funds for the award of the site is both false and regrettable.

“Neither Anambra Government, Federal Government nor World Bank has awarded any contract for this site.

“It is impossible that contract for such a high-visibility project and scope be awarded without anyone hearing about it.

NEWMAP will escalate the appeal made by the three communities to the appropriate quarters for quick action and advise that all appeals, questions and clarifications should be directed to the State Government through the Ministry of Environment in Awka,” he stated.

Achebe said Anambra had benefitted immensely from NEWMAP’s  intervention in active collaboration with the state government with 14 projects either completed or ongoing.

He noted that this was against the initial target of five projects at inception of the interventions in the state.

He said NEWMAP had also provided technical support for relevant projects in the state in line with world best practices, adding that a lot still needed to be done especially now that there was high threat of negative impacts of climate change to the environment.

“Anambra State has benefited immensely from NEWMAP across 14 communities where erosion works is ongoing or completed. This is against the initial target of five sites at the conception of the project.

“This is a solid indication of Gov. Willie Obiano’s commitment to reversing the threat of erosion in Anambra for good.

“The World Bank supported Anambra in carrying out all the required studies and engineering designs with a public display to allow for input from the communities.

“It was to ensure the delivery of a fit-for-purpose intervention, according to global best practices.

“This includes a storm water masterplan for Onitsha metro area, which will provide the blueprint for permanent solution to the flood problem in Onitsha and its vicinity.

“The state is exploring opportunities for additional sources of fund for climate change and ecological problems in Anambra,” he said.

Achebe said Anambra NEWMAP was appealing to communities in Anambra to adopt the right environmental practices to arrest emerging gullies, especially now that the rains were here.

The communities had in their letter recalled their support for NEWMAP during its preliminary works such as engineering design, survey, resettlement plan and environmental impact assessment.

“We are hereby pleading that you use your good offices to cause urgent intervention at Agulu-Nanka-Oko as promised by NEWMAP without delay.

“Any further delay will not only amount to loss of lives and property but will also add to escalated costs,” they pleaded.
APC/

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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