A waste collection system tasked with eliminating plastic from oceans has on Wednesday begun raking up debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Boyan Slat, the founder of The Ocean Cleanup project, at a press conference in Rotterdam said the project has started after a year of testing and one major setback.
“Today, I am very proud to share with you that we are now catching plastics.’’
Slat, 25, said the passive clean-up system is able to capture plastics of all size and classes, including micro-plastics.
He said the project, founded in 2013, aims to install floating devices to catch plastic debris in five garbage patches formed by ocean currents.
According to him, the first device was placed in the biggest, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, around 2,000 kilometres off the coast of California.
Slat explained that the method involves two plastic pipes around 600 metres long floating on the surface of the water, forming a U-shape with a 3-metre long underwater screen beneath.
He further explained that the rubbish is washed into the U-shape, and can then be collected.
Slat said the structure was pulled out of San Francisco Bay into Open Ocean in September 2018.
He said the vessel soon had to be towed back to land after a design flaw resulted in problems in retaining the plastic collected.
Slat said those technical challenges had been addressed and that the process of designing a second system that can operate without human aid for even longer periods of time than the first model was under way.
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Ali Baba-Inuwa
We’ll invest ‘Abacha loots’ in Mambilla Power Project, boost fight against COVID-19 – Presidency
The Presidency says part of the latest return of 311 million dollars ‘Abacha loot’ from the United States will be invested in the Mambilla Power Project as well as boosting the ongoing fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
He expressed optimism that the Mambilla power project, when completed, would provide electricity to some three million homes or over 10 million citizens in the country.
Shehu revealed that part of the funds had already been allocated, and would be used ”in full, for vital and decades-overdue infrastructure development:
”The second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressways – creating tens of thousands of Nigerian construction jobs and local skills, which can then be useful in future projects.
”Part of the funds will also be invested in the Mambilla Power Project which, when completed, will provide electricity to some three million homes – over ten million citizens – in our country.
”The receipt of these stolen monies – and the hundreds of millions more that have already been returned from the United Kingdom and Switzerland – are an opportunity for the development of our nation, made far harder for those decades the country was robbed of these funds.
”Indeed, previous monies returned last year from Switzerland – some 320 million dollars dollars – are already being used for the government’s free school feeding scheme, a stipend for millions of disadvantaged citizens, and grain grants for those in severe food hardship.
”Without these funds, the fight against COVID-19 would be even tougher.”
According to the presidential aide, the return of the stolen funds is a testament to the growing and deepening relationship between the government of Nigeria and the government of the United States.
”For years many countries deemed successive Nigerian administrations as too corrupt, too venal and too likely to squander and re-steal the stolen monies – so they did not return the funds.
According to him, the Buhari administration is committed to, and is enacting – total and zero tolerance to corruption in politics and public administration.
”The days when government was seen and used by the political class as their personal ATM to empty are over.
”The time of better governance and clean hands in the affairs of state is here to stay,” he said.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
World Bank approves loans for Myanmar’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Project
The World Bank announced on Monday it has approved 50 million U.S. dollars of loans for the Myanmar COVID-19 Emergency Response Project as part of global emergency support operations through a dedicated fast-track COVID-19 facility.
According to World Bank’s release, the project mainly will focus on upscaling of Intensive Care Units (ICU) at selected hospitals along with capacity building of health staff and officials as well as community engagement activities throughout the country.
The loans will cover eight central level hospitals and 43 Region and State level hospitals across the country with the implementation rolled out in a phased manner starting with the most at-risk areas such as densely populated areas and areas with frequent travel and migration.
The emergency response project complements the World Bank-financed Myanmar Essential Health Services Access Project (EHSAP) which since 2015 has been supporting over 12,000 primary health care facilities across the country, the release added.
At present, Myanmar has reported 117 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with five deaths so far in the country.
African Development Bank strongly rebuts claims that it plans to provide financial support to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project
The African Development Bank has become aware of an inaccurate news article stating that the institution plans to provide financial support to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project.
The Bank strongly refutes the claims in the misleading article, which references a letter by a group of civil society organizations and climate change advocates asking the institution to withdraw from the project due to its potential social and environmental damage.
Here are the facts:
- The NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) has not provided financing to any Private Sector Company for upstream oil or gas pipeline projects in East Africa.
- No commitment was therefore made to any party to fund the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project. The project is not included in the Bank’s lending program.
- The Bank is strongly committed to renewable energies.
It is important to point out that the African Development Bank Group has for more than a decade played a leading role in crafting policies and delivering investments that promote sustainable development practices on the continent, including climate adaptation and resilience.
The Bank is committed to facilitating the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient development in African countries across all its operational priority areas.
From commitment to action
These commitments are articulated in the range of strategies, policies and action plans which are aligned to all Bank operations and are available to the public. In 2019, approximately 36% of total financial approvals were directed to climate action. The African Development Bank further commits to doubling its climate finance to $25 billion between 2020 and 2025. Furthermore, the Bank is joining forces with the other Multilateral Development Banks to design a framework that ensures that all our investments align with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
100% renewable projects and sustainable, low-emission agriculture and infrastructure
The Bank has prioritized investment in renewables and has not invested in any coal project in the past decade as it sees renewable energy as the future. Since the launch of the Bank’s Strategy for the New Deal on Energy in 2016, up to 2019 renewable energy projects constitute about 85% percent on average of the Bank’s power generation investments. The Bank is working closely with African countries to realize their renewable energy potential and has developed dedicated programs and instruments to achieve this goal.
Upholding the principles of inclusion, participation, ownership, transparency and accountability
The Bank recognizes and appreciates the critical role that civil society organisations play in promoting transparency and accountability in all spheres of development for the common good of grassroot communities. The African Development Bank has made significant strides and continues to enhance its engagement of Civil Society and Community Based Organisations, through information sharing and regular exchanges on various platforms such as the Civil Society Open Days, the Annual Civil Society Forum and many other fora.
The Bank will, therefore, continue to work with its shareholders, its clients and civil society organisations, to ensure that it upholds the highest standards.
The institution remains focused on its core mission to help lift millions out of poverty, by using the resources entrusted to it in a responsible and efficient manner.
NCDMB urges NLNG to engage Project 100 coys for Train 7
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has asked the Nigeria LNG Ltd (NLNG) to evaluate the capabilities of the beneficiaries of Project 100 programme.
The NCDMB said the purpose of the evaluation was to enable NLNG engage them in the execution of its Train 7 project and other related services.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote made the request in a letter to the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Tony Attah, titled “Introducing Project 100 Beneficiaries for Consideration on NLNG Projects.”
A copy of the letter was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos.
Attached to the letter is the list of the Project 100 companies, the range of services they offer to the oil and gas industry and their track records.
Wabote said the Project 100 was conceived to identify 100 start-up oil and gas companies and support them through special interventions to facilitate their incubation, maturation and growth into world class service companies.
He said the programme was introduced as part of the board’s mandate to develop the capacity of the local supply chain for effective and efficient service delivery in the oil and gas industry.
“The first phase began in January 2019 and 60 companies were selected through a transparent process conducted by KPMG, an international consultancy firm.
“The benefits of the scheme include special interventions including access to market opportunities, access to capacity building, funding, policy prescription, research and development and business insight.
“The board has been giving these support to the companies and is committed to continue as well as offer other institutional assistance to aid the companies’ maturation into world class status, Wabote said.
According to him, as part of its access to market intervention, NCDMB will regularly recommend Project 100 Companies to project promoters and big Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) companies.
He said this was aimed at creating business opportunities after an independent assessment of their capabilities.
“In this particular instance, NLNG is expected to conduct its own due diligence on the capacity of these companies and based on their proven capacities engage them for the Train 7 project, ” the executive secretary added.
Wabote urged NLNG to note that the involvement of Project 100 Companies in its supply chain would be a major boost in the quest to collectively support local companies to become large enterprises.
He said it would also deepen local content practice in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)