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SoTLAN urges consumers to start asking questions about consumables



The President, Society of Testing Laboratory Analysts of Nigeria (SoTLAN), Dr Femi Oyediran, on Monday advised consumers to start asking questions about the products they were consuming.

Oyediran, who gave this advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos said that when consumers become inquisitive about the quality of what they were consuming, manufacturers and regulatory bodies will be up and doing.

“Consumers need to rise up and start asking questions about the quality of goods and products they buy in the market. There is need to continually test the quality of bottled and pure water sachets, soft drinks and juice, beverages, among others in the market.

“’Consumers should be asking questions either as individuals or groups on these products they buy and consume.

“Consumers can take these products for analyses and if the result shows the product is below quality, they can collectively take the manufacturers or importers to court for damages,” he said.

Oyediran said that consumers needed to be their own watchdogs as they spend money treating illnesses that good manufacturing practices could have prevented.

He said that in some economies, government do testing of the various products from simple bottled water to the complicated ones and make the results available to the public.

Oyediran said it was unfortunate that Nigerians were not getting value for anything, including the tax they pay regularly to the government.

The SoTLAN president said that people had to do the test to ensure that what they bought with their money was healthy for consumption.

He said that there were over 35 independent testing laboratories-owned by its members and 50 Environmental Laboratories in the country to do product testing among others.

Oyediran said that the laboratories were ISO Certified and that their analyses compared favorably with what obtained globally.



FG has commissioned no fewer than 700 water projects in Ogun, Kano states – Adamu




Abuja, Nov. 15, 2019 Mr Suileman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, says the Federal Government has commissioned no fewer than 700 water projects in Ogun and Kano states in the last two years.

Adamu, who disclosed this at the Nigeria News Agency forum in Abuja on Friday, said the projects were under the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation & Hygiene (PEWASH).

NAN recalls that PEWASH was launched by Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in 2016 in a bid to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Six and to address the challenges being faced in the water supply, sanitation and hygiene sub-sector.

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“I think the people of Ogun and Kano, which are the two pilot states that we started with will tell you because two days ago, I received a nice letter from a community in Ogun state appreciating what we have done.

“Between the two states, we have rehabilitated or commissioned over 700 water schemes in the last two years, so that will tell you something.

“We are also working with Ondo state. Now we have 26 or 27 states that have subscribed to PEWASH. So we are stepping it up.

“We are discussing with the World Bank with additional funding so we will be able to expand to reach other states.

“So, the two pilot states we have done have been very very successful.’’

Adamu said that funding and commitment from state governments were required to sustain the PEWASH programme.

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“There are two key issues that will sustain this programme, one is funding.

“If we can get the required funding in our appropriation at the federal level and the states are ready to provide the matching grants that we said they must provide under the PEWASH we are good to go.

“Secondly, it is for the states to continue to make it a priority that water and sanitation sector is a priority. If they do that then I believe the PEWASH programme will make serious impact eventually.

`We also need the support of development partners up till now we have not received any commitment from them except from the World Bank that is willing to provide about 350 million dollars.

“And after this interview, the new Country Director of World Bank is coming to be visiting and one of the things I will tell him is to step up, we need much more than that.

“We requested for about 700 million dollars targeted at rural communities. This has been the efforts the Federal Government has been making but it does not supplant the responsibilities of the states.

“They should be doing their own beat and that is what we hope they will continue to do.’’

Edited by Grace Yussuf

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Minister urges state govts. to declare state of emergency on WASH



Mr Sulieman Adamu, the Minister Water Resources has called on State Governments to declare state of emergence on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in their various states.

Adamu made the called at the Nigeria News Agency Forum on Friday in Abuja.

In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari on Nov. 8, declared a state of emergency in the sector and emphasised that Nigeria must end open defecation by 2025.

“For Nigeria to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) in the country by 2025, it is imperative for water and sanitation facilities to be in place.’’

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“We want state governments to also declare a state of emergence on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene the way the President declared same on Nov. 8, last year.

“The latest state that I have heard that has done so is Kastina state, which was done two days ago, so we are moving in that direction.

“Part of the actions that they need to take after declaring the state of emergence is also to put legislation to ban open defecation.

“But you do not ban without providing alternatives, and government at state level will also need to put in money to improve sanitation in motor parks, markets and other public places.

“Then there is an Executive Order that is going to be signed by the president to direct all government agencies, including enforcement agencies to ban open defecation that it is a crime,’’ he said.

He, however, noted that the Executive Order would be shared to various agencies after the signing the order for the public to know what it contained.

Adamu said that Mr President had promulgated the campaign against open defecation in the country to ensure that Nigeria would be Open Defecation Free by 2025.

Adamu said that it was mandatory for all federal agencies to maintain adequate toilets in their buildings while commercial building should also open up their toilets facilities for the public.

The minister also noted that at the federal level, advocacy, funding, and campaigns would be carried out to ensure behavioural change.

“The campaign will actually be driven by the states themselves, we expect that we will mobilise people such as the civil society, corporate bodies, Nollywood, market women, among others to do the campaign.

“We also hope that individuals and organisations can be sponsoring toilets in schools, medical institutions as the campaign is total, so that there will be a culture of respecting toilets and they need to provide these toilets.

“This is not about Federal Government and state governments going to houses to build toilets for people. That is the responsibility of individuals.

“We will like to demonstrate that it can also be a business running a toilet and water facilities can also be a business too in the society and in the rural areas,‘’ he said.

Adamu noted that state government and local government would be able to assist its people in building the toilets.

He said that at the federal level, the government would do the monitoring and evaluation of the progress to ensure that Nigeria achieved open defecation free by 20125.

Edited by Grace Yussuf

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Women can play critical role in combating climate change – Ikeazor



Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, the Minister of State for Environment, says women have a critical role to play in combating climate change.

Ikeazor made this known while receiving Mrs Ebere Ifendu, the President, Women in Politics Forum (WIPF) and other women politicians in her office in Abuja.

According to her, climate change affects everyone but women bear the brunt of its adverse effects.

“Adverse results of Climate Change are security and farming crises.

“We are in the month of November and the rains are still falling. This is unusual and the people who suffer it most are women and children,” she said.

She recalled that President Buhari during the United Nations General Assembly in September, declared that Nigeria would plant 25 million trees to combat climate change and reduce carbon emission.

“To implement Mr President’s declaration, the importance of women cannot be overemphasised, we intend to incorporate women not only in tree planting but also for the implementation of various remediation projects to tackle erosion.

“Today, I say to every single woman here that you are an environmental champion and you must help us to combat climate change.”

The minister also urged the forum to be good ambassadors in all their endeavours as millions of women and girls are looking up to them as role models.

Earlier, Ifendu commended the minister for paving way for women in politics and urged her to continue to mentor women to act right in politics.

“We are here because we want to support the ministry in combating climate change.

“There are serious climate change problems across the globe and if you look at the percentage of people affected, you will know that women carry the brunt of its impact.

“There is need to educate women and to also embark on massive sensitisation, so women know their roles in solving climate change problem.”

Edited by Grace Yussuf

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Kano Environment Ministry to synergize with Water Agency for development



Kano State Ministry of Environment said it would synergize with Water Resources, Engineering and Construction Agency (WRECA), to provide quality development in desertification and erosion control in the state.

The state Commissioner for environment, Dr. Kabiru Getso stated this on Friday, when he received the management of WRECA, led by its Managing Director in his office.

Dr. Getso revealed that the ministry and the agency have common tasks and functions, particularly in desertification and erosion control.

According to him, “Since we have similar tasks, there is absolute need to work together to achieve a maximum development for the benefit of the state.

Earlier, the Managing Director of Water Resource, Engineering and Construction Agency  (WRECA), Engr. Mannir Gwarzo, said they were in the Ministry to intimate him on the function of WRECA as a state owned agency with common tasks.

Engr. Gwarzo further maintained that the agency had a good track record but the record had declined due to several reasons, amongst which was the shortage of manpower.

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Tukur Muntari.

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Garki village will be open defecation free within 6 months – CSOs




Abuja, Nov. 15, 2019 The Action Initiative Against Open Defecation in Nigeria, a network of CSOs says in the next six months, Garki village in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will be certified Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Dr Austin Maduka, the National Coordinator of the NGO made this known during official launch end open defecation in Garki village.

Maduka, represented by Mr Desmond Chieshe, the Deputy Coordinator of the NGO said that Garki village was adopted as a pilot community to begin its actions toward ending open defecation.

He said that the village was carefully selected as a first pilot community to kick start the programme as the environment “is an eye-sore’’.

“We chose Garki village because from Garki old abattoir down to Area 3 is a no-go-area, especially during rainy  season.

“We went round Abuja, we visited Mabushi, along Airport road and Garki village but after our assessment, we decided to kick start from Garki village.

“In the next six months, Garki village will be ODF, though it has over 70 chiefdoms but we will handle them one after the other to achieve our mandate.

“We are using today to raise awareness and inspire action from our traditional and community leaders, councilors, chairmen, minister among others that sanitation issue is our collective problem and our failure to tackle it affects us all.

“We collectively kick against the practice of open defecation in our community and perhaps begin the criminalisation of defaulters who are hell bent on polluting the air that we breathe,” he said.

He said that the statistics from the National Road Map said that about 87,000 deaths of children under the age of five were reported annually dying from diarrhea and sanitation related diseases.

According to him, there is need for corresponding actions to improve public access to sanitation facility as urbanisation put pressure on infrastructure and social services.

He said in the light of this precarious situation that civil society, NGOs and well-meaning Nigerians came together to form the action initiative against open defecation in Nigeria.

“The network comprising over 30 organisations resolved to support the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in his commitments and political will to ensure Nigeria exit from open defecation by 2025.

Mrs Racheal Omenta, the Principal Environmental Health Officer, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) said that the board would not lag behind in ensuring “Abuja is ODF’’.

Mr Babangida Sadiq, the Garki village youth leader promised that all the youths of the village would support the open defecation drive in the village.

Sadiq also appreciated the NGO for choosing and kick starting the programme from Garki village.

The Actions Initiative Against Open Defecation in Nigeria has five years mandate to ensure Abuja and other communities across the country are open defecation free.

The NGO also inaugurated some youths in Garki village to assist, monitor and ensure the success of the exercise in the village.

Edited by Grace Yussuf

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Minster says State Governments should provide water for citizens



Minster says State Governments should provide water for citizens


Abuja, Nov. 15, 2019  Mr Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, has called on State Governments to take up the responsibility of providing water for its people.

Adamu made this call at the Nigeria News Agency Forum in Abuja on Friday.

He said that many state governments were not investing in water and sanitation and had abandoned their responsibility for the Federal Government.

“It is not the role of the Federal Government to provide water. The role of the federal ministry of water resources is to provide bulk water and manage the water resources of this country.

“Whatever we are doing is just an intervention to complement the efforts of the states.

“The primary responsibility for water supply rest with the states that is why this ministry does not run Water Corporation.

“It is only the FCT, which is a territorial administration in Abuja that runs a water board. FCT is a territory, so it is like a state. So that needs to be made clear, so whatever we are doing is just an intervention to complement the efforts of the states.

“What I have realised is that in the past 10 or so years, many states unfortunately have abdicated their responsibility, they are not investing in water and sanitation.

“That is why you see communities in the remotest end  writing to the ministry of water resources to provide water scheme in their locations.

“It is not our responsibility. But if they are special situations like the IDP camps, and so on, those are places that we can also intervene.’’

Adamu said that the Federal Government brought the concept of Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation & Hygiene (PEWASH) as a way of making state governments invest in water and sanitation.

The minister stressed the fact that the state governors and local governments needed to invest in WASH and make it a priority.

“If not, we are not going anywhere, we cannot run this only from Abuja.’’

Edited by Grace Yussuf

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