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Traders in Ilorin want govt’s intervention in wastes management

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Some traders in Ilorin have called on the state government to intervene to ensure effective waste management for a safe environment in the community.

Some of the traders, who spoke with the Nigeria News Agency in Ilorin on Monday, said that it was time the government provided a dependable and lasting solution to waste management.

A miller, who simply identified herself as Aduke said that it was difficult for her to adapt to the withdrawal of waste collector in her environment, adding that they were now forced to throw wastes into flowing waters channels.

“I grind pepper, yam flour and a lot of things and before now, there is this big waste collector placed at different locations but now they have been taken away.

“We do not find it convenient disposing waste anymore, sometimes we are forced to throw wastes in flowing waters ways over the bridge.

“We know it is not right, especially during this season that flooding is common, but we do not have a choice because we cannot sleep with our wastes.

“We want this administration to do something about the matter, it is important to ensure a healthy living,” she said.

Mrs Augustina Igwe, who has a mini restaurant said “honestly without a proper and reliable waste management system, everybody is at risk of diseases and other environmental hazards like flooding.

“I sell food, the waste I produce here daily is second to none, where my helpers dispose it I don’t know, but I know it may be in an inappropriate location.

“But do we have a choice? Wastes are a day to day output of a normal individual, we can’t do without it but we cannot live with it.

“Government should restore the disposal bins placed on streets, and effective waste management strategies must be sustained.

“Before, we pay whenever we want to dispose wastes, we do not mind paying tokens, but let us have a reliable waste management system,” she said.

A pepper seller, Silifat Idris said, “You can see the stacks of waste basket we have over there; we are about going to dispose them on an unused piece of land.

“If tomorrow the owner comes to make use of the land, the next things is that we are looking for another place to dump the wastes.

“We are not happy about it, we hope the government will bring back the waste collectors,” she said.

A resident, Mr Abdulhakeem Akande tasked the Ministry of Environment on reviving the waste management system in the state.

“When you pass through my area at Tanke, you see wastes on the street, it is an eye sore.

“Sometimes I blame people for not burning those wastes, but some wastes are not combustible, others do not even have compounds where they can burn because they live with other tenants.

“It is only the government that can give a lasting solution; the ministry of environment should come up with a solution good enough to be sustained by the government.

“We call on the present administration to look into the issue of wastes as a matter of urgency before an epidemic breaks out,” he said.

NAN reports that at most of the market places flooding in the state are due to blockage of waterways by wastes disposers. (NAN)
OJB/ASS/GY

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Grace Yussuf

 

Environment

Former MCC foreman recommends solution to Aba flooding

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Mr Michael Chukwukere, a former worker with Monier Construction Company (MCC), said the drainage systems built in Aba by the German company in the 1980s had the capacity to check flooding in the city, if properly desilted.

Chukwukere, who was a foreman in MCC when it constructed underground drainage systems in the city, alongside other companies about three decades ago, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Aba on Wednesday.

He said that Abia government was wasting its resources trying to construct new drainage system in the commercial town, instead of “opening up elaborately constructed network of drainage systems built by Germans in Aba in the old Imo state.”

Chukwukere said: “Abia state government actually has plans, but I don’t think those handling constructions in Aba understand the city’s plan and past construction works enough to resolve its drainage challenges.

“I was involved from the beginning to the end of that early construction of roads in Aba and served as a foreman then at MCC when Germans built a network of drainage systems in the heart of Aba and channelled them to the Aba River.

“I have a solution to the flood menace in Aba; I want them to test me with one of the terribly flooded areas and see how with my help we shall fix the flooding problem ravaging the city.

“Then at MCC, I was also monitoring the works of Guffantti Construction Company and some other companies on some roads in Aba and I know the way both companies did their job.

“I know every tunnel, both visible and hidden in Aba and with what MCC and other companies planned and executed, there shouldn’t be flooding in Aba.

“There are tunnels in Aba that some of today’s people do not know.

“And drainage-related work being done in Aba without following the old plans that specified the level storm water should follow to Aba River will not work.

“Regrettably, the state will keep moving in a circle without result,” he said.

Chukwukere said that there were hidden and open tunnels around World Bank Estate, MCC Road, Umuocham Road, Eziukwu Road/Ehi Road, 7 Deck/Umule/Faulks Road, Gulf Course, Station Avenue, Margret Avenue and others to take storm water to the river.

He said he knew where to work on and get the tunnels opened up.

He, however, expressed concern that some residents had built houses on some of the tunnel heads, adding that the buildings must be removed to free storm water movement.

“There are many open collection points and underground tunnels that people do not see.

“Without clearing and fixing these water channels, there is no fresh drainage that you’ll do now that can solve Aba’s drainage problem,” he said.

Chukwukere said he was ready to assist the state government to correct the mistakes that had lately plunged Aba into heavy flooding, leading to the failure of many roads in the city.

He challenged the state government to give him a chance and see if Aba flooding would not become a thing of the past as soon as possible.

He said he had made several efforts to have audience with Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu on the issue without success.

(Edited & Vetted By: Sam Oditah)
(NAN)

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Environment

Participatory approach necessary in implementing Great Green Wall programme — Perm Sec

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Mrs Ibukun Odusote, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, has stressed the need for participatory approach in the implementation of the programme of the Great Green Wall (GGW) in Nigeria.

Odusote said this during the First Stakeholders Consultative Forum of the National Alliance For the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) in Nigeria held in Abuja on Wednesday.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the two-day forum is being organised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in conjunction with the National Agency for the Great Green Wall.

Odusote, represented by Mr Peter Daniang, Director, HRM, in the ministry, said the forum of the GGWSSI was a platform on which much needed participatory approach to the implementation of the GGW programme was hinged.

“Participatory bottom-to-top approach is now the in-thing for any meaningful and effective implementation of projects and programmes of this nature that will ensure sustainability.

The Permanent Secretary said the main objective of the forum was to further strengthen the processes of identifying more stakeholders at the grassroots necessary for the effective implementation of the GGWSSI in Nigeria.

“Specifically, the forum will seek to ensure coherent and responsive action of the GGWSSI, engage the stakeholders in the implementation process, coordinate and synergise with relevant ministries, national authorities, state institutions within the GGW intervention areas.

“(It will) develop strategies and plans for achieving the GGWSSI laudable goals and develop and share communication and useful information about the GGWSSI.”

Odusote said she believed the positive outcomes of the deliberations and interactions would give incisive direction to the implementation process of the GGW programme in Nigeria.

Dr Bukar Hassan, Director-General, National Agency for the Great Green Wall, said Implementation of the agency’s programme required the participating of all stakeholders.

Hassan said the stakeholders included government, private sector and individuals such as farmers at the community level.

“We must work together to get it right.

“One way of making sure we work together and get it right is to come together chat between ourselves, share information.

“So when we go back we can have enough knowledge to push our programme forward.

“The key issue in our project is sustainability; what you put down today must be sustained and sustainability is not done by people around here.

“It is done by the people who the job is being done for.

“Therefore, we need to reach them down there and it is a known fact that in our society NGOs and CSOs are the ones who directly work with the community and that is why we brought them here to share our knowledge together.”

He said he was optimistic that the collective interest of participants to combat the problems of the Nigerian dry lands in a participatory manner would provide the push required for successful deliberations.

Mr Chris Magero, Programme Officer, IUCN, said the IUCN was committed to continue to support the countries of the GGW including Nigeria to address the issues that surround land degradation.

Magero said this would be achieved by influencing policies and coming up with actions that would be able to truly achieve an impact within the GGW.

“Over the years we have been addressing the issues of environmental degradation across the Sahel. It has taken many shapes over many years, but to this point we are looking to having impact across the Sahel.

IUCN is working in different continents to address the issues around society that include food, water and security, land degrading and human wellbeing across the society.

“It is indeed our pleasure as IUCN to be able to contribute to this process and we hope that through this process you will be able to find solutions that address the issues that plague the society within auspices of the GGW.”

He said he hoped that by the end of the programme concrete solutions that would enable society to address the issues would be arrived at.

According to him not only addressing these issues but mechanisms that will enable government to work together with civil society and other actors to actively address the issues of land degradation.

Edited & Vetted By: Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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Environment

World Disability Day: Association urges FG to provide toilet facilities

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Mr Obinna Ekujereonye, Chairman, Nigeria Association of the Blind, on Wednesday called on the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to provide effective accessible toilet facilities for Persons with Disability in the country.

Ekujereonye said this at a Roundtable Meeting on Mainstreaming Disability in Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), interventions, organised by Toilet Pride, an NGO, in Abuja.

He said that the provision and services would effectively improve the lives of people with disability who suffer most from lack of access to toilet facilities.

According to him, it’s been a problem going to toilet because of lack of accessible toilet facilities.

“We don’t have any support and the types of toilet we are using, both public and private toilet, we cannot access the facilities.

“We need the types of toilet that even those on wheel chairs and other persons with disability can easily have access to.

“So we are calling on the government and other relevant stakeholders to provide such facilities and construct more public toilets in the country,’’ he said.

Mr Chukwuma Nnanna, Team Leader, Toilet Pride said that the organisation was using the medium to commemorate World Toilet Day, which was supposed to be celebrated every Dec. 3.

Nnanna said that the theme was tagged: “Promoting the Participation of Persons with Disabilities and their Leadership: Taking Action on the 2030 Development Agenda“.

He said that the aim of the meeting was to create awareness and the need to include persons with disability particularly on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme

“We are trying to create a platform where we can work effectively on sanitation and to see how we can make WASH facilities more inclusive for persons with disability in Nigeria,’’ he said.

Nnanna said that the organisation was partnering the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and other relevant stakeholders on WASH to ensure that the vision and mandate were achieved.

He added that the organisation was engaging with state governments and international organisation to make sure that persons with disabilities were involve in WASH as well as other relevant programmes.

“My NGO and other relevant organisations are committed in ensuring that persons with disabilities are protected and we want to make sure their need are provided at all times,’’ he said.

He said that the vision of the organisation was to continue to build the global sanitation movement through collaborative action that inspired and drove demand for sanitation.

According to him, we are also committed to ensure that we provide innovative solutions to achieve sustainable sanitation for all.

Mrs Precious Airende, who represented Mrs Chizomma Okpara, the Acting Coordinator, Clean Nigeria,  Federal Ministry of Water Resources, said that the ministry would ensure that the challenges facing persons with disabilities were addressed effectively.

She stated that that the ministry was collaborating with relevant NGOs, Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders to ensure that the people were involved in WASH programmes.

Edited & Vetted By: Jane-Frances Oraka/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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Environment

Environmentalist calls for measures against rising sea level in Lagos

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An Environmentalist, Mr Gafar Odubote, has called for urgent measures to be taken against the rising sea level in Lagos State to forestall flooding the state.

Odubote made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Wednesday.

He said it was necessary to reduce the reclaiming of land from the seas in the state and for the government to be proactive in forestalling floods.

“The water level rising in the state is a natural act that we may not be able to do anything about but we can put measures in place to check it.

Lagos Govt should reduce its rate of land reclaiming from the sea, because it can backfire, if the sea level continues to rise.

“Believe it or not, land reclaiming from the sea actually alter the natural order of things in the environment.

“We copy developed countries that reclaim land from water bodies but we do not put in place the necessary measures to forestall any negative occurrences.

“When the United Nations predicted that the likelihood of the World oceans rising by one metre between 2020 and 2050, different countries around the world have started taking actions, we should do so too,” he said.

Odubote also called on the agencies in charge of the environment and climate change in the state to provide reliable data of sea level rise in the state to find a lasting solution.

“The Environmental and Meteorological Department in Lagos should also go the extra mile in constantly monitoring the water level across the state.

“The question we should ask is how often do these agencies collate and keep data of changes in the environment?

”With improved technology, the data can be accessed, tracked and monitored.

“We should put in place technology that can record the different changes in the water level in the state, so that the agencies can take informed actions where necessary.

“The government should also go an extra mile to put measures in place for evacuation of people living in the coastal areas of the state in case of flooding incidences,’’ he said.

Odubote also urged the government to ensure more compliance with building plans in the state and enforce regulations that houses and structures are not built close to waterways in the state.

He added that there should be a predefined distance between the water bodies and structures built around them to avert flooding.

Edited & Vetted By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Adeleye Ajayi
(NAN)

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Environment

Harmattan : NGO urges residents to be safety conscious in Kaduna

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An NGO, Safety Awareness and Environmental Support Initiative (SAESI) has urged residents in Kaduna to be safety conscious to avert fire disasters during the harmattan season.

Yahaya Muhammed, Controller General of the body, made the call in a statement issued to the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Kaduna.

He said that the call became necessary because of the current harmattan and dry season being experienced in the country.

According to him, there have been records of high fire incidents during harmattan period each year.

Mohammed said there was need to properly handle electrical appliances, adding that failure to do so could lead to fire outbreaks and other disasters, as well as loss of lives and properties.

He noted that majority of fire disasters were caused by carelessness of individuals.

He, however, warned that smokers of cigarettes should be safety cautious when throwing the filter with fire as most grasses are already dry.

“Do not use charcoal, stoves in the name of warming rooms, candles and mosquito coil must have a proper stand to avoid fire spread, be warned fire is dangerous when it goes out of control.”

He also advised that in case of any eventuality of fire outbreak, residents should call the emergency numbers or the fire fighters for prompt response.

Edited & Vetted By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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Environment

Association trains 4,000 waste managers for professionalism

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The Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAMN) says over 4,000 waste management personnel are being trained to ensure professionalism in waste management in Lagos State.

Mr Olugbenga Adebola, Chairman, AWAMN Capacity Development and Training Committee, made this known during a ”Two-Day Capacity Development and Training for Waste Management Personnel in Lagos”.

Adebola, who is also the spokesperson of AWAMN, said that the training was in line with the vision and manifesto of the newly inaugurated executives of the association.

He said that the repositioning of AWAMN was necessary following the recent mismanagement and near policy summersault that returned Lagos to a very dirty state.

According to him, the retraining of all the personnel involved in waste management in Lagos state was done after restoring the PSP operators to their traditional role of waste collection.

Adebola said that the training would bring about a cleaner and healthier environment in Lagos State, as it would be a win-win situation for the people end the environment.

”This is the first in the series of several capacity development and training programmes the association intends to expose members to, the training of the CEOs will come up in the first quarter of 2020 by God’s Grace.

”This training programmes are in line with the overall vision of the Executive Governor of Lagos state, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, who demonstrated commitment to the total revamping of the state of the environment in the state.

”On his very first day in office, he signed some few Executive Orders, one of which was on Environmental Sanitation, few days later, Mr Governor visited the biggest disposal facility in Lagos state (Olusosun) with a view to revamping it.

”Also within his first 100 Days in office he launched the Blue Box Initiatives which was aimed at encouraging source segregation of waste into different recyclables for recycling purposes, in line with the United Nations 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).

”The Blue Box Initiative was also expected to reduce the quantum of waste that goes to the disposal facilities,” Adebola said.

Mrs Belinda Odeneye, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, urged waste management personnel to be passionate of being waste managers.

Odeneye said that they needed to upscale their knowledge on waste management, so as to benefit from the business.

”Waste is not waste, unless you waste it, waste is wealth, change your perception and make money from waste,” she said.

Edited & Vetted By: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

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