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Rivers

RSG Test-Runs Sweeper Machine

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Chris Oluoh

Rivers State Government has commenced test-running of sweeper machine, a device designed to sweep and clean public roads in the state.

The device is a mini truck motor with inbuilt mechanism which waters and sweeps roads cleaner than the usual manual method, as it removes sands and all types of particles on roads thereby making them last longer.

Rivers State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Kingsley Chinda who disclosed this to newsmen during Saturday’s monthly sanitation exercise said that Abarack company has already donated one of the sweeper machines to the ministry.

He said the company entered into an agreement with the state government to showcase its services within the state for a month.

The commissioner who revealed the intention of the state government to acquire a good number of the machines said it was in the light of  government intention that his ministry  started to train some staff on its operation and maintenance.

“In the interim, the company donated the sweeper machine as a demonstration. We are till trying to train our people on how to operate the machine so that we shall be in a position to operate and maintain them for reasonable extent,” he explained.

Chinda who led a team comprising the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Barrister Rufus Godwins, Special Adviser to the Governor on Pollution Control, Hon Dickson Omunakwe and other top officials of the ministry and the State Environmental Sanitation Authority to inspect  Saturday’s sanitation exercise expressed delight at the seriousness and active participation of people in the day’s exercise.

He remarked that Saturday’s exercise clearly showed an improvement compared to what it used to be and attributed the improvement to increasing level of consciousness of the people to cleaner sanitary standard and enjoined them to sustain the tempo.

The commissioner particularly lauded youths of Elelenwo community for organising themselves in active participation towards clearing drains and cleaning the community and charged youth in all parts of the state to emulate the Elelenwo youths for a healthy environment.

Assuring that his ministry is always ready to encourage healthy environment standard particularly in the quick disposal of refuse to dump sites, the commissioner reminded people of the state of the need to bag their refuse in line with the new policy of the state before dropping them at receptacles for quicker and easier disposal.

Meanwhile, the state government has taken steps towards developing the Boro Park flyover notoriously known for illegal trading activities. The Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Environmental Sanitation Authority cleared the place of all illegal structures.

The Environment Commissioner said the clearing would be followed by greening of the area with grasses. He regretted that past efforts by the state government on the area failed to achieve desired result because each time traders and shanties were removed from the area, the place was left fallow.

“What we intend to do is to green the place. We have started the exercise. As we posses, we green and then we move to the next place,” he remarked.

Apart from the Boro park axis, the commissioner also said that government would reposes the Sangana Street market area and Bishop Okoye Street market behind Mile Three Park and also green the areas to end illegal street market and for aesthetic values.

Also to get such attention is the Presidential Hotel axis where illegal business take place. The area, he said would be inter-logged and used as car park.

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Rivers

NYG: Team Rivers Struggle On Medal Table

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It has not been medals haul as expected by Team Rivers at the ongoing 6th edition of the National Youth Games, NYG, in Ilorin as the contingent has struggled to move up the ladder on the medals table. 
As at Day 3 of the Games, Team Rivers has succeeded in garnering three gold, one silver and nine bronze medals.
The gold medals were won in swimming (2) and one in golf, the silver also came from golf, while the bronze came from gymnastics, swimming and Kokowa.
However, as at press time, some Team Rivers athletes were within range of medals in their events,   particularly, Canoeing, were the team had reached the semi-final stages in K1 200m, boys and girls and K1 200m, Para(boys) and mixed event.
Rivers athlete, Emmanuel Afamefuna, who is competing at the Games for the first time qualified for the final of the Darts event after upstaging the national number two in the semis.
In the other events, Rivers 13-years-old Favour Amaechi could not progress further after some brilliant performance in tennis (girls singles). She navigated the first round with an impressive two sets victory over her Akwa Ibom opponent only to lose to FCT, who fielded a clearly older player in the second round. Her boy’s counterpart, John Nubari also lost in the second round to Delta after beating Ekiti in the first round.
The basketball team, which is involved in a round robin games leads on points with two wins in as many games.
Ayo (boys and girls singles) also lost out at the quarter final stage to Akwa Ibom.
Team Rivers has unfortunatel, suffered disqualification in squash after beating Edo and Delta. The team was so disqualified because of not registering the required number of players in the event. The chess team was also involved in a difficult race to survive, trailing the front runners after the first round and blitz sessions.
One of the state’s major forte, cycling, has also failed to deliver a medal so far but the coach, Emmanuel Onisanya said he was happy with his team’s performance and still hopeful in the forthcoming events.
Meanwhile, the unofficial medals table shows that Team Delta leads the log comfortably with 32 gold medals; Edo State in distant second position follows with eight gold and Plateau State third with four gold medals.

By: Gabriel Nwanetanya

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Rivers

Army Tasks Community On Fight Against Crime

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The Nigerian Army Six Division has sensitised the people of Emuoha Local Government Area on the need to collaborate with the military by giving out useful information that will assist in fighting crime in the area.
The Garrison Commander, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Brig- General Mohammed Danja, said this at an event for Exercise Still Water town hall security meeting in Emuoha.
General Danja said the exercise which was in joint effort with other sister agencies was put in place to fight crime during the ember months.
On his part, the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, Chidi Lloyd, commended the army and urged the people of Emuoha not to panic when they see deployment of troops in the area.
Meanwhile, Major C.S Gboma in his lecture, said security was crucial because without security, there would be threat in every sector.
Reports say that some repentant cultists at the Exercise Still Water town hall meeting promised not to go back to crime and criminality and pleaded for forgiveness .

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Rivers

Banigo Urges Victims Of Sexual Abuse To Speak Up

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The State Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Banigo says survivors of sexual abuse must speak up for the perpetrators of the heinous crime to be punished.
Dr Banigo stated this during a sensitisation campaign on the theme “Dealing with Mental Health and Sexual Abuse in Unity Schools”, organizes by the Support the Girl Child Initiative Programme of her Office at the Federal Government College in Port Harcourt.
Represented by her Senior Special Assistant, Barr Inegogo Fubara, the Dr Banigo said the programme was put together because of the importance she attached to the mental and psychological health of the young people, adding that it was part of the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day and the International Day of the Girl Child.
The Deputy Governor, who urged the students to take the programme seriously, said they should see the guidance counsellor of the school whenever they are depressed for proper counselling, stressing that they must speak out whenever they face any form of abuse.
“I want you to understand that the fact that you have been sexually abused is not the end of life, there is life after rape, and there is life after sexual abuse. Do not keep quiet about it, even if it was done at home or in school, please speak up.” Dr Banigo quipped.
According to the deputy governor, “rape is a criminal offence that is punishable, and the punishment for rape is life imprisonment”.
She said even children could be jailed for rape, adding that for a child the punishment could be 14years in imprisonment.
Dr Banigo said in 2018, Protect the Girl Child Initiative, organised its first Mental and Sexual Abuse Seminar at the Federal Government Girls College Abuloma, where links about sexual violence and how to stop it and ensure that the voices of survivors were heard were set up.
According to her, “at the seminar in Abuloma, a female student who had been violated repeatedly, since she was eight years old, came out, and the Protect the Girl Child Initiative, in the Office of the Deputy Governor was able to take her out of the environment, provided a safe home for her and ensured that the perpetrator was reported to the police, today she is in her 200 levels in the University”.
She added that, a similar programme for about 1,300 students was held at Holy Rosary College in 2018, where, for the first time, many students understood what it meant to be sexually abused, and realised that it was not the end of the world.
In his presentation on the topic, “Depression: How to Recognise and Deal with It”, a consultant neuropsychiatrist in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Dr Chukwuma Oke Afor, said depression had to do with un-controlled sadness, lack of interest in the things the person used to love in the past as well as fatigue.
He also said inability to sleep; having a feeling of hopelessness and the desire to end one’s life were signs of depression, while noting that counselling by a trusted person could help to salvage the situation.
The representative from the Doctors without Borders, Onyinye Anaba, who spoke on the topic: “Sexual Abuse and Where to Find Help”, frowned at the situation whereby victims of sexual abuse were blamed for the crime instead of naming and shaming the perpetrators.

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