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NGO Urges Collective Fight Against Flooding

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The Country Director, Centre for Development and Support Initiative, Mrs. Mina Margret Ogbanga has called for the collective effort of everybody in Rivers to reduce the impact of flooding in the state.

She told our  correspondent during an interview that flooding is a natural phenomenon which would certainly take place but the damage could be reduced if adequate control measures were put in place.

Reacting to the recent predictions by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that this year would witness heavy storms and flooding, she said. “NEMA’s announcement calls for order. It needs to be taken very seriously because flooding will take place whether we like it or not”.

She advised that various groups of people in the state and the entire country should be made to understand how they could prevent the flooding of their immediate environment by making environmental issues so simple that people could relate with them.

“People want to know the breakdown of activities they can carry out which will meet the needs of their environment. Make them know the importance of doing simple things like clearing their drainages and gutters.

“A lot has been said about climate change, Greenhouse gases, Ozone depletion simplify these issue and let the people know in simple terms how they can contribute to these problems and what they should do to mitigate the effects.

She said the town planning structures of the state should be implemented to guide development and prevent people from erecting structures at wrong places, adding that when the town planning structures were not adhered to, it could result to a lot of environmental problems like flooding.

She explained that when waters from the rains do not drain easily due to the blockage of the water channels by illegal structures, the waters would accumulate somewhere and cause a lot of havoc for the people living within the environment.

Mrs. Ogbanga therefore challenged everybody – builders, students, researchers, academia, civil society organisations, NGOs, various levels of government to contribute their quotas towards ensuring a flood free environment in the state and Nigeria.

“Everybody has a role to play. You as an individual what are you doing about your own immediate environment? Are you throwing dirts to the gutters? Are you planting trees around your environment to guard against heavy flood?

“You as a teacher in a school, do you educate the young ones on how they can protect their environment? She queried, adding that government should implement the existing environmental laws and make people abide by them.

Commenting on the Federal Government’s plan to plant 37 million trees in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) the Country Director said that was a laudable project but advised that the N5 billion mapped out for the project should be used judiciously and the right people should be engaged to carry out the project.

“We need to have the right people carrying out the activities. There needs to be a peer review mechanism, a monitoring structure to be able to even show that what is to be done, has been done”, she advised.

Calista Ezeaku

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Environment

LG Boss Moves To Make Council Area Cleanest In Rivers

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Chairman of Ogba/Egbema / Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon Vincent Job, has announced a compulsory monthly sanitation exercise in the area.
Job told newsmen in Omoku last Saturday that the situation was in line with his campaign promise to make ONELGA one of the cleanest in the state.
He called on residents to ensure that their surroundings are kept clean always.
The ONELGA chairman said his administration will continue to sensitise the people on the importance of cleanliness at all times.
Job also restated his commitment to complement Governor Nyesom Wike in the areas of human capital and infrastructural development.
“I will describe the sanitation exercise today as awesome. It is in fulfillment of our campaign promise”.
“We must lead by example, my humble self, Vice Chairman, councilors and members of the executives are on the field to monitor, supervise and direct the exercise,” he said.
He urged the people to cooperate with his administration in the drive to reposition ONELGA for greater heights.

By: John Bibor

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Environment

AELN Takes Campaign On Environment To School …Inaugurates Green Mandates

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The Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria (AELN), last Friday, took its sensitisation and advocacy campaign to Community Secondary School, Rumuepirikom in Port Harcourt with a charge to students of the school to join the vanguard of protecting and preserving the environment as well as keeping it clean at all times.
The association equally inaugurated some students of the school as green mandates, even as it promised scholarship to those who succeed in gaining admission in universities in the country to study Environmental Law.
Led by the National President of the association, and Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Law, Dr. Samuel Chisa Dike, the group took time to educate the students on what constitutes the environment in totality and some of the environmental challenges confronting the Niger Delta region in particular including flooding, erosion and pollution arising from oil and gas activities in the region.
Dike, who primarily dished out the lectures, at the end of it all, asked the students sundry questions, which they brilliantly provided answers to.
Interestingly, all the students who answered the questions correctly were rewarded with customised exercise books to aid and assist them in their courses of study in the school.
The National President said the association took the sensitisation campaign to the school in order to catch them young, and to inculcate in them environmental ethics, as the environment constitutes life itself and the future, for which reason, mankind must strive to preserve and protect it at all times.
According to him, the sensitisation campaign on the environment is for everybody and not only for the young.
The National Organising Secretary of the association, Mrs Tina Ihunna decorated the students who volunteered to become green mandates.
The visibly elated Principal of the school, Mrs Nina Okene thanked members of the association for the initiative, and enjoined the students to read and study hard in order to bag the association’s scholarship awards, stressing that there is need to take care of the environment.

By: Donatus Ebi

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Environment

2021 Flooding: NEMA Tasks States On Emergency Measures

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The South South zonal office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has called on states in the zone to be prepared to relocate their citizens to higher grounds in the events of flooding this year.
Zonal Director of the agency, Godwin Tepikor said this in an exclusive interview with The Tide in his office in Port Harcourt.
Tepikor said in line with the Nigerian Hydrological Survey Agency (NIHSA) production, some parts of the Niger Delta will experience devastating flooding this year.
He said the prediction should make state governments in the region to think of enduring measures to mitigate the impact of the impending flood disaster.
The Zonal Director, however regretted that most state governments in the Niger Delta region are not giving a thought to the issue.
“Let’s begin to take measures to mitigate the impact of flood, people should look for a higher ground to move to”, he said.
He noted that states in the region have roles to play in the management of flooding and its impact, stressing that NEMA is only playing the role of a coordinator as far as flooding management is concerned.
The Director also advised citizens in the zone to adopt measures that will reduce the impact of flooding in their communities.
According to him, citizens must stop using waterways as a receptacle to throw waste while building on water right of ways should be discouraged.
He also called for regular sanitation to clear the waterways of debris, while both states and local governments in the zone must regularly enlighten their people on ways of combating flooding

By: John Bibor

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