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Floods: Frustration Grows In Thailand

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Thai authorities tried to stem growing anger among victims of catastrophic floods last Tuesday as water flooded new neighbourhoods and the government plotted a recovery aimed at securing the long-term confidence of investors.

The floods began in July and have devastated large parts of the central Chao Phraya river basin, killed nearly 400 people and disrupted the lives of more than two million.

Inner Bangkok, protected by a network of dikes and sandbag walls, survived peak tides on the weekend and remains mostly dry.

But large volumes of water are sliding across the land to the north, east and west of the city, trying to reach the sea and diverted by the city centre’s defences into new suburbs as they recede in others.

In one northeastern city neighbourhood angry residents have been demanding the opening of a sluice gate to let water out of their inundated community.

Residents jostled with police on Monday and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered that the gate be opened by one metre.

But city authorities have warned that the flow through the sluice gate could move via a canal into large parts of the city which are now dry, including an industrial estate.

“We are opposed to it but the government has ordered the BMA to open the gate, so more water will come.

“It could reach the Bang Chan industrial estate. We have to see the consequences,” said Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) spokesman Jate Sopitpongstorn.

Yingluck’s government and the Bangkok authority represent opposing factions in Thailand’s strife-plagued politics.

The disaster has been the first big test for the government of Yingluck, the younger sister of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup.

Yingluck, a political novice, took over this year after an election that many Thais hoped would heal divisions that triggered street violence last year.

Saving Bangkok from a ruinous flood would be an important victory and the city’s 12 million people account for 41 per cent of Thailand’s gross domestic product.

Industry Minister Wannarat Channukul said the situation at the Bang Chan industrial estate and others including the Lat Krabang estate near Bangkok’s main airport was not critical.

But prolonged misery in outlying areas and heavily flooded provinces to the north would take the gloss off any victory for Yingluck, especially given a perception that those areas have been sacrificed to save the centre of the capital.

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Environment

CSOs Partner Govt On Climate Change

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Some civil society organisations have expressed their willingness to partner with the government to address climate change and other environmental challenges in the new year.
Some of the organisations include, the Nigeria Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement at the SDG’s (NCSfPAS) GIFSED, Climate and Sustainable network as well as Women Environmental Programme (WEP) Gender and Environmental Initiatives (GERI).
The Tide source in Abuja reported the Executive Director of Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem preservation, Mr. David Terugwa as saying that they were ready to partner government with view to addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.
For us, we are looking at those areas where we can come in and assist and to be partners with the government.
Project Lead, CSDeu Net, Mr. Pius Oko, said that the group will support the government and other stakeholders in the implementation of the law.
“We are here today to make a step forward. We want to first highlight the issues that concern the impact in climate change and have a tangible solution to such problems.
Executive-Director, WEP,Mrs Anne-Marie Abaogu said CSOs were set to develop a partnership that would implement framework to reverse the ugly trend of climate change in the country.

By: Oribim Ibama

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Monarch Advises Community On Sanitation

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The Onuayekein /Amanyanabo of Obonoma Community, King Enenibofori Dateme Obonogina, has charged the community to take the issue of sanitation seriously. Speaking at an interative session recently in the community, the Obonogina said all grasses and bushes must be cleared to expose the face of the community.
He said the situation will improve the hygienic and aesthetic conditions of the community. King Dateme said the community will expand the road recently commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to enable it include more of its hinterland communities.
He said the expansion of the road will boost farming and fishing activities in the areas as well as enable more farmers and fishermen to evacuate their produce to the markets thereby boosting the economy of the area.
He said the community will liaise with Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a view to developing the areas. King Dateme also stressed the need for unity and love among the people. According to him, when there is love, there will be peace and development of the community.
Also speaking, Professor Anyamebo Okorosoye Orubite, urged the people to cultivate the spirit of self help instead of relying solely on government for the development of their communities.
He also said that arrangements were on to build a Kalabari University at Semoo.

By: Oribim Ibama

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NOA Charges Nigerians On Illegal Oil Bunkering

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National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Nigerians to regard any money generated from illegal oil bunkering business also known as “Kpofire” business as blood money.
Rivers State Director of the Agency, Barrister Young Ayotamuno, made the call in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt.
Ayotamuno also said kpofire business also negated the right to life of Nigerians.
According to him, citizen’s constitutional rights to life are being breached by the proliferation of illegal refinaries in the region.
Ayotamuno, who said deaths related to respiratory tract infection is likely to increase in the next few years in the region also described as baseless, arguments that poverty and unemployment are responsible for the rising cases of illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta.
“You cannot use poverty to justify the breaking of pipelines, which is a critical national asset”, stressing that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) will continue to sensitise members of the public on the need to protect the nation’s asset.
The NOA director also commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for directing local government chairmen in the state to monitor their areas and ensure the stoppage of illegal oil bunkering activities in their domains.
“NOA is thanking Governor Wike for asking local government chairmen to monitor their areas.
“NOA will continue to sensitise members of the public that you cannot use poverty to justify the breaking of pipelines which is a national assets”.
“The consequence of illegal refinery is that it negates the right to life of the citizen.
“Peoples Constitutional Right to Life is being negated. Peoples environment is being destroyed”, he said.
He said stopping the nefarious activities require a lot of political will add “we must work with state government and federal government to curb it. “Kpofire money is blood money” he declared.
Ayotamuno said the society cannot be battling kpofire and Covid-19 at the same time as reports had it that both incidences are responsible for series of respiratory infections.
He also called on the government to revisit the issues of modular refineries as well as the stoppage of gas flaring in the country.
The NOA Director also called for a half to the practice of burning of tyres and that of bush burning, while destruction of illegal petroleum vessels by military should be stopped.

By: John Bibor

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