Philippine President Benigno Aquino has ordered an investigation into flash floods and landslides that sent mud and logs crashing down on residents, killing about 1,000 people on a Southern island.
The national disaster agency said 957 were killed and 49 missing on Mindanao after Typhoon Washi triggered the slides.
Most of the casualties were in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and tens of thousands remain homeless, many sheltering in evacuation centres.
Aquino met officials in the two cities worst hit by the cascades that swept down mountainsides as residents of riverside and coastal villages slept in the early hours of Saturday.
“First priority is to relocate to areas that no longer pose a danger to them,” Aquino told a meeting in Cagayan de Oro, issuing instructions to implement disaster mitigation programmes, including reforestation.
He later told a gathering at a school: “We have no desire to engage in finger-pointing or to assign blame at a time like this. Yet, we have an obligation to find out exactly what has happened.”
Aquino said he had formed a task force to investigate the reasons behind the disaster and to determine whether a nationwide logging ban had been violated.
He declared a state of national calamity, a move intended to release greater funding, and ordered the speedy restoration of power and drinking water supplies in all affected villages.
“If we want this tragedy to be the last of its kind, we need to learn from our mistakes,” he said.
The disaster agency said more than 338,000 people in 13 provinces were affected by the disaster, with nearly 43,000 still in schools, churches and gymnasiums.
More than 10,000 houses were damaged by the typhoon and the flash floods, of which nearly a third were ruined.
Many schools, roads and bridges were also badly damaged.
More than 340,000 dollar worth of crops, mostly rice and corn were damaged, but the Agriculture department said losses were minimal as the crops were in the early planting stage.
Aquino said the government could also access funds from multilateral financial institutions, including three million dollars from the Asian Development Bank and about 500 million dollars in low-interest loans from the World Bank.
Survivors said huge logs thundering down mountainsides crushed residents.
Television footage showed many recovered bodies with arms or hands raised as if reaching out for help or clinging on to something.
Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were struggling to prevent disease from spreading in evacuation centres, with construction proceeding quickly of burial vaults and plots in public cemeteries to bury decomposing bodies.
Iligan has started burying truckloads of bodies, with some family members or residents of the same villages entombed in a single sepulchre.
A Reuters photographer saw bodies lined up along the highway in Cagayan de Oro outside a small funeral home.
An official of the British-based Christian relief and development organisation World Vision said people were fighting for space at evacuation centres.
“It is really overcrowded, there is almost no space in between people,” group official John Salva told ANC Television. “Diseases are starting to appear.”
“It’s really a struggle to manage those evacuation centres, there’s a shortage of water and a shortage of food,” he said.
CSOs Partner Govt On Climate Change
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
Monarch Advises Community On Sanitation
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
NOA Charges Nigerians On Illegal Oil Bunkering
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
Oil & Energy19 hours ago
Lawmaker Applauds Wike On Curbing Oil Theft, Illegal Refineries
Focus17 hours ago
Wike’s Pragmatic Offensive Against Illegal Bunkering
Oil & Energy19 hours ago
NLNG Approves Supply Of LPG To Nigerian Market
Oil & Energy19 hours ago
FCMB Boosts Modular Refinery
Politics18 hours ago
RSG Takes Proactive Steps To Tackle Illegal Refineries
Business19 hours ago
SON Set To Check Hackers, Cyber Crimes In Nigeria
Business19 hours ago
NCS, Apapa Records N870,39bn Revenue Boost
News18 hours ago
Forum Of LG Chairmen Hails PDP Govs’ Unity, Drive To Rescue Nigeria