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Environment

FG Bemoans Loss To Floods

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The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia
has said that lives could be saved and losses minimised if flood alerts were
taken more seriously.

Mrs. Mailafia who stated this shortly after inspecting
flood-ravaged parts of Bauchi, Benue, Jigawa, Kano and Plateau States while
addressing flood victims recently expressed personal anguish and pain of
President Goodluck Jonathan at the suffering the flood has caused the victims.

She expressed Mr. President’s sadness for the loss of loved
ones, all their life savings, possessions and homelessness.

“The monumental losses suffered in many states and the
destruction of lives and property calls for sober reflection.

It calls for review of our strategies and commitments
towards mitigating the devastating effects of climate change” she said.

She said that incidents of recurring flash floods in various
parts of the country, particularly in the North hitherto noted for drought
under underscored the reality of climate change.

The Minister reiterated the need for citizens, particularly
residents of flood prone areas to heed the early warnings of the Ministry on
impending floods and to promptly evacuate so that lives were not avoidably
lost.

She further urged Nigerians not to hesitate in evacuating
their abodes when directed to do so by local authorities.

The Environment boss advised residents against the dumping
of refuse on drainages, gutters and the blockage of canals which aggravates
floods. She advised against building of houses on flood plains or the river
banks and streams, inspite of prohibitions put in place by the town planning
authorities.

She called for the stoppage of tree felling which
contributed to environmental degradation and appealed to people to embrace and
adopt the use of alternative sources of cooking energy such as gas stoves in
order to preserve the country’s forests reserve.

The Minister observed that tree felling was detrimental to
the federal government’s presidential initiative on Afforestation.

She said the aim of the programme was to stem the tide of
desertification and the consequent loss of arable  land.

She called on the states that were yet to take advantage of
free seedlings available under the scheme to do so without delay.

The minister appealed to all Nigerians to take environment
issues more seriously and act individually or collectively to protect the
environment.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Environment is
heading a deligation constituted by the federal government last week to visit
flood affected states with a view to assessing the extent of flooding and
damage to take more remedial action.

Members of the committee include, the Minister of Water
Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe and the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund
Office, Dr. Mac John Nwaobiala.

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Environment

We’re Hopeful Of Passage Of Water Resources Bill -Minister

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The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has expressed hope over the passage of the National Water Resources Bill before the National Assembly.
Adamu expressed the optimism while answering questions on the sidelines of a two-day training for Water Resources Correspondents, Editors, and News Analysts in the Nigerian Water Sector’  with theme, ‘Reporting Water in its Perspective’.
The Tide source reports that the training is to build capacity of reporters on water resources sector by having deep knowledge of terminologies and issues in the water sector.
The Tide also recalls that the Bill, which was introduced in the 8th Assembly, caused outrage as some Nigerians interpreted the law as a power grab by the federal Government.
“It is part of our roadmap as far as I am concerned. We will continue to engage with the National Assembly, now that they have come back from recess, we hope to engage.
“At the same time, we are talking to all other antagonists to allay the fears to accommodate whatever apprehension. We are very confident that we’ll get that bill passed,” the minister said.
He further stated that it was wrong for a section of Nigerians to completely criticize and condemn the whole Bill instead of pointing out areas that needs to be reconsidered.
“It doesn’t make sense if you have problem with the Bill; identify the key issue or problem if there is need for amendment instead to completely condemn just because of one or two items you are not satisfied with.
“In the National Assembly, you have public hearing, and we will still go back,” the minister said.

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Environment

Community Residents Flay Dumping Of Sachets, Bottles In Drainages

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Some residents of Eneka Community in Obio/Akpor  Local Government Area of Rivers State have condemned the indiscriminate dumping of water sachets and bottles in drainages and along the road in the community.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide in the community, they said the situation is not only an eyesore but responsible for incessant flooding being witnessed in the community.
Mr Chibuike Adim, indigene of Rumuoji Eneka condemned the practice, adding that it is this practice that blocked the gutters and caused flashed flooding in some areas in the community.
Adim called on the state government to save the community from the practice by constituting the tax force to check this habit.
He also said those who engaged in this practice are not only uneducated but also foolish, stressing that such people must be dealt with according to the law.
Also speaking, Miss Patience Odum also condemned the practice but added that there is no designated refuse dump site in the community.
Odum also urged for the provision of refuse receptacle in the area while the Rivers State Waste Management agency (RIWAMA) should also monitor the activities of the people.
Also speaking, Miss Alice Nsikak, a student of Rivers State University said the practice has become a big problem to the community as the entire drainages are blocked.
She stressed the need for sensitisation of the residence against the practice.
Nsikak also called on government to improve the method of refuse collection by providing waste bin to homes on the streets.
According to her, “people could be asked to pay little amount of money every month”, adding that the proposal will check the menace as well as check flash flooding in the community.
Also speaking with The Tide, Mr Ndubuise Ogom confirmed that dumping of plastic materials, refuge and pure water sachets in the drains is a very common practice in Eneka and also felt very bad about this practice.
This practice, added, must be stopped by government by promulgating laws to punish offenders. This if done, will prevent people taking part in such practice. He suggested, a fine of N1000 be slammad on those dumping refuge and plastic containers in the gutter.

By: Oribim Nyanaa Ibama, Elendu Obochi Esther & Inimgba Favour Victor

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Environment

UNESCO Laments Impending Collapse Of Biodiversity …Says Human Survival At Risk

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The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has raised alarm at the unprecedented speed which biodiversity is collapsing globally.
The Director-General of UNESCO Ms Audrey Azoulay, expressed this concern at the UNESCO 33rd session of the the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB-ICC) Programme in Abuja.
Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain
The director-general said that with the impending collapse, not only was human survival at risk, but also the beauty and the diversity of the world.
She said that the collapse was from the treetops to the ocean depths and from vertebrates to invertebrates, adding that no species was spared.
“This is the spirit driving UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. It is what makes it so pioneering and so valuable.
“We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace. With this impending collapse, not only is human survival at risk, but also the beauty, the diversity of the world.
“But this collapse is not inevitable: there is still time to make peace with the planet,” she said.
According to her, there is the conviction that we can re-forge our relationship with nature, that we can reconcile development and environmental protection.
“We must harness the power of education to rebuild our relationship with nature. UNESCO is fully mobilised to ensure that the environment becomes a key curriculum component by 2025.
“This is in line with the commitment made by the 80th governments we gathered at the Berlin conference last May.
UNESCO, a custodian of knowledge and know-how concerning biodiversity, has been developing concrete solutions to environmental challenges for over 50 years through the MAB programme and its network of protected sites, covering nearly six per cent of the planet.
With 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries, including transboundary sites, UNESCO seeks to reconcile humans and nature and demonstrate that it is possible to use biodiversity sustainably while fostering its conservation.
The Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, said that the world was facing planetary crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
According to her, this global loss of biodiversity is threatening the security of the world’s food supplies and the livelihoods of millions of people including indigenous people and local communities, especially in the African region.

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