The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as part of its contribution in the management of the after effect of the flood that had ravaged a better apart of Bayelsa State, has promised to Partner the state Post Flood Management committee in the rehabilitation and resettlement of persons who were affected by the flood, given the enormity of its devastating impact.
The international agency which has consistently partnered the state in other areas gave the assurance when a three man delegation comprising Mr Oscar Butragueno, Emergency Coordinator, Emergency Programme UNICEF New York, Andriel Berther, Education Specialist regional office Senegal and Mrs Maureen Zubie-Okolo PMA Specialist Enugu office, paid a courtesy call on the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government (SSG),Professor Edmund Allison Oguru in his office in Yenagoa.
The leader of the delegation, Mr Butragueno, disclosed that the mission of the team to the state was to enable them have first hand information on the plight of the people and also see areas where they can collaborate with the state Post Flood Management committee.
He explained that when the Committee finalised its post flood impact assessment with a verifiable data to work with the organisation would follow up on it by networking with other donor agencies to assist in the post flood intervention.
According to him the template from the assessment would give the agencies the proper perspectives as they were mostly concerned about the state of educational facilities, safe drinking water, agriculture and health conditions of the people.
The Secretary to Bayelsa State, Professor Edmund Allison Oguru, earlier told the UNICEF team that the state had faced a lot of challenges during and after the flood and expressed appreciation to the agency for indentifying with the plight of the state.
Professor Oguru had lamented that the people of the state did not anticipate the extent of devastation and had not experienced a flood of that magnitude in recent time.
He called on specialised agencies to extend their expertise to the state by giving necessary support to the post flood management committee in their effort to rehabilitate the flood victims.
The SSG also used the opportunity to call on other donor agencies and corporate organisation to come to the aid of the state as the challenges posed by the flood was beyond the capacity of the state.
While in the state the UNICEF team accompanied by Mr Iniruo Wills,the secretary of the Post Flood Management committee alongside other members visited some of the most affected communities at Biseni in Yenagoa local government area and Sampou in Kolokuma/Opukuma council area of the state.
Meanwhile, the post flood committee has suffered a major setback in its efforts folloing the sudden death of its chairman General Owei Azazi in a Helicopter crash last week.
Sanitation Marshalls Warn Against Dumping Refuse In Gutters
The Coordinator of Rivers
State Sanitation Marshalls, Prince Sodin Akiaba has warned residents of Port Harcourt and it environs against dumping of refuse into drainages.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, Prince Akiabo blamed uses of flooding in parts of Port Harcourt especially in the Mile III area of the indiscriminate dumping of refuse into the gutters.
He said that with the approach of the rainy season, there is need for caution on the part of the people against indiscriminate refuse disposal.
Prince Akiaba said that the situation could lead to massive flooding across the city thereby creating health problem for the people.
He said that there is need for neighbourhood vigilantees to check this situation.
“Every street in Port Harcourt should formed a vigilantee to monitor refuse disposal in their street.
“This is the only way to stop the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drains,” he said.
The coordinator said that the sanitation marshalls can help the government to check this trend, if approval is given to that effect by the government.
He used the occasion to commend the Rivers State Ministry of Environment and the Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Authority for the efforts in keeping the city clean, but noted that the two agencies need to work with stakeholders for effective result.
NOSDRA Seeks Oil Spill Response Base
The National Oil Spill De
tection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has called on the military to establish an Oil Spill Response Base (OSRB) for quick intervention during oil spill emergencies.
Mr Peter Idabor, the Director General of the agency, made the call during a courtesy visit to Vice Admiral Usman Jibril, the Chief of Naval Staff, in Abuja.
Idabor said the base, if established, would serve as a veritable security for quick response and intervention by the agency during oil spill emergencies.
He recalled the Bonga oil spill incident and commended the Navy for providing a vessel to NOSDRA that ensured quick response.
According to him, crises usually occurred between affected communities and companies involved during oil spill emergencies.
He said partnership with the Navy had become critical due to its role in providing security to the maritime environment.
“It has become more critical for us to partner with the Nigerian Navy, especially when it has to do with issues relating to oil spill in this country.
“When there is a large oil spill, there is usually conflict between the community and the company involved.
“In most cases, it is sabotage and in such cases, we require the military to come in at certain point.’’
He said that most of the deaths in the Niger Delta had positive correlations with oil spillage.
He explained that people were at the risk of being affected by eating food that come from such polluted environment.
He also said the life span of most Nigerians was shortening due to the effect oil spill on the ecosystem.
“The attitudes of our oil explorers, especially when spills occur, it does not bother them that over a million of chemicals are spilled into the sea, which is very dangerous to health.
“The oil spill contaminate our aquatic resources and it affects the entire food chain as long as we survive on the food chain.’’
Responding, Jibril said the Navy was familiar with the operation of the agency, adding that it would support NOSDRA to stop oil spill in the country.
He said the force was also aware of the effects of oil spill to aquatic life and the environment.
The Navy Chief also commended the agency’s cooperation with the military, saying “you have reduced spillage and its attendant effects in the country within this few days.
“We are ready to contribute to stop oil spillage and we are ready to give to you information about spillage whenever they occur.
“Our new boats that we are importing from China have facilities to contain oil spillage.’’
He however, said the delay in the release of boats to the agency was to control their misuse and advised the agency’s management to henceforth, put in its administrative request at their time of need.
He gave an assurance that the Navy would reduce administrative bottlenecks to enable the agency to access the facility during emergencies.
Jibril, however, sought the support of NOSDRA in the provision of infrastructure to the force, saying, “we need to support one another to achieve our goals.
“We have the human capital base to do what we are trained to do; what we need more is the infrastructure and we call on other organisations to support us too.’’
N300m Debt Worries C’River Water Board
Mr James Buchan, the
General Manager (Operations) of Cross River State Water Board, said more than N300 million owed it by various consumers in the state posed a challenge to its operations.
Buchan said this in an interview with the newsmen in Calabar last week, saying that the board was worried about the debt.
He said the board spent an average of N25 million monthly on diesel and chemicals to sustain water supply, urging the consumers who owed to settle their bills.
The general manager said that the state government paid its water bills regularly, urging the consumer’s to emulate the government by paying their bills to avoid disconnection.
Buchan further advised the consumers to always make genuine complaints about the services of the board to guarantee uninterrupted clean water supply.
The manager also urged consumers to shun illegal connection and to report to the board, those, including its staff members, who engaged in fraudulent activities.
“We want to supply to the public well treated water, we want to provide 24 hours service to the people, but we can only do this with the help of the people,’’ he said.
Buchan promised that Geographic Information System had been put in place to streamline the operations of the board and improve services.
He said the board was also worried over the damage of its pipelines worth more than N300 million by road construction companies in the state.
Buchan said the board had, however, drawn the attention of the officials of the concerned construction companies to the development.
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