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Water-Borne Diseases Claim Annually 868,000 Children

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The Water and Sanitation Media Network, a coalition of Journalists reporting water and sanitation issues in Nigeria has expressed its concern over the high rate of infant mortality resulting from water-related infections in the country.

The group lamented that over 868,000 Nigerian children die each year, about a quarter of which are from water related and vaccine preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis and measles.

The coalition also said there are clear indications that Nigeria may not achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) water target before 2046 and that of sanitation by 2076, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report.

The group in a statement released to mark the World Water Day, March 22, noted that access to improved water and sanitation still remains a major challenge in Nigeria, adding that  the Federal Government has failed to fulfill none of the twenty six commitments it made at the high level meetings.

“Nigeria has not fully achieved any of the twenty six WASH commitments, it voluntarily made in several high level meetings between 2000 and 2012. These commitments made at four high level meetings between 2000-2012: the World summit in Johannesburg 2000, United Nations Assembly, New York in 2010, African Sanitation and Hygiene conference, eThekwini in 2011, and the Sanitation and Water for All meeting in Washington, in 2012; but none of them have been fulfilled so far by the Nigerian Government”,  the statement added.

The group further disclosed that some of these unfulfilled commitments include; harmonisaiton of water and sanitation policies, promoting WASH in Schools, intensify increasing water and sanitation budgets by 15 per cent, ensuring at least 0.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to promoting sanitation and hygiene.

Others, according to them are; declaring access to water and sanitation a human right, encouraging State and Local Governments to  create budget lines for sanitation, scaling up community led total sanitation in the 36 states,  increasing national access to improved sanitation to 65 percent by 2015 and increasing national  access to improved water by at least 5 percent  by 2014.

“This explains why 35 million Nigerians still defecate in the open, about 90 million are without access to safe drinking water, and 130,000 under five Nigerian children die annually from preventable water borne disease”, the statement further explained.

The coalition therefore called on the Federal Government to accelerate access to safe drinking water and sanitation services in Nigeria by fulfilling the commitments it made at high level meetings to leverage additional financing to develop Nigeria’s water and sanitation sector.

The group urged the government to keep its promises and initiate practical policies, programmes and projects to develop the country’s WASH sector, and improve access to WASH services.

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Banigo Felicitates With Justice Wike On Her Birthday

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has felicitated with the wife of the State Chief Executive Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike as she celebrates her birthday on Saturday, 23rd May, 2020.

 

In a statement from the Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday, 23rd May 2020, Dr. Banigo described Hon. Justice Wike as a humane and God fearing woman who is a great pillar of strength to our amiable Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

 

While wishing her many happy returns the Deputy Governor prayed the Almighty God to continue to protect and bless Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike.

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Former Nigeria President Jonathan Loses Foster Dad.

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The family of former Nigerian President,Goodluck Jonathan and the Otuoke community of Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state has been thrown into mourning as the News of the sudden demise of Chief Nitabai Inegite,the former president’s foster father reached them.

Though no official reports have reached us as to the cause of his death,The Tide learnt that the septuagenerian has been briefly ill shortly before his demise.
The former President, who visited the residence of his late foster father the early hours of Wednesday has not made any official statement regarding funeral arrangement.
Chief Inegite,popularly called ‘holy’ by his admirers and friends was initially reported to have been responding to treatment in an undisclosed health facility where his health later deteriorated before finally giving up  the ghost  at about 11:00 pm,Tuesday 19th day of May,2020.
You would recall that the late Chief Nitabai Inegite was twice reported to have been kidnapped some time between 2014 and 2016 respectively.
The late former president’s foster father was survived by his wife,biological children,grand children and numerous relatives.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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Nigerian Senate Considers Bill For Ensure Food Security

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…seeks establishment of Food Reserve Agency
The Nigerian Senate, in a seemingly proactive stop to forestall anticipated food shortfall  in the country ,  on Tuesday, commenced legislative work on a critical bill to ensure food security in Nigeria through  the establishment of  Food Reserve Agency to plan and implement policies for adequate food production and storage.
The bill  sponsored  by Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), scaled second reading at plenary , on Tuesday.
Leading debate on the bill, Senator Adamu noted that Nigeria as a nation needs to develop its Agricultural sector to ensure not only alternate economy but also food security .
He further emphasised that this requires  an vibral  agency to drive all attending policies for the growth and sustainability of the sector.
According to the lawmaker, the Food Reserve agency when established, would be responsible for storing food grains and other food commodities for strategic purposes.
His words “Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the development and growth of every nation. Any country seeking to diversify its economy, alleviate poverty, create jobs and ensure food security should prioritize agriculture.
“Nigeria recognizing the important role Agriculture plays has made efforts to place the sector at the fore by introducing different intervention programmes and policies backed by enabling laws.
“A further step to be taken to ensure food security in our country at all times is to formulate enabling laws that will address food insecurity,”
“The agency will implement the overall National Food Reserve Policy to ensure a reliable supply of designated commodities in the country.”
The lawmaker recalled that, “the recent mandate of the President during the COVID-19 pandemic to distribute 70,000 metric tons of grains from the Grains Reserves shows clearly how important it is for a country to have a Food Reserve Agency.”
 Stressing the importance of food security ,he linked the current Covid 19 situation and its Nigeria’s readiness to  ensure the nation don’t wind up in food crises as well.
According to Senator Adamu, with the Agency in place, Nigeria will be taking the right step in the right direction as replicated in other African countries such as Zambia and Tanzania.
“With the existence of the Agency, emergency food crises will be taken care of especially in the period of a pandemic.
“There will also be a reduction in post-harvest losses as silos, warehouses, equipment, ancillary facilities and other suitable storage facilities will be installed and maintained.”  the Senator explained.
After the debate, the President of  the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development chaired by the sponsor of the bill Adsmu Abdullahi.
The Committee  is given four weeks  to report back to the Senate.
Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi.
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