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Expert Wants Irrigations On Flood Plains

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The Niger and Benue River flood plains have the greatest potential for  the establishment of  irrigation schemes, a top  government official has said.
The official made this known while speaking to newsmen in Abuja, recently.
He said that 1.8 million hectares of irrigable land lay in the flood plain of the Niger and Benue Rivers.
“ Flood plains are the best place to do irrigation; that has always been our argument; we have about 3.1million-hectare potential.
“And 1.8 million of that lies in the flood plain of the Niger -Benue River; that is the best place to do irrigation.
“You have to go back to the 1970 when there was drought in the north and those areas became dry and very little rain fell there such that people couldn’t farm.
“There was near starvation in those regions; so government decided to alleviate this drought problem by constructing an irrigation scheme so that they can continue to farm even if there is no rain.
“That’s what brought about irrigation project like Bakolori, Kano River and Hadejia.’’
The official also said that  these plains had been identified but not developed due to inadequate annual rainfall.
He noted that the country focused more on rain-fed agriculture, leaving out the economic benefits of irrigation farming.
“ What we have been doing is trying to produce foods to feed ourselves; we have forgotten that we can actually make a lot of money foreign exchange by exporting food.
“So, we are not making that effort to develop irrigated agriculture to the point that we will begin to export food.’’
He, however, urged Nigerians to buy into the irrigation farming, noting  that the country’s population was growing rapidly.
He underscored the need  to plan on how to feed the growing population.
According to him, some states such as Kebbi, Katsina and Zamfara were already partnering with the Federal Government in developing irrigation projects.
He added that the partnership involved the government contributing 70 per cent of the funding while the state contributes the remaining 30 per cent.
He, however,  said that efforts were being made to encourage other states to adopt irrigation farming.

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Environment

LG Boss Moves To Make Council Area Cleanest In Rivers

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Chairman of Ogba/Egbema / Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, Hon Vincent Job, has announced a compulsory monthly sanitation exercise in the area.
Job told newsmen in Omoku last Saturday that the situation was in line with his campaign promise to make ONELGA one of the cleanest in the state.
He called on residents to ensure that their surroundings are kept clean always.
The ONELGA chairman said his administration will continue to sensitise the people on the importance of cleanliness at all times.
Job also restated his commitment to complement Governor Nyesom Wike in the areas of human capital and infrastructural development.
“I will describe the sanitation exercise today as awesome. It is in fulfillment of our campaign promise”.
“We must lead by example, my humble self, Vice Chairman, councilors and members of the executives are on the field to monitor, supervise and direct the exercise,” he said.
He urged the people to cooperate with his administration in the drive to reposition ONELGA for greater heights.

By: John Bibor

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Environment

AELN Takes Campaign On Environment To School …Inaugurates Green Mandates

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The Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria (AELN), last Friday, took its sensitisation and advocacy campaign to Community Secondary School, Rumuepirikom in Port Harcourt with a charge to students of the school to join the vanguard of protecting and preserving the environment as well as keeping it clean at all times.
The association equally inaugurated some students of the school as green mandates, even as it promised scholarship to those who succeed in gaining admission in universities in the country to study Environmental Law.
Led by the National President of the association, and Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Law, Dr. Samuel Chisa Dike, the group took time to educate the students on what constitutes the environment in totality and some of the environmental challenges confronting the Niger Delta region in particular including flooding, erosion and pollution arising from oil and gas activities in the region.
Dike, who primarily dished out the lectures, at the end of it all, asked the students sundry questions, which they brilliantly provided answers to.
Interestingly, all the students who answered the questions correctly were rewarded with customised exercise books to aid and assist them in their courses of study in the school.
The National President said the association took the sensitisation campaign to the school in order to catch them young, and to inculcate in them environmental ethics, as the environment constitutes life itself and the future, for which reason, mankind must strive to preserve and protect it at all times.
According to him, the sensitisation campaign on the environment is for everybody and not only for the young.
The National Organising Secretary of the association, Mrs Tina Ihunna decorated the students who volunteered to become green mandates.
The visibly elated Principal of the school, Mrs Nina Okene thanked members of the association for the initiative, and enjoined the students to read and study hard in order to bag the association’s scholarship awards, stressing that there is need to take care of the environment.

By: Donatus Ebi

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Environment

2021 Flooding: NEMA Tasks States On Emergency Measures

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The South South zonal office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has called on states in the zone to be prepared to relocate their citizens to higher grounds in the events of flooding this year.
Zonal Director of the agency, Godwin Tepikor said this in an exclusive interview with The Tide in his office in Port Harcourt.
Tepikor said in line with the Nigerian Hydrological Survey Agency (NIHSA) production, some parts of the Niger Delta will experience devastating flooding this year.
He said the prediction should make state governments in the region to think of enduring measures to mitigate the impact of the impending flood disaster.
The Zonal Director, however regretted that most state governments in the Niger Delta region are not giving a thought to the issue.
“Let’s begin to take measures to mitigate the impact of flood, people should look for a higher ground to move to”, he said.
He noted that states in the region have roles to play in the management of flooding and its impact, stressing that NEMA is only playing the role of a coordinator as far as flooding management is concerned.
The Director also advised citizens in the zone to adopt measures that will reduce the impact of flooding in their communities.
According to him, citizens must stop using waterways as a receptacle to throw waste while building on water right of ways should be discouraged.
He also called for regular sanitation to clear the waterways of debris, while both states and local governments in the zone must regularly enlighten their people on ways of combating flooding

By: John Bibor

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