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Flood: Kwara Begins De-Silting Of Drains

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To check flooding, Gov
ernor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara has ordered the de-silting of blocked drains within Ilorin metropolis.
The state Commissioner for Environment and Forestry, Usman Mora, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin.
It would be recalled that the flooding incident which occurred on April 9 had claimed lives and destroyed properties in some parts of Ilorin.
Mora said his ministry had started to sensitise residents on the need to vacate road setbacks and walkways while enforcement order on setbacks had begun.
The commissioner, however, said government was ready to assist those that had been affected by the enforcement order.
“Why we have to embark on this massive enforcement is because the rains are setting in.
“Governor Ahmed has just given us approval to de-silt all the drains ahead of time so that we can avert flooding.
“So that is why you see that we are forcing the traders out of our roads.
“And if we did not drive them away, there is no way the beautification of the city can be done.’’
Mora explained that the ministry earlier met with the traders and gave them ultimatum to relocate.
He also appealed to those engaged in charcoal business, saw-millers and farmers to refrain from indiscriminate felling of trees.
“Before you fell any tree, go to our forest officers, they will advise you.
‘’Most of them will find out that they are cutting economic trees like shea-nut and locust-bean trees and these trees are very viable economically,’’ he said.

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Expert Seeks Strong Punitive Measures Against Open Defecation

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An environmentalist, Mr Gafar Odubote, says it will be difficult to eradicate open defecation until strong punishments are meted on offenders.
Speaking with The Tide source in Lagos recently Odubote, Network Coordinator, Africa Region Let’s Do It World (LDIW), also called for increased awareness on the dangers of open defecation to health.
He said introduction of stiffer penalties by different levels of government against offenders would serve as deterrent to others.
“When people are being punished and fined for indiscriminate open defecation, it is then we will notice a shift in attitude as regards the practice,
According to the environmentalist, Nigeria ranked high amongst nations with open defecation practices simply because of the lack of adequate awareness on its dangers to health.
He noted that those who had the awareness were obstinate when cautioned.
Odubote noted also that Nigeria had an estimated 46 million people defecating openly.
“With a country like ours, with a vast population, we need to appropriately sensitise citizens on the dangers of open defecation to human health and the environment.
“We need strong laws and effective system to curb unsanitary defecation and make Nigeria open defecation-free by 2025, as projected by the federal ministry of water resources, in its road map of 2019.
“We have a lot to do to discourage open defecation practices in Nigeria. We need to put adequate laws and punishments in place to stop open defecation in the country.
“We are aware of activities in place by various governments and NGOs to stop open defecation.
“ Open defecation is one of the origins of waste pollution in the environment. It ranges from air, land, and most especially water pollution,’’ he said.
Odubote emphasised the need to install strong disciplinary measures against defaulters to be able to checkmate the menace.
“Open defecation also has negative effects on the aesthetics of our environment. It erodes the beauty of the environment and increases stench in the atmosphere.
“Open defecation practice is an attitudinal problem because some Nigerians will know readily that something is bad and injurious to their health and that of others, yet they will still do it,’’ he said.
Odubote asked authorities to also provide adequate and regularly maintained sanitary toilet services, so that the campaign to make Nigeria open defecation-free could be attained.

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Environment

‘Nigeria Loses 200bn Cubic Meter Of Fresh Water To Atlantic Ocean Annually’

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An expert, Engr Daso Mark Derefake, says Nigeria loses 200 billion cubic meter of fresh water annually to the Atlantic ocean.
Derefake, who is the managing director of Niger Delta Basin Development Authority (NDBDA) said this during the celebration of the 2021 World Rivers Day in Port Harcourt by the authority.
He said that Niger Delta area was contributing 14 billion cubic meters to the country’s fresh water loss to the Atlantic ocean.
“Waterways in the catchment area are equally changing due to human activities within our surrounding communities.
Nigeria loses 200 billion cubic meter of fresh water to the Atlantic ocean annually with our catchment area contributing 14 billion cubic meters lose”.
The NDBDA managing director said if the water is properly harnessed and utilised, it will boost the nation’s agricultural production, sustain industries, create employment for youths as well as give sufficient useable water to the communities within the agency’s catchment states.
He listed some activities of water pollution in the Niger Delta to includes fertilizer and pesticide being washed into the rivers, dumping of plastic waste and other non-biodegradable wastes into drains, open defecation, indiscriminate exploitation of ground and surface water, oil spill into rivers which decimate aquatic lives.
Derefake also stressed the need for the rejuvenation of policies to revive the rivers.
According to him, the water ways should be cleaned periodically of debris and regular distilling between 3-5 years, sensitisation of communities for the preservation of rivers and water ways in the region, while open defecation should be discouraged in the Niger Delta.
He also urged for the establishment of recycling plants to recycle non-biodegradable products and plastic, while relevant laws against over exploitation of water bodies within the catchment area should be enforced.
Other recommendations includes planting of trees along river banks to improve aesthetics and make for greener environment, while private sector participation in water rejuvenation should be encouraged.

By: John Bibor

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Environment

NEMA Tasks Residents In Flood Plains On Positive Attitude

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on people living in flood prone areas to have a change of attitude towards the environment to minimise the negative impacts of floods.
Head, Abuja Area Operation Office of NEMA, Mr Justin Uwazuruonue,made the call in Lokoja, at a one-day stakeholders workshop on flood sensitisation campaign.
He said that the increasing cases of flood disaster and its attendant damage to means of livelihood and property were largely due to the poor attitude of the people to the environment.
Nwazuruonnye, who reminded the people that the occurrence of floods in Kogi State has become a yearly one, stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to minimise the effects of the disaster.
He also called on the people to start taking flood warnings and predictions from relevant government agencies seriously.
The NEMA chief further urged stakeholders to regularly visit people in flood prone communities with a view to cautioning them on their actions and inactions, leading to flood disaster.
He also called on residents of flood prone nine local governments in the state to get ready to relocate to safer places in case of floods.
“This will prevent or limit loss of lives , damage to property and the environment,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KOSEMA), Mr Sunday Obari, told stakeholders at the workshop that government had set up a task force to enforce relocation of residents living in flood plains.
He also disclosed that the government had established camps in Lokoja, Idah , Koton Karfe and other communities for those that were likely to be displaced from their houses by the impending floods.
He called on participants to come up with suggestions that would help in reducing the impact of the flood disaster on the people and the environment.
Obari also called on flood desk officers in the nine flood prone local governments to work in synergy and get acquainted with telephone number of emergency providers across the state.
The workshop was attended by stakeholders from the Red Cross, health, security agencies and marine sectors.

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