Some residents of Port Harcourt City and environs have expressed mixed feelings over the impact of the early rainfall on flooding and businesses in the city and environs.
Across section of residents who spoke in an interview with The Tide said that the early rainfall is good as it helps to reduce heat and dust but bad for farming and other businesses as well as increased the rate of water logging in the city and environs.
It would be recalled that the situation was especially bad at the Nkpolu Junction Rumuigbo in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area as shop owners hurriedly locked up shops to avoid being caught up in the rushing water occasioned by the heavy downpour of last Wednesday.
There was also gridlock at Market Junction along the Port Harcourt Express Road, business activities were also paralysed at Emenike Junction, Mile I and Mile III markets respectively as well as at the MTN of the Port Harcourt – Aba Road.
While some residents expressed happiness and excitement over the rainfall describing it as a good omen, others expressed concern over the heavy traffic caused by the flood.
Some of the residents told The Tide that, the rain has brought them happiness and excitement stressing that, it has helped to reduce the terrible heat and dust being experienced since the advent of the dry season.
Mrs Aki Eze, a trader at the Mile I Market said that she does not bother about the flood caused by the storm as long as she can sleep well at night.
“Although, I could not do business that day, but I like the rain because I can now sleep comfortably Mrs Eze who claimed to be residing in Diobu, said that in their residence they sleep outside because of the heat especially at night.
Also speaking with The Tide, Mr Boniface Agi who rides motorcycle along the Igbo Etche-Rumuok-wurusi road said that he welcomed the rains because it had reduced the dusty nature of the road.
“You know because of bad roads, everywhere, has been dusty since the beginning of the year.
“So the rain is welcomed” he said. However, Mr. Olalekan Ige a Port Harcourt-based journalist said that the level of flooding occasioned by the rainfall should be a wakeup call to both the authorities and people to think of ways of averting flooding this year in the city.
According to him, people must avoid dumping refuse into the drains while the authorities must ensure that refuse bins are placed everywhere.
According to him, 60 percent of flooding in Port Harcourt is caused by human activities, stressing that the sooner the people realised this, the better it will be for the city.
Also speaking, an environmentalist, Prince William Chinwo, stressed the need for more sensitisation against dumping of refuse in gutters and drainages.
According to him, drainages must be kept clean of debris while sanitation authorities must keep close watch on market places where most refuse are generated.
Chinwo also stressed the need for refuse collectors to be cautioned against the indiscriminate dumping of refuse, while all buildings on water right of ways be demolished to ensure the free flow of water.
Also speaking, Mrs. Hannah Obaraboye said that flooding occasioned by the downpour has underscored the need for the enforcement of the law against the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state.
Mrs. Obaraboye blamed the flooding caused by the rain that day on the blockage of drainages, stressing that something must be done by the authorities to avert a disaster in the city this year.
Geoscientists Make Case For Clean Energy
The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), has called on Nigeria and other African nations to focus on minerals that are critical to transition to clean and green energy.
Newly inducted President of the society, Alabo Charlesye David Charles said this in Port Harcourt shortly after his induction as the 31st President of the society.
Charles also stressed the need for further linkages between the mining sector and the economy through the development and implementation of the local content policies that promote domestic production of inputs as well as value addition through manufacturing skills building, domestic job creation and participation of small and medium enterprises within the value chain.
According to him, “value addition is pivotal to lifting a good percentage of our people from poverty through the activities of the extractive sector.
Charles said multinational mining companies should be encouraged to engage more closely with local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as micro businesses as suppliers in the mines value chain.
He said the Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) is ready to partner the stakeholders in the development of the upstream sector of the industry by providing a specialized pool of professionals that policy makers in both the public and private sectors can rely on for quality interventions and delivery.
The NMGS 31st President also called for continuous massive investment in the mining sector
“In Nigeria, from statistics obtained from NAPIMS show already declining investment. So if there is no fresh capital for either brown field or Greenfield investment, we cannot grow production
“If we don’t grow production, the consequence is that we are building a short supply for tomorrow” he said.
Out-gone president of the society, Engr. Simon O. Nkom thanked members for the confidence reposed on the out-gone executive.
Nkom said the NMGS has come of age and calls on members to support the new executive to enable it execute more programmes for the society.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba said the ceremony will usher in a new era as far as the society is concerned.
Alabraba who was represented by Engr. Main David West said Geoscientists and civil engineers have a lot in common, adding that they must work together to develop the society.
Also speaking, Chairman local organizing committee of the ceremony, Prof. Winston Belgam said the ceremony was a big success.
He said the vision of the new president will transform the society and the mining industry in Nigeria.
By: John Bibor
A’Ibom Spends N10bn On Erosion Control – Commissioner
The Akwa Ibom State Government has spent N10 billion on erosion control projects in the state in the last nine months, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Charles Udoh has said.
Udoh told The Tide source in Eket that the money was spent on two major sites – Etim Umana erosion and St. Luke Hospital control projects.
“In the last nine months or so, we have spent close to N10 billion on erosion and the two major sites are Etim Umana Erosion and St. Luke Hospital erosion control projects,’’ he said.
The commissioner noted that businesses, houses and critical infrastructure had been displaced by erosion and flood in the areas.
According to him, more cities in Akwa Ibom are prone to gully erosion due of the natural topography and soil texture in those locations.
“This automatically means that whenever there is down pour, we are in the rain belt, gully erosion will become a problem,’’ he said.
He said building of houses on the right of way and farming on the slope of gully were some causes of gully erosion.
Udoh said the IBB Avenue flood control project, if not checked, could have a spill effect on erosion control.
“We are receiving a major drain to evacuate flood water because if you allow flood water to be there (IBB avenue) for a long time, it will begin to heat the crux of the earth surface.
“Then erosion will begin to prick in, especially in a place like Uyo that the soil texture is loose,’’ Udoh said.
The commissioner said the state government had rescued more than 100 houses, entire St. Luke and School of Nursing in Etim Umana from erosion.
On ecological issue, he noted that the state government alone could not solve the state’s erosion problem, adding that it was seeking for intervention (ecological funds) to do that.
World Desertification Day: FG Restates Commitment To Tackle Environmental Challenges
The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring lasting solution to environmental challenges by adopting a sustainable land management practices across the country.
Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, spoke at the commemoration of 2021 World Desertification and Drought Day, organised by his ministry in Abuja.
Abubakar said the government had developed policies, plans building institutional and legislative capacities to enhance effective and far-reaching actions to reduce the impacts of desertification and drought on the citizenry.
According to him, government recognises the importance of partnership in tackling desertification and it has facilitated the involvement of other actors, including the private sectors as well as donor organisations.
Abubakar said the government was concerned about the disruption of ecological system caused by poor land use, population pressure and the devastating activities of insurgents in the North-Eastern part of the country.
He said that the government was also worried about the dire consequences of land degradation, loss of lives and means of livelihood and had put in place the North-East Development Commission.
Abubakar added that the effort was to restore human dignity and bring succour to the people living in the area.
He urged Nigerians to cultivate the culture of planting trees as well as ensuring that any tree cut down was replaced, as this would serve as protection from windstorm and erosion.
Matazu said that the effort would help to protect fragile ecosystem and ensure sustainable environmental development of the country.
The theme of the 2021 World Desertification and Drought Day is: ‘Restoration, Land, Recovery’, ”We Build Better with Healthy Land’’.
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