Fear of an imminent flood disaster has gripped communities in Engenni kingdom of Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, following the rising level of water in the Orashi River.
Sources from the area informed The Tide that some farmers in the area have begun the premature harvesting of their crops to avoid them being destroyed by the imminent flood disaster while other residents have begun moving their properties out of the area.
Public Relations Officer of Isua Community, Joinkrama told The Tide in a telephone interview that there is widespread fear among residents of communities in the kingdom.
Oka, who is also the principal of Joinkrama Boys school said farmers in the area have began the premature harvesting of crops, in anticipation of flood disaster, while other are relocating from their homes.
“What is happening now is that, there is panic in the communities especially those on the shores of the Orashi river and some people are engaging in premature harvesting of cassava and other crops”.
He said the situation is not only in Engenni kingdom, but Ekpeye communities on the shores of the Orashi river are experiencing similar situation.
Oku said, though there are designated Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the area, the number of persons that will be affected will be too much for them.
He said, the solutions to this problem lies on the government finding a lasting solution to the problem.
He said the constant dredging of the Orashi river is necessary to ensure constant flows of water to the sea, while the adjorning creeks should also be dredged.
He mentioned the creeks to be dredged as that of Joinkrama Mbiama and Okarki.
“The government should open up the creeks at Okarki, Joinkrama and Mbiama for water to flow into the sea.
“Government should also embark on the construction of embankment, “The Orashi river is becoming shallow, Government should dredge it” he said.
The educationist who described the 2018 flooding as the worst however expressed the hope that the situation this year will be different. Oku said the frequency of flooding in the Engenni Kingdom and other parts of the state has supported the theory of climate change, stressing that since 1969, when he experienced the first flood disaster in the Kingdom, its frequency is now raising serious concern among the people.
SON, Stakeholders Develop Standard For Recycled Plastic Bottles
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and stakeholders in the food industry have collaborated to develop a standard for recycled plastic pet bottles.
The Director-General of SON, Mr Osita Aboloma, made this known at a Technical Committee Meeting on Polymer and Related Products in Lagos.
Aboloma said the move was coming on the heels of a recent coordination by the Federal Ministry of Environment to develop a national policy for the life cycle of plastics in the country.
The director-general, represented by Mrs Chinyere Egwuonwu, Director, Standards Development, SON, said the standard would improve production processes of plastics, ensure safety and the quality of products.
According to him, this will lead to an increase of its use which in turn provides opportunities for employment.
The SON chief said it would also give consumers and producers the confidence that the products and services they were developing or using were safe, reliable while also keeping the environmental safe.
He said: “The recycling of pet bottles packaging represents one of the most successful and wide spread examples of plastic packaging recycling.
“The growth in collection and processing of pet bottles for food packaging application has been increasing significantly over the last 10 years.
“This has been accomplished by significant investments in plastic recovery facilities and food grade recycled pet processing.
“The food and beverage recycling association of Nigeria remains the driving force for the development of this standard.
“Today, we have a draft national policy on life cycle of plastics with recycling of plastic waste as one of the strategies.
“The draft policy has been extensively discussed by all relevant stakeholders, and it is currently being processed for approval by the relevant government agency.”
Aboloma urged stakeholders to study the document and come up with a workable standard that would guide manufacturers, promote trade and assist regulation to guarantee acceptability without compromising the safety of the product.
Group Partners Govt To Attain ODF
The Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) says it will intensify its collaboration with the various tiers of government for attainment of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) before 2025.
The National Coordinator of NEWSAN Mr Benson Attah, said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
Attah was reacting to the recent exit by India as the number one country with the highest people practising open defecation in the world.
Our correspondent reports that India through its Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign on October 2, announced that it was free from practicing open defecation.
This announcement makes Nigeria number one in the world with highest number of people practicing open defecation.
“The implication of Nigeria as number one with the highest number of people practicing open defecation means Nigeria is occupying the first position and this is a very bad situation.
“We are collaborating with the federal and state governments in various phases as it concern Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) to ensure that the issue of open defecation becomes a thing of the past in this country.
“I must say that with all the efforts that we are putting in place, I am sure Nigeria will get out of this open defecation earlier than 2025.
“NEWSAN is also doing all that is possible so that the country attains open defecation free; that is why we have come up with a strategy that will work for the states and the local government levels in the attainment of this.
“We are already working on WASH implementation in the states to drive the successful conclusion of ODF in those states that already have interventions,” he said.
He said that NEWSAN was also making efforts to ensure that the states yet to get intervention on sanitation did that “and we will start afresh with them and guide them toward achieving ODF in their communities, local government and states.’’
The NEWSAN’s National Coordinator, while reacting on plans by President Muhammadu Buhari to issue an Executive Order to all federal agencies to key into sanitation, said it was a welcome development.
He also warned that it was one thing to issue a presidential order and another was whether states would comply with that order.
“We also want the presidency to go a step further by putting an incentive in place or a sanction otherwise people may not respect it,” he said.
RSG Begins Waste To Wealth Conversion Programme
The Rivers State Government says it has commenced the use of technology for the conversion of waste to wealth in the state.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development Sir Chidi Adiele, who said this, during the just concluded World Habitat Day celebration in Port Harcourt said the vision of the government in this creation has been translated into the on-going executions of various waste to wealth projects across the states.
Sir Adiele listed the projects to include; the spatial planning and location of waste-to-wealth project at Rumuomasi Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, the spatial planning and location of scrap-to-wealth project at Kira Tai in Tai Local Government Area and the location, planning and development control activities to remove solid waste like scrap metals of vehicles and dis-used tyres from streets to dumpsites at Eliozu and Mile I Flyover.
The rest are; the spatial planning and relocation of spare parts market and mechanics shed out of the present Ikoku area and the city, the semi landfill project of solid waste dump at Oyigbo, the mechanized waste management site at Ogbogoro and the upgrade, provision and modernization of social infrastructure in the proposed new cities of Ahoada, Bori and Degema. Adiele however said the challenges of waste management, and the transformation of waste to wealth are not insurmountable, adding that it was against this background, that the theme for the celebration which is “frontier technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth was most appropriate, adding that, with this, the sustainable development goals agenda eleven of the United Nations will certainly be achieved.
“We therefore call on all and sundry to join hands with the government in managing waste and its transformation from waste to wealth, if only and only if technology, potent tool as recommended by the United Nations is fully put into effective use” he said.
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