Federal Government says World Bank will invest 350 million dollars to support the Partnership of Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme in Nigeria.
The Minister of Water Resources, said this at the National Mr Sulieman Adamu, Stakeholders’ Consultation workshop on Nigeria Rural WASH Project last Thursday in Abuja.
“The World Bank has graciously considered our request and preparing a project in support of the PEWASH programme in the country.
“This is with an investment worth 350 million dollars to deliver sustainable and safe water and sanitation to millions of Nigerians and to support our efforts to end open defecation.
“I sincerely thank the Work Bank for this effort and hope this will open the gate for more supports from our esteemed development,” he said.
Adamu said that the consultation workshop was also aimed at discussing modalities for the implementation of the proposed Nigeria Sustainable Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project to be supported by the World Bank.
He said the workshop was to review and fashion out modalities necessary for the taking off and the full implementation of the project.
The minister however said that states were expected to meet certain criteria to be qualified and to be ready to receive the support of the proposed project.
He said that these criteria were not anything new, rather the same requirements were necessary for adequate preparation and smooth implementation of the project.
“Mr President during inauguration of the National Action Plan for the Revitalisation of the WASH Sector in November 2018 directed that Federal Government support to state governments would be contingent upon their willingness to implement the National Action Plan.
“State governments must therefore be ready to make both political and financial commitment that will be needed for the project being prepared with the World Bank, ”he said.
The minister while unveiling a report on the “Nigeria Rural WASH Services Access and Sustainability Report” said the report provides an assessment of the current rate of WASH services in the country.
He said that the report had evaluated some of the basic drivers underpinning rates and undertook a comprehensive review of the various modalities of WASH provision in the rural Nigeria, among others.
Adamu therefore reiterated commitment to the Clean Nigeria, Use the Toilet campaign to stop open defecation in the country by 2025.
Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, the World Bank’s representative said that low access to Water supply, Sanitation and Hygiene services (WASH) was a major reason for this poor performance.
“Lack of WASH services has led to high infant mortality, deteriorates lifelong health and reduces educational attainment that has in turn diminished labour productivity.
“The World Bank is proud to offer continued support as you embark on implementing the National Action Plan for the Revitalisation of Nigeria’s WASH sector.
“That is why this year, at the request of your government, our team has begun preparing a new 350 million dollars lending operation in support of rural communities and small towns,” he said.
He said that the project seeks to increase access to water, sanitation and hygiene services and strengthen capacity for service delivery.
Benmessaoud said that with the collaboration of all in the implementation of the Action Plan, the federal, state and local governments, development partners, stakeholders, Nigeria ” can make the impossible possible”.
Dead Fishes:Environment Groups Demand Palliatives For Bonny Residents
Two environment groups in Nigeria, the Bonny Environment Consultant Committee (BECC) and the Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria, have decried the devastating impact of the massive dead fishes floating along the Bonny coastline in Rivers State which they say have destroyed economic lives of the inhabitants of the area, with a call for the provision of palliatives to them.
The groups which made their position known in separate interviews with The Tide in Port Harcourt said it was not enough to unravel the causes of the dead fishes on the coastline but that there was the need to provide palliatives to the people whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the ugly incident.
The Chairman of Bonny Environment Consultant Committee, Prof. Sodeinye Abere, who described the incident as disturbing, said on confirming the veracity of the massive dead fishes on the Bonny coastline, his committee directed the people to stop harvesting, buying and eating fishes for now, thereby temporarily putting on hold their means of livelihoods.
According to him, “the stench of the dead fishes alone is very, very disturbing. Ordinarily, the coastline dwellers enjoy the cosy breeze that comes in and refreshes their bodies. It is no more the case. More than that, with the Coronavirus issue restricting people’s movement, again, the ordinary Bonny man can go behind of his house at the creek and fetch fish to subsist with, but he cannot do that any more. The economic load now would be so much on the ordinary natives.”
To cushion the effects of this seeming disruption of the people’s socio-economic wellbeing, Prof. Abere said there was the need to provide palliatives to them. “Palliative measures are also solicited because our people waiting to die of Coronavirus should be alive first”, he said.
He pointed out that there was also the need not to only investigate the circumstances surrounding the dead fishes but also the physiochemical properties of the water where the fishes live, stressing that if not properly handled, the situation can become a pandemic in Nigeria.
On his part, the President of the Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria, Dr Samuel Chisa Dike said the body was disturbed by the development and urged the Federal Government to treat the issue the same way it is treating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dike, an Associate Professor of Energy and Environment Law at the Rivers State University, stressed the need for critical stakeholders to work together to address the issue.
“ You never can tell who has consumed this specie of fishes since one month now. And we want to be sure that government is sensitised about it, because there is the tendency to tell the people about the danger of consuming the fishes but another thing is what happens to their economic lives?”, he queried.
By: Donatus Ebi
COVID-19: Man O’ War Distributes Hand Sanitisers To Eneka Residents
The Rivers State Command of the “Man O’ War” Nigeria has distributed thousands of hand sanitisers to residents of Eneka and other communities in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
The State Commandant of the paramilitary organisation, Barrister Dignity N. Nwieke, told newsmen during a sensitisation programme on the coronavirus pandemic in Eneka that, the move was to complement the effort of the State Government at checking the spread of the disease to the state.
Barrister Nwieke said the sensitisation programme which started in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area will be taken round the 23 local government areas.
According to him, as a responsible organisation the Man O’ War will not wait for the Rivers State Government to shoulder the burden of checking the spread of the disease alone, stressing that the organisation must play its part in ensuring that Rivers State is coronavirus free.
The State Commandant also called on other organisations and agencies to assist the state governor towards combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Governor Wike is trying. He needs the support of everybody to succeed,” he said.
Nwieke also called on the people of Eneka and other communities to maintain the highest level of personal hygiene, by washing their hands regularly with soap and running water, avoiding handshakes and keeping their environment clean.
He also called for support to the paramilitary organisation.
Some beneficiaries of the hand sanitisers commended the organisation for the gesture.
RSG Probes Causes Of Dead Fishes As Andoni Communities Raise Alarm Over Likelihood Of Epidemic
The Rivers State Government says it will investigate the incident of thousands of dead fishes along the Bonny and Andoni coastal waterways.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Dr Igbikis Tamuno, said this in a press release while reacting to reports of floating dead fishes along the Bonny and Andoni waterways.
The release signed by the Commissioner, Dr Igbikis Tamuno said the government will investigate the cause of the dead fishes.
The Commissioner also urged indigenes of coastal communities both in Bonny and Andoni not to eat the dead fishes.
Meanwhile, residents of some coastal communities in Andoni Local Government Area have alleged the presence of thousands of dead fishes along the Andoni River.
According to the residents, thousands of dead fishes are being washed ashore by Atlantic waves.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide, a resident of Muma community, Engr Joshua Ngo said the area may experience an epidemic if the decaying fishes are not properly buried.
Engr Ngo, also said, multinational companies operating in the area are denying being responsible for the incident.
According to him, the incident has deprived fishermen of their sources of livelihood as the entire coast stretching from Muma to Finima in Bonny Local Government Area has been polluted.
The community leader also called for the entire coastal environment of Andoni stretching from Oyorokoto to Ibot-Okpon Obolo to be fumigated in order to save the communities from epidemic.
Ngo also called for the communities to be compensated with relief materials.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Community Development Committee (CDC), Ngo mainland, Mr Clement Clement Sunday, called on the government to act urgently as hunger may force the people to feed on the dead fishes.
Sunday also told The Tide that all oil companies operating in the Andoni territorial waters have denied responsibility for the dead fishes.
“We have contacted companies operating in the area and they said they don’t know what caused the death of the fishes.
According to him, more than 20 communities in the coastal environment are on the verge of starvation as the decaying fishes have polluted the entire source of water source.
“I want to call on the government to come to the aide of the communities as the decaying fishes are all over the water surface.
“Hunger is looming,” he said.
Meanwhile, an Environmentalist, Mr Iniruo Wills, has urged the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), to probe the cause of death of fishes along the Niger Delta coastline.
Wills, in an interview with newsmen in Yenagoa, noted that dead fishes littered the coastline across Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States.
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