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Safe Water, Sanitation: W’Bank To Invest $350m In Nigeria

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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”.

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Environment

SON, Stakeholders Develop Standard For Recycled Plastic Bottles

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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.

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Group Partners Govt To Attain ODF

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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.

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Environment

RSG Begins Waste To Wealth Conversion Programme

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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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