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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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We’re Hopeful Of Passage Of Water Resources Bill -Minister

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The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has expressed hope over the passage of the National Water Resources Bill before the National Assembly.
Adamu expressed the optimism while answering questions on the sidelines of a two-day training for Water Resources Correspondents, Editors, and News Analysts in the Nigerian Water Sector’  with theme, ‘Reporting Water in its Perspective’.
The Tide source reports that the training is to build capacity of reporters on water resources sector by having deep knowledge of terminologies and issues in the water sector.
The Tide also recalls that the Bill, which was introduced in the 8th Assembly, caused outrage as some Nigerians interpreted the law as a power grab by the federal Government.
“It is part of our roadmap as far as I am concerned. We will continue to engage with the National Assembly, now that they have come back from recess, we hope to engage.
“At the same time, we are talking to all other antagonists to allay the fears to accommodate whatever apprehension. We are very confident that we’ll get that bill passed,” the minister said.
He further stated that it was wrong for a section of Nigerians to completely criticize and condemn the whole Bill instead of pointing out areas that needs to be reconsidered.
“It doesn’t make sense if you have problem with the Bill; identify the key issue or problem if there is need for amendment instead to completely condemn just because of one or two items you are not satisfied with.
“In the National Assembly, you have public hearing, and we will still go back,” the minister said.

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Community Residents Flay Dumping Of Sachets, Bottles In Drainages

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Some residents of Eneka Community in Obio/Akpor  Local Government Area of Rivers State have condemned the indiscriminate dumping of water sachets and bottles in drainages and along the road in the community.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide in the community, they said the situation is not only an eyesore but responsible for incessant flooding being witnessed in the community.
Mr Chibuike Adim, indigene of Rumuoji Eneka condemned the practice, adding that it is this practice that blocked the gutters and caused flashed flooding in some areas in the community.
Adim called on the state government to save the community from the practice by constituting the tax force to check this habit.
He also said those who engaged in this practice are not only uneducated but also foolish, stressing that such people must be dealt with according to the law.
Also speaking, Miss Patience Odum also condemned the practice but added that there is no designated refuse dump site in the community.
Odum also urged for the provision of refuse receptacle in the area while the Rivers State Waste Management agency (RIWAMA) should also monitor the activities of the people.
Also speaking, Miss Alice Nsikak, a student of Rivers State University said the practice has become a big problem to the community as the entire drainages are blocked.
She stressed the need for sensitisation of the residence against the practice.
Nsikak also called on government to improve the method of refuse collection by providing waste bin to homes on the streets.
According to her, “people could be asked to pay little amount of money every month”, adding that the proposal will check the menace as well as check flash flooding in the community.
Also speaking with The Tide, Mr Ndubuise Ogom confirmed that dumping of plastic materials, refuge and pure water sachets in the drains is a very common practice in Eneka and also felt very bad about this practice.
This practice, added, must be stopped by government by promulgating laws to punish offenders. This if done, will prevent people taking part in such practice. He suggested, a fine of N1000 be slammad on those dumping refuge and plastic containers in the gutter.

By: Oribim Nyanaa Ibama, Elendu Obochi Esther & Inimgba Favour Victor

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UNESCO Laments Impending Collapse Of Biodiversity …Says Human Survival At Risk

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The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has raised alarm at the unprecedented speed which biodiversity is collapsing globally.
The Director-General of UNESCO Ms Audrey Azoulay, expressed this concern at the UNESCO 33rd session of the the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB-ICC) Programme in Abuja.
Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain
The director-general said that with the impending collapse, not only was human survival at risk, but also the beauty and the diversity of the world.
She said that the collapse was from the treetops to the ocean depths and from vertebrates to invertebrates, adding that no species was spared.
“This is the spirit driving UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. It is what makes it so pioneering and so valuable.
“We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace. With this impending collapse, not only is human survival at risk, but also the beauty, the diversity of the world.
“But this collapse is not inevitable: there is still time to make peace with the planet,” she said.
According to her, there is the conviction that we can re-forge our relationship with nature, that we can reconcile development and environmental protection.
“We must harness the power of education to rebuild our relationship with nature. UNESCO is fully mobilised to ensure that the environment becomes a key curriculum component by 2025.
“This is in line with the commitment made by the 80th governments we gathered at the Berlin conference last May.
UNESCO, a custodian of knowledge and know-how concerning biodiversity, has been developing concrete solutions to environmental challenges for over 50 years through the MAB programme and its network of protected sites, covering nearly six per cent of the planet.
With 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries, including transboundary sites, UNESCO seeks to reconcile humans and nature and demonstrate that it is possible to use biodiversity sustainably while fostering its conservation.
The Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, said that the world was facing planetary crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
According to her, this global loss of biodiversity is threatening the security of the world’s food supplies and the livelihoods of millions of people including indigenous people and local communities, especially in the African region.

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