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Rivers

Deaf Association Raises Alarm Over Govt Neglect

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Members of the Rivers State Association of the deaf have raised alarm over what they christen “marginalisation and neglect” by the state government.

Speaking to The Tide on Thursday, the Chairman of the body, Comrade Tamunoibi Chamberlain, who led a delegation of three to The Tide in Port Harcourt, said the alleged marginalisation and neglect is a result of the government’s “non-chalant attitude towards our plight.”

 According to the chairman, several attempts have been made “to get through to the state government to tell them our problems so that they can help us, but nothing has come out of it.”

The crux of their plight, according to the chairman, is that no opportunity is given them to prove themselves suitable for employment, even after the body officially registered with the Ministry of Social Development, Youth and Sports in 1994, a year after its formation.

Comrade Chamberlain noted that the body has over 400 members, out of which only five members are employed by the State Governments, at the School for the Deaf.

He explained that over 2oo of the members have completed their secondary education, ten of them have National Diplomas and National Certificate of Education (NCE), while only one is a first degree holder in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

The body, also has “over 35 members who are skilled in various fields that could earn them employment if given the opportunity”, he said.

 Chamberlain continued that “because of the neglect, some of our members are compelled to go into such areas as street begging and prostitution to earn a living.

 “We are not begging them (government) to come and give us money. All we want is for government to give us the opportunity for us to have access to necessary education and job opportunities so we would not always be seen as beggers,” he said.

On his part, General Secretary of the body, Mr Akim Ade also called on the government to look into the plight of the School for the Handicapped in  Creek Road, saying that the school needs facilities and competent teachers to function effectively.

 “All of this adds up to the neglect because even our education is given less attention,” he said.

They thus urged, the state government to “please come to our aid by including us in the scheme of things so we can have a sense of  belonging.

 “I promise the government that if they can give us necessary opportunities, among other things, we can even help to rid the streets of fake beggers.”

Also present in the delegation was Mr Opuene Yellowe, the vice chairman of the body.

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Rivers

Environmentalist Urges RSG to Revive Sanitary Officers

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Founder and Coordinator of the Street Neighbourhood Marshals and Volunteers, Sodin Akiaba, has urged the Rivers State Government to engage fresh personnel as Environmental and Health Officers in the State.
While speaking at the weekend on a live radio programme, “Viewpoint”, in Port Harcourt, Akiaba said many Environmental Health Officers have retired while others have aged.
He explained that the state needed a new environmental policy that will reflect the current growing population and urbanisation in the metropolis.
Listing the benefits of having environmental health officers, he argued that such personnel will help in improving sanitation in both rural and urban areas.
“As much as I know, government has not employed sanitary Officers in the past 15 years, and that is not going to help. I will advise government to employ new ones and this will improve sanitation in the state”, Akiaba said.
The head of the Sanitation Marshals stated that environmental health is key to the wellbeing of the people, and explained that the organisation was established during the tenure of former Governor Peter Odili to provide support in cleaning and improving environmental health.
Decrying the poor attitude of the public in disposing waste, Akiaba suggested need for stringent enforcement of laws to serve as deterrent to those who flout the laws.
He stressed need for sensitisation and enlightenment of the public on proper waste management, saying this will reduce indiscriminate waste disposal, assuring that the Sanitation Marshals were established as volunteers to close the gaps in poor waste management.
Urging more people to volunteer as members of the body, Akiaba stated that it was not a paid job but rather a selfless contribution to improve the environment and health of the society.
The body, he further stated, was planning to organise awards and recognition among streets and public agencies that kept their environment clean.

Kevin Nengia

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Rivers

Environmental Society Honours Fubara

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Nigerian Environmental Society has bestowed on the State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, the Environmental Appreciation Award as part of the celebration of the 2024 World Environment Day, and successful presentation of the First Distinguished Lectures Series, which was delivered by the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Prof. Ngozi Nma Odu.
Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of the Society, Sir Daminabo Amos Atuboyedia, who gave the commendation, said the programme was very successful and the turnout was overwhelming, because of the love and support the Society received from the Governor.
According to him, all the environmental practitioners in the State were present to deliberate on the Marine and Blue Economy to the Industrialisation of Rivers State, and discussions were held on what can be done to better the State at the event.
This was contained in a statement by the Head of Press, Deputy Governor’s Office, Owupele Benebo.
Atuboyedia also commended Fubara for what RIWAMA was doing in evacuating wastes on roads, stressing that everyone could see the improvement in that sector.
“As environmental professionals, we want the sustainability of our environment in Rivers State to be strong, because when our environment is conducive, everyone will feel it.
“If we take care of our environment, people living in Rivers State will enjoy the State, because they have clean environment where they can breathe fresh air. So, we thank him.
“You can see that black soot has reduced drastically, everyone can attest that it is no longer rampant as it used to be, all these are efforts of the present Government on ground”, he said.
Also speaking, the immediate past Chairman of the society, Dr. Kingsley Nwogbidi, said the society has received tremendous support from the Fubara-led administration, which manifested during the celebration of the 2024 World Environment Day, and called for greater collaboration with stakeholders.Environmental Society
Honours Fubara

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Rivers

Commissioner Seeks Team Work Among Staff

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The Rivers State Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Hon. Prince Charles E.O Bekee, has charged the staff of the ministry to work as a team in the discharge of their duties.
Giving the charge recently during a meeting he held with staff in his office, he said “the objective of the meeting was to educate and let them know that the only way to move the Ministry of Local Government Affairs in the state to an enviable height was by collective cooperation from the staff, adding that as children of God they should hold God firm and shun gossip, backbiting, do their work, and allow the will of God to prevail”.
The Commissioner explained that as civil servants, especially staff of the ministry, they should see themselves as the light of the ministry, and abide by the rules by being punctual to their duty post and make transparency and a countability their watchword.
This, he said, was to project the image of the ministry and the administration of the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, in the State.
He declared that for him to be in the ministry as a Commissioner, God has a purpose, same for staff working in the ministry, urging them not to misuse the opportunity given to them by taking things for granted because none of them read Ministry of Local Government Affairs as a course in the university.
The Local Government Affairs boss, who noted that coming together was the beginning, said “staying together is progress, and working together is success”.
He, therefore, appealed to all the staff to cleanse themselves of all acrimony and discharge their duties effectively and efficiently, “because the Ministry of Local Government Affairs is a very sensitive ministry that determines the activities of the 23 Local Government Areas of the state”.
Bekee further urged them to be open to bring to his office rational criticisms that will promote and enhance the welfare of the ministry.
In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dame Itong Awani, thanked the Commissioner for his commitment and zeal to change the negative narrative of the Ministry, and assured him that the staff of the ministry will give him the maximum support to enable him succeed.
She also appealed to the staff to be diligent in their duties.

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