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Flood Victims Want Probe Of N500m Fund

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Victims of the 2012 flood disaster in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to investigate the disbursement of the N500 million flood relief assistance given to the state.

A cross-section of the victims, who spoke with newsmen in the area, said that many of them had yet to receive any form of monetary assistance from the authorities while a few of them received between N200 and N240.

The victims said in Gindin-Kuka ward, one of the areas worst hit by the disaster, that the investigation was necessary in order to ensure accountability, justice and fairness in the management of the Federal Government intervention fund.

Mr Moses Ginam, one of the victims, said he only learnt about the N500 million in the media.

Gidam said he was told that N90, 000 was allocated to the flood victims in his area and that each victim was to receive N250.

“To be candid, I only heard that the Federal Government has released N500 million to Adamawa State Government on the pages of newspapers. We were told that we were given N93,000 and when you divide the money each household will get N240.

“The Federal Government should investigate this matter because the genuine victims were not the actual people benefiting from the Federal Government intervention.”

Another victim, Mr Francis Emmanuel, who also called for a probe, said that the affected people of his community in Mbula chiefdom had rejected the N1.5 million given to them because the amount could not go round.

“I went down to the village and I was told that they only sent about N1.8 million to the entire Mbula chiefdom and the people rejected it because if you are going to share this money to the people, each person will get just two hundred and something naira.

“Imagine somebody that lost his house, farm and you are giving the person just N200 to help himself or herself.

‘’The affected people decided to reject the assistance because they could not imagine what the N200 would do for them.’’

Mallam Abdullahi Gindin-Kuka, another victim, said he was asked to go and collect N240 from the ward head as assistance but he rejected the offer.

Commenting on how the N500 million was disbursed, the Secretary to Adamawa Government, Mr Kobis Thimnu, said the state government used the funds to purchase 60 trucks of fertiliser and improved seeds for distribution to farmers in the state.

Thimnu, who is also the chairman of Quick Response Committee in the state, said that the state government had decided to procure fertilisers and seeds with the money because most of the affected flood victims were farmers.

“You are aware that the state is an agrarian state and that is why we decided to give priority to food security by providing fertiliser and seedlings to farmers. ’’

He also said that cash was given to affected local governments based on the level of destruction, adding that Lamurde Local Government, being the area worst hit by the disaster, was given N29 million.

Thimnu said that the state government had set up committees in each of the affected local government areas to handle the disbursement of the N500 million Federal Government’s intervention fund.

The committees, he said, were chaired by commissioners from the affected local government areas.

It will be recalled that many lives were lost while property worth over N20 billion was reportedly destroyed during the 2012 flood disaster in the state.

The disaster has been described by experts as the worst in 40 years.

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Environment

Oil Spill: Farm Lands, Others Under Threat At Bodo

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Farm lands and other properties in Bodo City, Gokana Local Government Area are under threat following the continuous flow of oil from a ruptured pipeline allegedly owned by one of the multinational companies.
A community source informed The Tide that the spillage which occured last week in the area had continued to threatened both farm lands and aquatic lives.
According to the source, the spill has continued to flow from the pipeline, thereby posing a serious threat to the inhabitants of the community and their source of livelihood.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The Tide from the community, the Chairman, of Bodo council of Chiefs, James Boridoma Tete said the spillage is destroying farm lands in the community.
Chief Tete said the community could not ascertain the cause of the spillage.
“ I can confirm that the oil is spilling with a speed,” he said.
He stressed the need for a joint visit between the community and the company which owns the pipeline with a view to ascertaining the cause and ensure that it does not affect the people.
“ I think joint investigation visit should be carried out immediately to avert unpleasant consequences that this situation can cause to the community inhabitants.
Chief Tete also said that if noting is done on the situation urgently, all farmlands in the area will be devastated.
“There is need to put this thing under control before more harms are done to our people.
“As am talking to you now, farm lands are being destroyed by the oil which is rushing out of the ruptured pipeline with a speed”, he said.
Chief Tete also urged the people to remain calm as the chiefs council is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that spill is contained.

By: John Bibor & Oribim Ibama

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Minister Advocates Co-Operation Among Water, Energy, Food Security Sectors

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The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has called for co-operation among Nigeria’s water, energy and food security sectors towards addressing all challenges hindering socio-economic development.
Adamu made the call at the opening of a three-day Inter-Sectoral Policy National Dialogue on “the Nexus of Water -Energy-Food Security” in Abuja.
The workshop was organised by the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) and German International Cooperation (GiZ).
He said mismanagement of one sector could affect the viability of other sectors and compromise the livelihoods of the people and the ecosystem.
Adamu, represented by the Director, Water Quality and Sanitation, Mr Emmanuel Awe said the nexus approach reflected the interlink between Water, Energy, Food Security and Environment.
He expressed the need to integrate all sectors towards promoting positive impact, socio -economic development and management of resources.
Adamu said increasing activities due to urbanisation, agriculture and industrialisation, had resulted in the pollution of fresh water with serious adverse effects on health and wellbeing.
While expressing the Federal Government’s gratitude to the NBA and experts, he urged all participants to show more commitment for effective and efficient implementation of all NBA projects and programmes.
Regional Coordinator, Nexus GIZ and EU, Robert Kronefield and NBA representative, Bamidele Olatunji, said the workshop would strengthen stakeholders’ capacity in planning, policy development and implementation of the NEXUS approach.
The Tide source recalls that the first phase of the NBA and German Cooperation (NBA-GIZ) NEXUS Project (2016-2020) placed strong emphasis on regional integration of the NEXUS approach and capacity building.
The NEXUS project takes an integrated view of the water, energy and agriculture sectors, as these are all competing for the same scarce resources.
It allows an optimal balance of interests in the use of resources, manage conflicts and human rights risks appropriately, and respect the limits of the planet’s ecological resilience.

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‘Why WASH Facilities Are Not Working In Rural Communities’

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A Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) specialist, Prof. Sunday Iboro Sunday has blamed the non functioning of some WASH facilities in rural communities in the state on lack of proper maintenance.
Sunday said this at a recent WASH event organised by the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) in Port Harcourt.
He said the situation has underscored the need for the authorities to build the capacities of the rural dwellers towards maintenance of WASH facilities in their areas.
Prof Sunday who is of Theme Global, a consultancy firm said the firm is interested in the areas of capacity development.
“Don’t forget it doesn’t stop about just putting water resources facilities, there is a soft component which is capacity building.
“We are here to look at the Local Government what do they have, we started with WASH, what is the component of WASH, what do they have on ground” he said.
The WASH specialist said his firm is accessing the various local government councils in the state to see if they have the capacities to maintain WASH facilities sited in their areas.
“We are interested in capacity building to look at the gap why they are not like that, because you will soon see when we start rolling out the result.
“Rivers State, I can tell you now that over 50 percent of facilities we have are not even working”, he said.
He said effort will also be made to see if the problem is from the people or the qualities of WASH facilities in the affected areas.
“That will form some of the discussion we are going to discuss. We are looking in terms of what is it the technology that is faulty? Is it the people”? he said.
He commended RUWASSA for the programme, stressing that it will help stakeholders to come up with the best possible ways of ensuring proper maintenance of WASH facilities in the rural areas.

By: John Bibor

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