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NEMA Cautions Journalists On Disasters Reportage

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The North-Central Zonal Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Mohammed Abdulsalam, has advised journalists to be “extra careful’’ in reporting disasters so as not to worsen already bad situations.

“The press is a major stakeholder in the disaster management matrix, especially in risk reduction, control, mitigation and response. Journalists must manage such roles very well to help the society,’’ he said in Jos on Tuesday.

Abdulsalam told newsmen  that the action and inaction of the press had often exacerbated existing emergencies and generated fresh rounds of emergency.

“The media should strive never to create any excitement and an atmosphere which leads to panic, especially where there is cut-throat competition between various television channels and newspapers.

“It is desired that a balanced approach is taken to report situations. People should be provided with a true and balanced story of the disaster, its approach, impact as well as the relief arrangements and coping mechanisms.

“We expect the media to also avoid issuing warning signals unless it has been issued by the relevant authorities,’’ he said.

The NEMA official also advised that the media should work as partners with the agency, rather than playing the role of critics.

“There is the need to give some correct assessment and refrain from providing subjective interpretations that will lead to exaggerated news,’’ he said.

Abdulsalam said that NEMA would soon organise a workshop in Jos to examine the role of the media in the handling of the many disasters, some natural and others man-made, that had continued to ravage the North-Central lately.

“We want to see how the media can help in disseminating early warnings to communities at risk and also serve as watchdogs to the disaster tackling machinery.

“We shall also focus on how the media could prevent rumour mongering, support existing communication network and be critical partners in saving lives and properties,’’ he said.

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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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