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Biodiversity Conservation: RSG To Partner UNDP

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The Rivers State
Government has assured the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) of its willingness to partner with it in the conservation of the state biodiversity resources.
The Permanent Secretary in the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Adolpheus Nweke said this in Port Harcourt while declaring open a UNDP’s Niger Delta biodiversity project meeting with traditional rulers and opinion leaders.
Mr Nweke who also called on traditional rulers to check the high rate of encroachment on land in their vicinities, said that the state was in danger of losing “its resources especially forest resources to land speculations.
“The workshop is a welcome idea. In the past we enjoyed a lot of stability arising from conserve forest, but today, a lot has been destroyed” he said.
The permanent secretary also decried the continuous killings of the elephants in the Andoni forest the killings of python and iguana in Bonny and urged the organisation to design an action plan that would focus on ways of preserving these animals for future generations.
He also charged the traditional rulers to go back home and sensitise their people on the importance of resource conservation and thanked the UNDP for their programme.
According to him, “the more efforts we put, the better, it will be for our environment.
The permanent secretary also decried the effects of climate change on the Niger Delta, stressing that the region is witnessing more incidences of flooding, deforestations while the coastal communities are constantly being threatened by ocean surge.
“There is a lot to gain in biodiversity conservation and ecotourism there must be restriction on sales of land by communities” he said.
Speaking with The Tide in an interview, an environmentalists, Mr John Akinnuba urged the organisation to carry the sensitisation programme   to communities across the region, as that will enable it to have direct contact with the people.
He also restated the readiness of civil society organizations in the region to partner with UNDP in the conservation programme.

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Akpor Residents Decry New Wave Of Flooding

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A new wave of flooding in some communities of Akpor Kingdom in Obio/Akpor Local GovernmentArea of Rivers State has raised a great concern to residents as they have expressed apprehension, as rainy season is gradually setting in.
Some of the affected communities such as Rumuosi, Rumuekini and Ozuoba, have been witnessing flooding each time it rains, as water could not find exit routes after raining, because the drainages are completely blocked.
The Tide observed that many compounds, especially in Rumuosi and some parts of Rumuekini experience flooding when there is serious rainfall.
Reacting to the situation, an opinion leader in the area, Rev. Simeon Echeonwu, lamented that the construction company, Julius Berger, handling the Port Harcourt Ring-Road project did not provide alternative outlet for water to flow out, hence the flooding.
“ You can see that the gutters are all blocked because of ongoing construction work for the Ring Road project, but my worry and concern is that the Julius Berger handling the project ought to consider creating alternative passage for water.
“ For sure rain must fall in course of executing the project, but when there is an outlet for water, there must be flooding as all drainages are blocked.
“ Something needs to be done fast to address this problem before the rainy season sets in, so that people can have access to their homes”, he said.
Meanwhile, those that do business within the Rumuekini, Rumuosi and Ozuoba junctions are not spared, as flood takes over the areas of their businesses whenever it rains heavily.
According to a cosmetic shop operator, Chima Divine, the flooding affects business, and takes some time to clear.
“ I think that the best thing to be done is for Julius Berger to create a temporary relief while the construction work goes on. This will help residents and business operators not to let water enter their homes, for more rainfall will come, and this is Rivers State”, he stated.
As at the time of filing this report, the authorities of Julius Berger could not be immediately reached, but an anonymous source disclosed that the company was embarking on a remedial work on some streets, so as to control flooding.
The company’s source disclosed that some graders machines have been deployed to some streets for that purpose.

 

By: Corlins Walter

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Environment

Women Group Tasks Society On Climate Change

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A Non-Governmental Organisation, Kebetkache Women Development Centre, has called for collective action to address incidences of climate change in the country.
The group said this in a press release made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt.
According to the Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development Centre, Dr Emem Okon, addressing the pressing issue of climate crisis requires collective action and a focus on its impact on vulnerable populations, particularly women in frontline communities.
She said by  collaborating and implementing effective strategies, “we can not only mitigate the consequences of climate change but also promote gender equality and social justice. Hence, Kebetkache collaborated with the National Council on Climate Change to enhance her institutional capacity and that of her allied organisations and networks on the National Determinants Contributions (NDCs) framework, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to promote increased advocacy, access to the GCF and amplify the voices of women for a gender just climate action in collaboration with the state government and local authorities in the Niger Delta.”
Okon said, ‘‘as part of our efforts in mobilising women for climate and environmental justice, kebetkache is uniting and empowering individuals across the globe to address the pressing environmental challenges we face every day.
“By advocating for sustainable practices, policy changes, and social equity, Kebetkache aims to create a more just and resilient future for both present and future generations. Our collective efforts will ensure that the voices of women and marginalised communities are heard, and together, we can foster a healthier and more inclusive world for all,” she said.

 

By: John Bibor

 

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Thousands Rendered Homeless As Storm Wrecks Havoc In Rivers

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Tens of thousands of people were rendererd homeless while property worth millions of naira  destroyed in Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Areas of Rivers State as rainstorm recently wrecked havoc in the two local government areas.
Sources informed The Tide that collosal damages were caused by the natural disaster in the areas.
The Tide also learnt that economic trees such as mangoes, oranges and others were also pulled down  by the storm.
As at the time of filing this report more than 20 communities had been affected by the natural disaster in the areas.
According to eyewitness account, several buildings  were either deroofed or pulled down by the storm across Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro local govermrnt areas.
Some of the communities affected in Andoni include Ngo, Oyorokoto, Ekede and Ikuru Town.
Also affected are Okoroboile, Chiekmoluk, Oboloiluk, Agbama,  Otuokporo, Ebukumaija and Okoloile. Also, some fishing settlements along the Ikuru Town beach were also affected by the storm.
The Tide learnt that the storm deroofed some buildings at Opobo Town, and all its satellite communities including Minima, Okpukpo, Queenstown Epelema and others.
A resident of Obolo Iluk Mr Taibi Sunday told The Tide in a telephone interview that some economic trees were pulled down in the community.
Giving a break down of damages caused by the disaster in the area, Sunday said 21 houses were pulled down in Obolo Iluk, nine in Agbama , nine at Otuokporo and nine at Ebukumaija amongst others. local government Council and the State Government to come to their aide.

Also speaking Mr Ataisi lucky from Ekede lamented the level of destruction caused by the storm in the community.

He said it was the first time the community is suffering such large scale destruction by windstorm

Also at Ngo chief Adaiyibo Unyeawaji  told the Tide via the telephone that his house was affected.
He said part of his roof was pulled out by the storm.

He said the situation has inflicted hardship on the people, adding that with the current high cost of building materials,it would be difficult for some of the affected persons to rebuild their  houses.

He called on the government and public spirited individuals including non governmental organizations  to come to their aide by assisting them with Zinc and other building materials.
At Ebukuma,Mr Emmanuel David Gogonte confirmed that his house was affected.

He said he lost more than fifty sheets of Zinc to the storm reacting to the incident in a telephone interview with The Tide ,The Executive Chairman of Andoni local Government Area Dr Erastus Awortu confirmed the incident adding that a team from the Council has been sent to assess the level of damages caused by the storm in all the Communities.

He said based on available information the situation is beyond the capacity of the Council  to handle but added that the Council is working hard to rebuild the Corpers lodge destroyed by the storm at Ikuru Town.

By: John Bibor

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