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Abuja Residents Want Water, Toilet Facilities

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Some residents of Gwagwa
and Waru communities, suburbs of Abuja, have appealed to the Federal Government to provide them potable water and public toilets.
They told  newsmen  in Abuja  that the provisions of these facilities would afford them to live a healthy live.
The Sarkin-Yakin of Gwagwa, Alhaji Jafaru Gwagwa, said that the community was faced with having access to potable water, saying the only source was from a well.
He expressed regrets that wells dug for the community by private individuals hardly supply enough water especially during the dry season.
According to him, most people usually take turns before getting water to fetch from the wells for all purposes, saying more needed to be done to provide for the people in the community.
“When you look at Gwagwa community, we have lots of challenges. One of it is the issue of potable water, most times, what we use is well water.
“Ironically, the water from the gutter flows into some of the wells.
“Since it is the only source of water in the community, the people are, usually, left with the option of using the water the way it is.
“We want the Federal Government and the FCT Administration to come to our rescue, so that our children will stop falling ill from something that can be prevented.”
Gwagwa said children from the community usually fall sick from cholera and diarrhoea, saying this had led to most of them not being punctual at schools.
This had brought untold hardships on their parents, he said.
The community leader also said that they lacked enough public toilets adding that most residents would, most times, have to N20 each before they could use it.
He said that most people did not build toilets in their houses but always preferred to defecate in the bush to defecate.
“Most of the people in this community usually defecate in the bush, if it is late at night, some prefer to do it in nylons or somewhere and throw them away in the bush in the morning.”
Also, residents of Waru community in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) urged the various agencies of government to provide them potable water.
Its spokesman, Mr Isuwa Kura, said that inadequate water supply was affecting the community’s social and economic growth.
Kura said that the two boreholes and the stream, the main sources of water were insufficient to serve the community.
“As I speak with you, we have just two boreholes for a population of no fewer than 3,000 people.

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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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