An Emeritus Professor of Geodesy, Alabo Dagogo Fubara has attributed the perennial flooding being experienced in communities across the Niger Delta and other environmental hazards to climate change.
Fubara who said this at a recent event in Port Harcourt, noted that the fragility of the region had made it to be highly susceptible to adverse environmental features caused by climate change.
He particularly said that the threats of climate change were already being felt across the Niger Delta with several incidents of flooding in Communities in the region, prolonged changes in rainful pattern and marked changes in vegetation and biodiversity loss.
“The Niger Delta is undergoing rapid subsidence, being a sedimentary basin where oil and gas are being intensely extracted.
“This subsidence in combination with predicted sea level rise, as a result of global warming would result in about 40km wide stripe of the Niger Delta to be submerged in the next 30 years” he said.
The renowned educationist who is the Dappaye Amakiri Xvii of Opobo kingdom also decried the slow pace implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the cleanup of Ogoni land.
He said that the situation was not only impacting negatively the Ogoni environment but the entire Niger Delta region, stressing that the federal government ought to have used the Ogoni cleanup to demonstrate its capacity to improve the Niger Delta environment.
The erudite scholar also decried the continuous underfunding of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority (NDBDA) which was created by the Willink’s Commission of Inquiry on Minority Rights.
“As a result, the Willink’s Commission of Inquiry on Minority Rights, the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority (NDBDA) came into being.
“Following this, the nation has since created ten (10) more River Basin Development Authorities in Nigeria, eight of which are much better funded than the NDBDA, due to lack of understanding of and concern for the needs of the Niger Delta.
“Furthermore, due to lack of political will and sense of fairness, equity and justice Nigeria has refused to address the kernel of the conclusions, and recommendations of the Willink’s Commission of Inquiry report.
“Even the British Government’s proposal that the Niger Delta be declared a special federal territory for focused development was rejected by subsequent Nigerian Governments.”
Plastic Pollution: NGO Inaugurates Recycling Hub In Lagos
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Foundation for a Better Environment (FABE International), on Thursday inaugurated a recycling hub in Lagos to promote environmental sustainability and curb plastic pollution in the state.
Founder, FABE International, Mrs Temitope Okunnu, said the recycling hub was established in collaboration with the Coca-Cola Foundation.
She said the recycling hub, located in Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lagos, was part of the Foundation’s project tagged, “Tidy Nigeria.”
According to her, that the choice of situating a recycling hub in a residential estate was due to the great amount of plastic wastes generated there.
Okunnu said promoting environmental sustainability must begin from the home-front, where these wastes are first generated.
“Today we are launching “Tidy Nigeria” here at the VGC, it is specifically for the residents, the business areas and its environs.
“This project is actually sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, and to us it is a big deal,” she said.
According to her, there is a need and a gap when it comes to community recycling: “We do a lot of collection at the beach, at the dump site. But most recyclables are generated from our homes.
“So, this is what has prompted this project; we need to bring recycling closer to our people so that it is easy for them to recycle and live sustainably.
“We have been preaching and sensitising the communities about waste segregation, how to sort waste into recyclables and non-recyclables.
“We have brought the recycling hub to make it easier for people to sort their waste.”
Stressing the need to promote environmental sustainability, Mrs Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, the Director, Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability, Coca-Cola, said the partnership with FABE served the company’s goal in fighting plastic pollution.
“This project is being launched today because as a company we need to see people taking action against plastic pollution.
Groups Mobilise Volunteers To Clean Up Lagos
A global civic organisation, Let’s Do It World (LDIW), in collaboration with Green Janitors, on Saturday mobilised community volunteers to Clean-up Lagos State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the exercise is in commemoration of the World Clean-up Day.
World Clean-up Day is celebrated on September 17 annually.
It is the outcome of a massive volunteer initiative, pioneered in Estonia in 2008, when 50,000 volunteers cleaned up their homes in five hours.
LDIW coordinates and supports the global movement, inspiring and empowering leaders to raise awareness and move countries toward sustainable solutions for the environment.
The LDIW Coordinator for Africa, Mr Gafar Odubote, said at the event that the clean-up was being carried simultaneously across many countries to create environmental sustainability awareness.
He said that getting residents involved in environmental sanitation would enhance sustainability.
“The World Clean-up Day is uniting millions of volunteers in 191 countries to clean up their environments; Nigeria is one of these countries,” he said.
The coordinator said that the clean-up was being carried out simultaneously all over the world and across the 36 states of Nigeria.
“In Lagos State, we have close to 30 or 40 clean-up sites. It is also going on at the beachfront, offshore and on the land.
“The importance of the clean-up is to demonstrate that people can come together to create a massive change in our environment through sustainable actions.
“People coming out to show that we can clean up environment is a way to heighten awareness that the environment is important to us,” Odubote said.
Ms Suliyat Oguns, Team Lead of Green Janitors, urged the volunteers to make environmental sanitation regular to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment.
“Today, we commemorate the International World Clean-up Day, and we are celebrating it as a team under Green Janitors in Bariga.
“We are in partnership with Junior Club International, Rotary Club, Lions Club, Leo’s Club and Sustainable Development Advocates of the University of Lagos.
“Clean-up is not just for Sept. 17. Let us all ensure that after this event, everybody in our environment gets to know that once we clean up, it is going to reflect in our environment.
“The thing we are actually fighting for is a world without wastes, that is our final goal,” she said.
She said that the group desired that Nigerians should know the essence of maintaining a clean environment.
“Reuse, reduce and recycle. We do not have to waste materials that can be converted to other uses.
“The host community for today’s clean-up is Akoka Community, people have come massively to volunteer in the exercise,” Oguns said.
Commending the efforts of the groups, Mr Adegboyega Adefuwa , Environment Supervisor, Bariga Local Government, called on the community members to take clean-up as a personal responsibility.
“The exercise is a laudable programme being supported by the executive Chairman of the Bariga LGA, Mr Kolade Alabi, for the well-being of our environment.
UNICEF Warns Of Acute Water Shortage
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has hinted that Nigeria’s continued reliance on surface water sources may lead to acute shortage, impacting negatively on livelihoods and wellbeing of the population.
UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins,said this when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum, a special interview programme, in Abuja.
He said due to population growth, Nigeria made slow progress in improving access to potable water for the citizens, with access only at 10 per cent, calling for more investments in the sector.
According to him, there is need for the country to seek water storage alternatives through harvesting and sustainable conservation.
“In terms of provision of clean water, there are two levels.
“The actual increase has been, I think it was, about 10 per cent or 11 per cent increase about access to clean water.
“But when you look at the population growth and where the population has moved to, I am afraid Nigeria is going backwards on access to clean water.
“Nigeria relies a lot on the water table and on surface water.
“The water table with climate change and the massive population, Nigeria potentially has a crisis looming in the future.
“I am talking about 10, 20, 30 years and its reliance on surface water, without the infrastructure to meet it, is always going to be a burden on the country.
“So, it has to look at different ways of capturing water, making water available, especially in the urban areas; piping water and making it better available, that will require a considerable investment.” The UNICEF representative noted that the biggest progress in the sector was the declaration of a state of emergency in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018.
He said this had led to more local governments becoming open defecation-free and communities taking ownership of their sanitation and hygiene needs.
Hawkins said UNICEF had introduced the annual Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome Routine Mapping (WASHNORM) Report for all stakeholders to monitor progress made in water and sanitation at the state level.
According to him, Nigeria needs N3 billion annually to make reasonable change.
“So the data now is there and that is owned by and produced by the Ministry of Water Resources for State level entities.
“So you can see where your State is going and what is required, but then it requires massive investment.
“The level of investment I think, if I remember correctly, is between the region of N3 billion a year if Nigeria were to catch up with any sort of reasonable level of access to clean water and good sanitation.
“That level of investment, it needs to take place and if it doesn’t take place I am afraid, over the next 20, 30 years, that Nigeria will be faced with serious consequences.
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