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FG Wants River Basins’ Access To Land

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The Federal Ministry of Water Resources has called on state governments to remove all barriers preventing the River Basins from having rights to land ownership.
The Director, River Basin Operations and Inspectorate, Mr John Ochigbo, told newsmen in Abuja that doing this would promote the realisation of the food security target of the country through investment in agriculture.
According to him, the government alone cannot meet the country’s agriculture needs, citing challenges of insufficient funds, saying Nigerians need to take ownership of these programmes.
He said there was the need for states governments to remove all encumbrances on land ownership and acquisition, saying this was one of the challenges facing the river basins in the country.
“One of the encumbrances we have is around land acquisition, and this is the area that we need the cooperation of the states governments to facilitate the issuance of titles to river basins for them to be able to acquire necessary lands to develop and hand over to farmers.
“We call on the states governments to assist us in facilitating the release and acquisition of lands for farming in their various states.
“I want to use this opportunity to invite investors who are interested in this sector to come and join us in this effort, as the government does not have sufficient funds to do it all alone.
He noted that the minister of water resources had in the last one month appealed to the Economic Council and the governors to assist the ministry and the Federal Government to remove all encumbrances around land acquisition.
According to him, doing so will make it possible for the goals and targets of the river basins to be attainable, so we can launch fully into this programme.
Ochigbo said the ministry was working to reverse the ugly trend which saw abandonment and years of incomplete projects in the basins.
This he noted would be done through the formulation of a Blueprint and Action plan to repositioning the River Basins in the country, hence the promotion of agriculture.
He further said, part of the programme is the inauguration of the Graduate and Youth Empowerment Programme which has benefited no fewer than 500 unemployed youths.
The director said the department had been equipped with technical staff, approval and appointment of boards of River Basin development Authorities to ensure commitment to change the narratives of revitalising the basins for self sufficiency.
He said the minister was already working to ensure procurement of new earth moving equipment to see that they meet the food security need of the nation, saying the obsolete ones were being disposed implementation of the National Irrigation Policy had led to the development of more hectares of land for irrigation farming.
“We have received several applications from farmers that are asking for land to engage the commercial farming.”
He expressed optimism that in few years to come, Nigerians would begin to see the investment of the present administration in the river basins.

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Reactions Trail Another Flood Predictions

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As reactions  trailed the declaration by the federal government of another flooding this year
Across section of Nigerians who spoke with the Tide on the issue regretted that another flooding is coming few months when communities ravaged by the incident  last year and are yet to recover.
They urged for urgent measures to save communities from another disaster.
National publicity secretary of the Nigerian mining and Geosciences (NMGS)Mr proper Ogbunie said both the federal and state governments should put in place mechanism to save communities from another flooding this year.
Ogbunie who said this in a post to The Tide while reacting to the government predictions regretted that another flood is coming when communities ravaged by the incident last year are yet to recover.
He also regretted that government is yet to take measure to contain another flood incident, stressing that even the cry for the dredging of River Niger is not being heeded to.
Ogbunie also called on communities to begin to think of how to save their lives and property Incase there Is a flood this year.
It would be recalled that
the Federal Government of Nigeria recently declared that there would be another flooding this year.
The Government also declared that 662 persons were killed across the country by flooding last year, while property worth millions destroyed across the country.
The Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Ahmed, disclosed this in Abuja at the executive seminar for NEMA employees and senior members of staff selected from State Emergency Management Agencies and critical disaster management stakeholders.
Mustapha said the devastating 2022 flood disaster across the country was the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria, as about 662 persons were killed.
However, he assured Nigerians that early preparations had commenced to avoid some of the mistakes that were made in 2022 and state governors would be informed early this year about disaster-prone areas.
Ogbunie called on government to begin the process of rehabilitating communities ravaged by the incident last year.
He said if nothing is done , the sufferings of communities. will increased.
Also speaking Secretary of Amango Youth Assembly Mr Joshua Ngo called on government to do something urgently about the flood situation in the country.
He said it would be too much for the people to bear if another flooding comes few months after the abatement of that of last year.
According to him, what ever the government can do to solve this problem should be done immediately.

By:  John Bibor

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NiMET Releases  2023 Seasonal Climate Predictions

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In order to avoid a repeat of the devastating flooding that affected most parts of the country last year, the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet) has released the 2023 seasonal climate prediction.
The predictions is a document usually released in February to sensitise the nation on changing climate patterns ahead of the year.
Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NiMet, said the early warning followed a marching order by President Muhammadu Buhari for improvement in providing early warning services after the nation’s experience in 2022 where almost all the states were flooded, with loss of lives and properties, and damage to infrastructure nationwide.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, said that one of the effective ways of mitigating climate-induced disasters is the provision of Early Warning Services.
Sirika however urged Nigerians to take advantage of the early warning, stressing that early warnings must be matched by early A action so that it can translate to disaster risk reduction in Nigeria.
“Talking of performance, one of the effective ways of mitigating climate-induced disasters is the provision of Early Warning Services.
NiMet over the years has been the pacesetter in Early Warning Services for all weather and climate sensitive activities across the country.
However, the early Warnings must be matched by Early Action so that it can translate to disaster risk reduction in Nigeria. This has been amplified by the recent flood of 2022 across several states in Nigeria” he said.
Earlier, the Director General of NiMet revealed that the 2023 beginning of rainfall (onset) is predicted to be earlier than normal in most parts of the country .
According to him, the prediction shows that the earliest onset will likely occur on or around the 2nd of March 2023 in the coastal zone of the south-south states of Bayelsa, Rivers , Akwa Ibom and environs.
The NiMet boss stated that some parts of Katsina, Zamfara , Kano, Jigawa, Yobe in the North, Imo and Rivers in the south are likely to experience a delayed onset when compared to the long term averages in the areas .
He said the onset dates in parts of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe , Kwara , Oyo, Ogun and Lagos are likely to be near normal .
According to him, normal to above normal annual rainfall amounts are expected over most parts of the country excepts in parts of Yobe
He said an early End of Season (EoS) is predicted over parts of the South (especially in Osun, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Imo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and eastern parts of Ogun and Lagos) and parts of Yobe, Adamawa, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi.
“However, an extended rainfall season is predicted over parts of Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Enugu, Anambra, western Ogun, and Lagos. The End of Season period is expected to range from the 26th of September till 25th of December.
The length of growing season in most places in the country is likely to be near the long-term average, except for some parts of the northern states such as Katsina, Jigawa, and Kano where shorter than the long-term average length of the growing season is anticipated.
“The season is expected to range from 84 to 283 days. Abuja and surrounding States are expected to witness between 170 and 230 days.
“The annual total rainfall is predicted to be Normal to above normal in most parts of the country.
However, in parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna and FCT that are likely to observe below normal to near normal annual rainfall amounts.

“ The annual rainfall amount is expected to range from 420 mm in the far northernmost parts to 3253 mm in the coastal areas. However

“In 2023, we should also prepare for its occurrence between June and early July as dry spell lasting between 15 to 21 days is in the forecast, especially from the central parts of the country to the North”.

Matazu said the early prediction will allow for greater collaborations among relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in fighting against the effects for climate change.

“The President has given a marching order for improvement in providing early warning services and we took that for our directive and challenges also and that is why we have released the document as early as January and this will give about two to three months. “Lead time. Lead Time is the difference between the time you release a forecast and the time of occurrence of the season. So, for the southern season, we give about two months lease time and in the north, it will be around four to five months of leave time.

“So, and that is enough for all MDAs, government departments and agencies that federal, state and local government levels to key in and integrate this focus information into their planning activities in different sectors.

“The summary of the focus is that this year is going to be a little bit a normal year. Unlike 2023 but with the focus of extreme events, evidently we have time of fixed rainfall between July to September and Sunshine because of high soil moisture we are expecting flood flows around cities are also expecting riverine flood areas that live within the floodplain areas. And then also who states in the north, we are expecting a dry spell that will occur between the months of June and July for the period of two to three weeks” he said.

By:  John Bibor

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FG Recommits To Implementation Of WASH Programme -Minister

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The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to the provision of adequate Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) as they contribute to the improvement of life, economic development and productivity in line with national and global targets.
Engr. Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, made this known at the review meeting for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector recently in Abuja.
Adamu revealed that investments in the water and sanitation sector have multiplier effects on individuals and the country with the concomitant value chain benefits
The minister added that the government’s efforts and initiatives aimed at addressing sector challenges and improving the sustainable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services to all Nigerians include the rollout of the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) Programme; declaration of a state of emergency and the National WASH Action Plan to revitalize the WASH sector; roll out of the ‘Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign and signing of the Executive Order 09, among others.
He further highlighted some of the achievements of the sector which include the validation of the Draft National Roadmap for Water Quality Management; Domestication of hydrogen sulfide vials production for water quality monitoring; capacity building for laboratory staff on public water audit to strengthen the enforcement of the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality.
Other Federal Government initiatives include a series of training geared towards building capacities on different approaches and thematic areas such as Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Hygiene Promotion, Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management, Sanitation Marketing, and Community Water Safety Plan, which were carried out to strengthen capacity for quality implementation and attainment of sustainable WASH improvements in Nigerian communities.
He further remarked that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Water Resources launched the 2021 WASHNORM Report and the National Roadmap for Hand Hygiene for All, while the minimum package and contingency plans for the Hand Hygiene supply chain are being finalized
While emphasizing the need to sustain partnership in accelerating stakeholders engagement and community mobilization, Adamu also noted that the Federal Government has kick-started the process of integrating the Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) into Nigerian National Policies which is expected to inform the development of the National WASH Policy.
He expressed optimism that instituting a Joint Sector Review ( JSR) for the WASH sector in Nigeria would help to align all sector actors to the same vision and aspirations as well as promote joint accountability.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, explained that the presentations that would be made at the review meeting would highlight the successes, challenges, and lessons learned across the thematic areas, and provide the basis for robust engagement of stakeholders to arrive at recommendations that would ensure the sustainability of results, and identification of priorities for future engagements
She added that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources was committed to raising the profile of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in the country as well as ensuring sustainable access to basic WASH services for all Nigerians by 2030 .

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