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Stakeholders Want Commitment To End Gas Flaring

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Stakeholders in the Niger Delta region are urging for a firm commitment by the government to end gas flaring and other forms of pollution in the region.
The stakeholders said this at a forum organised by the institute of strategic management Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter in Port Harcourt.
In his lecture entitled: “Critical Environmental Challenges in Rivers State, Exploring Strategic Solutions,” Dr Sofin Peterside said that billions of dollars have been flared inform of gas since the discovery of oil in the country.
“Every year, millions of dollars are literally going up in smoke in the Niger Delta as companies burn off unwanted gas released during oil production.
“The Government at a time fixed December 2012 as the new deadline to end all forms of gas flaring in Nigeria.
“This was not to be feasible as the country is still rated the second worst flaring nation in the world.”
According to him, an estimated $2.5 billion was reportedly lost yearly due to lack of infrastructures to harness gas.
Dr Peterside, who is the Director of the Centre for Advanced Social Science (CASS) listed the health implications of gas flare to include climate change which leads to increase in temperature which affects the human skin.
“The sea level rise, precipitation, direct solar radiation and its resultant depletion of the ozone layer.
The university don also decried the incident of the black soot in the state.
“It is now common knowledge that since late November 2017, strange black soot has been present in the atmosphere, scaring residents of Port Harcourt City and other neigbouring Local Government Areas such as Eleme, Oyigbo, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor, Khana, Gokana and Tai.
“The clouds became hazy and grey, if you hang your cloths before you know it, they have become black,” he said.
The university don also decried the non cleanup of Ogoniland, stressing that oil contamination in Ogoniland is widespread and severely impacting many components of the environment.
“Although the oil industry is no longer alive in the area, oil spills continue to occur with alarming regularity,” he said.
Also speaking on Human and Economic Cost of Environmental Challenges in Rivers State, Mr Eugene Abels, described the pollution of the Niger Delta as alarming.
Mr Abels said that the advent of illegal oil bunkering in the region has set the region back educationally, stressing that presently, the region is witnessing a high school dropout.
According to him, “instead of being in school, young men, women and children take to the creeks to make quick money from illegal refining.
“Even children who are not able to go to the creeks move about with jerry cans hawking bunkered fuel,” 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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