The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), has called on residents of the North-East region of the country to take proactive measures that would help them to mitigate the impact of flooding in their communities.
Mr Charles Sharah, the North-East Zonal Director of NESREA, made the call in an interview with The Tide source in Gombe.
Sharah said that the issue of flooding is not new as it had become a yearly occurrence, hence, the need for collective efforts aimed at minimising the impact, so as to safeguard the environment and prevent loss of lives.
He stated that though flooding could occur naturally due to high volume of water, human activities could also contribute to flooding and “this can be prevented to ensure that our environment is not polluted.’’
Sharah said that most residents often ignore warnings and their responsibilities toward protecting the environment, only to complain of flooding when it occurs.
He added that the devastating impact of flooding had made residents to avoid activities that could contribute to the menace such as: dumping wastes in gullies, building on water ways and indiscriminate sand dredging.
“It is part of our mandate to give advice to residents as well as create awareness on issues relating to the environment. This is why we are calling on residents not to live or build in flood-prone areas.”
According to him, it is better to be proactive on issues that concern the environment by ensuring that water channels are not blocked because “when the rains come, flowing water always finds and knows its route.’’
He said that the issue of ignorance on what is expected of residents should no longer be taken as an excuse in view of the yearly sensitisation and flood alerts from relevant stakeholders.
Sharah said that deliberate ignorance of warnings on the effect of flooding when it occurs would not be tolerated due to its damage to the agricultural sector and the economy.
He commended the governors of the north-eastern states of the country for initiating and implementing tree-planting programmes to afforest the environment and mitigate the adverse effects of environmental degradation.
Oil Spill: Farm Lands, Others Under Threat At Bodo
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
Minister Advocates Co-Operation Among Water, Energy, Food Security Sectors
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.
‘Why WASH Facilities Are Not Working In Rural Communities’
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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