The Edo State Government says it will plant 10million tree seedlings in the next 10 years to combat desertification in the area.
Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, Mr Lucky Wasa, stated this in an interview with The Tide source in Benin yesterday.
Wasa said that the exercise was part of the afforestation programme of the state’s forest reserve.
He said that the programme would be executed in partnership with Rongtai Wood Company, a Chinese firm.
Wasa noted that the state government had other afforestation programmes apart from the 10 million tree project.
“We have an understanding with all the licenced timber contractors, saw millers and other stakeholders to plant one tree for every tree they cut.
“We are also encouraging residents to plant trees around their environment. We are trying to make them realise the negative effect of tree felling without replacement.
“We are carrying out enlightenment programmes, especially radio jingles to make them realise the benefit of this and also the danger of desertification.
“Natural resources is been depleted and causing harm to human existence such that we can no longer predict our weather condition,” he said.
Wasa stated that it was the first time an administration in the state, right from the defunct Bendel State, would be taking bold steps to enhance afforestation.
“No government has ever taken any interest in preservation of our environment.
“The state is reviewing its forestry laws to meet with the present day reality and in addition, we have established a Forestry Commission to ensure the management and preservation of our forest.
“This will ultimately remove the bureaucracy of the ministry from the management of forests,” the permanent secretary said.
Bayelsa, UNFPA Train Health, Social Workers In Bay Flood-Prone LGAs
The Bayelsa State Government, in collaboration with UN Population Fund (UNFPA), has trained frontline health and social workers in flood-prone Local Government Areas (LGAs) for integrated service provision during emergencies.
The five days training of trainers in Yenagoa, which ended on Friday, was aimed at improving response in flood-prone areas.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Pabra Egwele, said the training was to educate the workers about Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
He commended the UN for the training and promised to organise another training for others in their facilities in case of any problem or case of emergency.
Represented by Dr Toyin Azebi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Egwele said the ministry would collaborate with Ministry of Women Affairs for more enlightenment programmes.
He said the training was to enlighten health and social workers about the kind of treatment they should offer to those who were sexually abused and the right counselling.
The commissioner urged the trained workers to step down knowledge acquired to other workers who did not attend.
On his part, Dr Ibrahim Adamu, the Consultant with UNFPA, said that the essence of the training was to empower key stakeholders about GBV and other sexual reproductive services to offer during emergencies.
He said, “as you know, a state like Bayelsa often experince flood and during this period, cases of sexual and reproductive issues are of great concern.
“Individuals need to be empowered to be able to provide competent services and also assist people affected by disasters.
“The training targeted medical personnel like doctors, nurses and midwives, as well as social workers from state and federal agencies”.
In her speech, the Gender Desk Officer in the Ministry of Women, Children Affairs, Empowerment and Social Development, Mrs Atanu Naweimi, said the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act of 2015 was domesticated in the state in the past two years.
“This is a law that protect survivors of GBV, an improvement over all the other existing laws, the Child Rights Act, widow, widower law that have already been passed.
“We have gender response initiative team which was inaugurated in the state and members are at the forefront of gender initiatives.
“We work with other ministries to carry out our jobs too”, she said.
Bayelsa CDC Chairmen Laud Okilo’s Qualities
Community Development Chairmen (CDC) in Bayelsa State, under the aegis of Bayelsa State CDC Chairmen Association (BYCDCCA), have eulogised a former Governor of the Rivers State, Late Chief Melford Obene Okilo, over his stand on shore protection.
Chairman of BYCDCCA, Engr. Kotor Omiloli, gave the praise, weekend, at the 2023 edition of the annual Wizogua (flood and erosion control) festival of the Otuokopti Community in Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
In a paper title, “Okilo the Faculty”, Omiloli described the late Okilo, who was the first Executive Governor of the old Rivers State, as an uncommon leader.
He said, the late Okilo was an epitome of peace and humility, noting also that he was a total humanist whose legacies and impacts have continued to endure in the entire polity of the nation.
“Okilo led a consultative government. He never executed projects without first hearing from the community what they actually needed.
“He’s a servant leader, so you’ve to be smart enough to understand him, lest you’ll end up being served food and drinks by him while he was Governor in any event he attended”, he said.
The Tide learnt that the “Wisogua” is a memorial cultural festival held annually to commemorate shore embarkment project awarded and constructed in the community by the administration of Okilo between 1981 and 1982, bringing an end to the once perennial menace of flood and erosion which bedeviled the community.
Late Chief Okilo governed the Old Rivers State in the Second Republic, between 1979-1983.
The Tide which monitored the event reports that the three-day festival began on the 24th through 26th November, 2023 with the theme: “Maintenance, Repairs and consolidation of Okilo’s legacies”.
Activities which featured in the festival include traditional wrestling competition, inspection of the state of the old shore embarkment works in the community and a boat cruise.
In his welcome address, Acting Paramount Ruler of the Community, HRH Rescue Orisa Abi (Okpoti XV), said the festival was necessitated by the resolve of the late Chief Melford Okilo’s administration to bring socour to the plight of the community.
He stated that execution of the flood and erosion control contract which was awarded by Okilo brought an end to the threat faced by the community, hence the annual festival was initiated to immortalize the late sage.
“We call on the Government, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and good spirited individuals to come to the aid of the community as the old controlled erosion project has begun withering away in the Southern ends of the community.
“Where our strength as a community ends is to fill sand in bags and place in sections of the shorelines where the erosion menace has began to eat up again, but it hasn’t yielded any positive result”, the monarch said.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Delta PDP Congratulates Oborevwori Over S’Court Victory
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State has congratulated the State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, on his Appeal Court victory of Friday in Lagos.
The party in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Dr Ifeanyi Osuoza, in Asaba, described the victory as well-deserved, while urging the opposition party to end litigation henceforth and join the Governor to build Delta.
The TIde’s source recalls that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Oborevwori winner of the March 18 governorship poll in Delta against the closest rival, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party also assured that the appeal court victory is another step toward ensuring the steady and continuous implementation of the M.O.R.E Agenda for the people of Delta.
The statement reads: “your Excellency, our leader, it is with unreserved joy, pride and satisfaction, that the entire PDP family in Delta, offer our hearty congratulations to you, on your well-deserved victory at the Court of Appeal.
“We applaud the judiciary once again for their learned, articulate and well-delivered judgment.
“This is a further affirmation of what we had already stated categorically and without equivocation, that the PDP overwhelmingly won the 2023 Delta governorship election and Oborevwori is undoubtedly, the duly elected governor of Delta.
“While we recognize the fact that our petitioners have the freedom of choice to pursue their legal convictions to whatever conclusion they may have envisioned.
“We still wish, with the best intentions, to offer our olive branch and hand of fellowship by urging them to reconsider any further challenge, after this Appeal Court verdict, to avoid frittering extra resources in these very hard times”.
The party noted that Oborevwori had started so well and exhibited impressive governance and excellent leadership skills since assuming office.
“Oborevwori is greatly buoyed now to continue the fine work of delivering the dividends of democracy to our people.
“And as a responsible and people oriented party, it is our utmost desire to carry all people of Delta along in the collective effort to ensure the best for our state.
“The Governor has already and amply demonstrated his large-hearted, all encompassing and accommodating politics without bitterness disposition for all to see.
“It behoves on all true, patriotic and well meaning people of Delta to eschew further political acrimony and join hands with the governor to consolidate on the delivery of the M.O.R.E Agenda in the interest of the people”, according to the statement.
Reacting, the State APC Chairman, Omeni Sobotie, in a telephone interview, told the source that his party was yet to receive the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Appeal Court judgment.
Sobotie said: “we are waiting for the CTC of the Court of Appeal judgment and then we can react appropriately”.
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