FG Reassures On Minamata Convention On Mercury Implementation
The Federal Government, has reiterated its commitment to implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury through effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders across the country.
Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said this at a workshop on: “Capacity Strengthening for Implementation of Minamata Convention on Mercury in Nigeria”, organised by the ministry in Abuja.
Abubakar, represented by Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Abel Enitan, said that the collaboration with stakeholders would promote sound environmental management of mercury.
“These efforts will enhance the implementation of the project because mercury is a toxic metal that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust.
“Human activities in recent years have increased its concentration in the environment.
“Exposure to the elevated levels of mercury in the environment is detrimental to human health, especially fetuses and young children because of its toxicity to the nervous system,” he said.
The minister said that the objective of the workshop was to discuss the implementation activities as well as inform stakeholders and the public on the project.
According to him, the project is aimed at addressing the challenges being faced in the management of mercury in Nigeria and providing overall strategy for tackling its effects.
“The project aims to develop a National Implementation Strategy (NIS) for mercury management, National Action Plans for the cement, mercury in products, trade and supply, waste, environment and health sectors.
“Also, it aims at Mercury Information System (MIS) to assist in reporting information and sharing it among stakeholders,” he said.
Waste Recycling: Minister Lauds UNEP, GEF
The Federal Ministry of Environment and National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in collaboration with some e-waste recyclers have recycled some 300 tonnes of e-waste in Lagos.
Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, stated this at the closing ceremony of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project on Circular Economy Approaches for the Electronics Sector in Nigeria, held in Lagos
Abdullahi expressed gratitude to UNEP/GEF for the technical and financial support for the project.
He also commended the Lagos State Government for providing the enabling environment for the successful implementation of the project.
Abdullahi said that the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Lagos Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) played critical role for the project.
He said that their effort made it easy to achieve the project target of recycling 300 tonnes of e-waste in the state.
According to the Tide source the minister represented by Mallam Stanley Jonah, Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Federal Ministry of Environmen said that e-waste was one of the fastest growing waste streams globally.
He said that most developing nations have been turned to a dumping ground with the influx of both new and used electrical and electronics.
The minister further noted that e-waste management for most developing countries including Nigeria was primarily handled by the informal sector, who scavenges for valuable material using crude methods.
“They retrieve the economically viable components through dismantling and dispose of the part that is not valuable to them either at open dumpsite or by burning or burying with municipal waste.
“Besides adding harmful element components to the environment, indiscriminate disposal of waste is a lost opportunity for recycling.
“Most solid waste contains some form of recycling materials, including plastics, glass, precious materials and metal.
“This call for concern on the resources efficiency and the attendant problems it poses to human health and the environment,” Abdullahi said.
Also, the Director-General, NESREA, Prof Aliyu Jauro, said that the environmental and health problems associated with e-waste are due to the hazardous material contained in them.
Committee Scores Self High On Refuse Evacuation
The Port Harcourt City Enviromental Sanitation Committee has given itself a pass mark in refuse evacuation and desilting of drainages in the city.
Chairman of the committee, Sir Christian Mgbamoka, who scored the committee high in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said within the last two years of operations by the committee, the level of cleaniness in the city has improved tremendously.
“Two years now, well, I think we have made some marks”
He said it was obvious that within the past two years, the level of flooding has reduced in the city and blamed it on the regular desilting of drainages across the city by the committee.
“It is obvious that for the past two years we have been embarking on desilting of of our drainages which has reduced flooding within some critical or very important areas in port Harcourt City.
He said areas such as Dr Peter Odili road, the central bank road including front of the state high courts have been affected positively by the committee’s activities.
Mgbamoka also said regular desilting exercise has been carried out within the Dline areas of the city and mile 3.
He said the committee’s plan was to connect all the areas to the interwoba creek with the view to ensuring the free flow of waters
On the incessant flooding at the mile 1market, Mgbamoka blamed the problem on the designing of the drainages in the area.
He said the committee has interfaced with the ministry of works on the issue, adding that the ministry has promised to look into the issue.
The chairman also said the committee has also partnered with the Rivers State waste management Agency (RiWAMA) on prompt evacuation of refuse.
He commended the mayor of the city Sir Alwell Ihunda for his support, adding without him, the committee would have been left with no achievements.
Mgbamoka also commended some residents of the city for their regular supports to the committee.
He said while some of the residents have been of tremendous helps , others have shown no zeal in the cleanup of their environment.
Meanwhile Some youth Corpse members in port Harcourt City local Government council under”The Rivgreen Community Development service (CDS) of the National Youth Service Corpse have carried out a sanitisation exercise at Abali park in port Harcourt City local Government council.
Over 50 corp members were involved in the cleanup exercise.
President Rivgreen CDS of the Nysc Omagbele Fabulous told the Tide that the exercise will be a continuous one .
He added that the next phase of their programm will involve tree planting around the garden city of port Harcourt so that the name will be in tandem with the present state of things in the city.
Group Wants Audit Of Ogoni Clean-Up Project
An environmental group, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, has called on Hydrocarbons Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to commence a comprehensive health and environmental audit of the Ogoni clean-up project.
This was contained in a statement made available to news men in port Harcourt.
The statement also regretted that the clean-up of Ogoniland has taken longer than necessary despite the available resources and manpower made available to the coordinating agency.
The statement congratulated the newly appointed HYPREP Coordinator, Prof. Nenibarini Zabbey, adding that he must do things differently, focus on inclusion of stakeholders in the operations.
It qouted the Director of the foundation Dr Nnimmo Bassey as saying “While we congratulate Prof. Zabbey, we equally take the opportunity to register some key urgent demands and hope that he uses his good office to advocate cleanup of the entire Niger Delta.
“Government should take coordinated action to end pollution including gas flaring.”
According to the statement Nnimo Bassey noted that with Zabbey’s pedigree as an academician and activist, the expectations of stakeholders are high and failure is not an option, calling for regular consultations to complex pollution sites.
“We applaud the appointment, as he has deep knowledge of the Ogoni environment and has done important researches in the area and in the wider Niger Delta region, coming 12 years after the UNEP report and sluggish manner by which the clean-up has been approached,” Bassey added.
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