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Let’s Keep PH Clean

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If we have to tell ourselves the truth, we are directly or indirectly responsible for the mess being littered in some streets within the metropolis and its environs.
When you go round the city, you will still see dirt litered all over even after the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) has banned the dumping of refuse and unnecessary heaps refuse still found on the carriage ways of the major roads.
Although with the way people are complaining, changes are taking place except a few places where some persons have not realised the importance of dwelling in a clean environment.
It may interest you to know that Eliozu and Oil Mill/Eleme Junction axis of the road is being taken care of.  Road sweepers have been doing what they know best. I must also commend RIWAMA for realising that while other roads and streets in Port Harcourt are clean, that portion is also given attention.
There are areas that still need attention as some residents refused to abide by the rules provided by RIWAMA.  Those rules are for the good of all and sundry.
Indiscriminate dumping of refuse can cause a lot of ailments. Sicknesses such as cholera, dysentery, malaria as a result of mosquito bites, name them, can be contracted when the environment is dirty.
We are not unaware that RIWAMA has severally notified residents of Port Harcourt and its environs about the time of disposal of waste. But some persons refuse to obey for reasons best know to them. It is a matter of bagging the wastes and dropping them at designated dump sites where trucks pick them. It is worrisome to see people abandon bags of refuse on the streets where they think nobody sees them. More disturbing is the fact that the ones who use containers usually go and pour out the contents on the roads and even in the drainages while it is raining.
Excuses given by some residents are no longer cogent for dirt to be littered in the roads and it does not make sense while we tell ourselves the truth that residents are directly not indirectly responsible for the mess in most parts of the city.
Another challenge is the issue of scavengers who go to the dump sites in search of scrap metals. There are areas where people have maintained the rules and regulations stipulated by the agency in charge of wastes, but the scavengers do not help matters. Their business is to go about using sticks to open refuse bags and at the end of the day, the whole place is messed up.
It is also high time their activities were checked and a law put in place by relevant authorities so as to stop such menace. Scavengers should stop scattering refuse dumps in search of scrap metals because I am not sure that it contributes to the revenue of Rivers State.
It sounds strange to hear some persons saying that they do not know where to dump refuse and that the dump sites are far from their houses. Not just that, they often feign ignorance of the approved time.
For over a decade, RIWAMA’s stipulated time for refuse disposal has been between 6:00pm and 12:00 midnight, when the trucks pack at designated places to pick them.  In fact there are many of them on major roads in the city.
Those who reside within the most populated areas like Mile 1, Mile 2, Mile 3 in Diobu, especially the market areas should be reminded from time to time through the media and in the streets using mega phones by RIWAMA officials as a form of sensitisation. More awareness will be created by telling them the dangers of dumping refuse indiscriminately within the environment.
The idea and excuse that people cannot walk far distance to dispose should be condemned and anyone found dumping refuse in unauthorised places and time should be arrested by law enforcement agents.  Offenders should be mandated to pay a token. I think that will serve as deterrent to others.
It calls for attention that as people are aware of the rules and regulations, they still disobey by giving excuses that they never met the trucks.  The dangers arising from dirty environment cannot be imagined.
The cleaner the environment we find ourselves, the healthier we are. Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of diseases can be contracted. Flies can transfer germs from such places to perch on food and fruits sold by the roadside. The environment can be contaminated through the air. There are plastic disposal containers and baskets hung at some designated places within reserved areas, yet some persons take laws into their hands and throw dirt from moving vehicles.
I remember sometime ago, when RIWAMA used to keep a staff at receptacles to apprehend any erring resident who flouts the directive of 6:00pm to 12:00 midnight. There are areas in Port Harcourt where they normally ring bell as a reminder for people to send their dirt to the waiting trucks. This was operational in Woji and Rumuibekwe areas. On Rumuola Road, I have seen where a truck packed between 6:00pm and 7:00 pm while residents disposed off their dirt.
The issue of unknown persons defecating on the streets and major roads is posing a problem. A full-grown adult will stoop down to defecate when he or she thinks that nobody is coming that way. At the end of the day, someone will mistakenly step on the waste.
Humans should avoid situations where taskforce must be used to go after them before doing what is right. There should be public conveniences in some designated points so that people can help themselves as they are engaged in their daily activities.
I have seen where residents engage some persons on contract on weekly basis to pick refuse from house to house and they are paid.  Those who do not meet the time and trucks should engage such services in the streets and estates.
Government and relevant agencies should enforce the law to ensure that offenders are punished.  When that is done, indiscriminate dumping of refuse will definitely be minimised.

By: Eunice Choko-Kayode

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Rivers

Group Commends Fubara Over N4bn Disbursement To Youths

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The Supreme Council for Sim (Worldwide) has Commended Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, for the successful disburserment of N4 billion to over 3,000 youth entrepreneurs in Rivers State.
They said the gesture will boost industrialisation in the State, and also create thousands of employment opportunities for youths in the state.
Chairman of the group, Ambassador Oji G. Ngofa, who gave the commendation in Port Harcourt, while addressing newsmen, said “the disbursement to over 3,000 entrepreneurs in Rivers State and also hosting of Rivers State Economic and Investment Submit 2024 has not only attracted investments and created employment opportunities, but also showcased the numerous investment potentials to the outside world”.
According to Ambassador Ngofa, the summit particularly has also explored the prospects of education, especially youth education for digital economy.
He also commended the Governor on what he called the Governor’s “other achievements” as Governor of Rivers State and for his successful one year in office.
The council reeled out some of these achievements within the past one year to include the promotion of civil servants after more than eight years of stagnation, payment of workers’ salary, pensioners arrears, the successful commencement of work on the Port Harcourt Ring Road, the ongoing construction of the Aleto-Ebubu Road in Eleme Local Government, the completion of the Andoni section of the Ogoni-Andoni Road, and many more.
Members of the Supreme Council for Sim also pledged their unwavering support and dedication to Governor Fubara as they celebrate him on his one year anniversary.
The council further commended the Governor for growing the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state from N11billion to N28billion, describing it as one of the best things that has happened to the State.
It called on all Rivers people to give their full and unflinching support to the Governor.

By: Okere Sincere & Dudu Celine

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Rivers

‘God Anointed Fubara To Succeed Wike As Rivers Gov’

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A Chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Opobo/Nkoro, Ward 5, Warisenibo Tonye Fubara, has said, God anointed Sir Siminalayi Fubara to succeed the former Governor of the state and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, as Governor for “the task of liberating the people from political slavery, deception, nepotism, sectionalism and an era of amassing Rivers people’s resources and wealth to stupor at the detriment of the people”.
Speaking recently in Opobo, shortly after the commissioning of Corpers’ Lodge built by the administration of Dr. Enyiada CookeyGam, Fubara said he was confident in the ability of the Governor to rapidly develop the state, especially the rural communities, abandoned by successive administrations, describing the emergence of Fubara as the will of God and not that of any man.
The PDP chieftain, a grassroots mobiliser, admonished Rivers people to always support the untiring efforts of the administration to be able to provide the yearned democracy dividends denied them in years back.
On the over N19 billion Opobo-Epellema Road project, Senibo Fubara lauded the development doggedness and foresight of the Governor towards providing quality service to the masses, adding that when completed, the road will boost economic growth in the catchment communities.
“The one year revolutionary and aggressive transformation of the State via people-oriented development projects, as championed by the Siminalayi Fubara-led dispensation, such as the over N225 billion Trans- Kalabari Road, the N195billion Port-Harcourt Ring Road, the just-commissioned Andoni Section of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road projects, among others, can stand the test of time”, he stated.

By: Bethel Toby

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Rivers

Network Makes Case For ATM, Gender-Based Violence In Nigeria

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A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), TB Network, has called for more commitments in efforts made to address the barriers to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria (ATM), and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Nigeria.
The State Focal Person, Tuberculosis (TB), Rivers State, Mr. Messiah Fyneface Muzan, who made the call, Thursday, in a media parley in Port Harcourt, profered a seven-point agenda towards this end.
In his presentation, sub-titled, “Call To Action: Addressing HIV, TB, Malaria and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria”, Muzan said, to advance the fight against HIV, TB, Malaria, and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria, one of the key things for relevant authorities to do is for the National Health Insurance programme enjoyed by the formal sector to be extended to others, particularly the poor and most vulnerable.
According to him, this is because, “the poor often are less educated and unemployed, and consequently lack the ability to pay out-of-pocket for high costs associated with frequent illnesses”.
He also said, “funding and finances for Primary Health delivery should be carefully mapped out and sanctioned against any misappropriation or mismanagement, to enable a robust public health programme at all Ward levels in the Local Government.
“Communication and education programmes, he said, can raise knowledge and awareness, and, in turn, improve testing and care-seeking”.
He said this is because of the need to “educate, engage, and empower the communities to embrace any behaviour change relevant to achieving success in HIV, TB, and malaria control in Nigeria “.
The State Focal Person on TB further said every Ward should commit to health promotion and education programmes to increase awareness of prevention measures, and promote community participation, while adhering to evidence-based strategies.
Other proposals by the State TB Network boss are: “commit adequate resources through advocacy and partnerships for the full and effective implementation of planned interventions, including through involvement of the private sector and community participatory approaches.
“Community members should actively support and advocate their local Primary Health Care Centers (PHCs). Community involvement is crucial in ensuring sustainability and effectiveness of these centres.
“Additionally, community support can manifest through volunteering, donating resources, or participating in advocacy efforts to secure increased funding amd resource for PHCs”.
On Gender-Based Violance and gender human rights, he noted that they occur through such forms as domestic abuse, verbal aggression, physical violence, early and forced marriages, incest, Female Genital Cutting (FGC), acid attacks, and outright killings, saying women, men, boys and girls “continue to endure degradation and deprivation in both public and private spaces”.
For the stated reasons, he said, “the Civil Society for the Eradication of TB in Nigeria calls on all stakeholders to combat the rising cases of GBV in our society.
“We implore every citizen not to remain silence. Let us unite our efforts to eradicate this menace from our nation. If you witness something, please speak out”.

By: Soibi Max-Alalibo

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