The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has engaged relevant stakeholders in a validation meeting on nutrition guidelines to improve on the school feeding programme.
The validation meeting on nutrition guidelines of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was organised by the ministry in Abuja, last Thursday.
National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programme of the ministry, Umar Bindir, said the aim of the meeting was to have a globally acceptable document for the programme.
While noting that the school feeding programme was aimed at boosting the enrollment of pupils as well as their nutritional status, Bindir said, “the objective of the guidelines is to identify national nutritional requirements and reduce micronutrients deficiencies.We also need to promote nutrition best practices to strengthen the programme better”.
“The nutritional status is one of the most important components and objectives of the programme and this is what brought about nutritional guidelines that we are here to validate.
“The guidelines are so important to us knowing that part of the role of the state government is to develop the menu being developed by the nutritional officer in that state.
“We need to ensure that what is on that menu is of nutritional value and beneficial to the pupils nutritionally and academically,” he said.
In her remarks, the minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, noted that the school feeding programme began in 2016 and was implemented in 35 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory.
Represented by her Technical Assistant on National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, ZainabAbubakar, Umar- Farouq said that the programme would provide one free nutritious meal to pupils from Primary 1 to Primary 3 in public schools nationwide.
According to Umar-Farouq, the school feeding is a collaborative programme between the Federal Government and state governments.
Also speaking, National President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Prof. WasiuAfolabi said that the school feeding programme could be breakfast or lunch.
CSO To Support Implementation Of $700m W/Bank Water Project In Nigeria
Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) has pledged to support the World Bank in the implementation of the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) programme in Nigeria.
NEWSAN National Coordinator, Mr Benson Attah, made the pledge when he led his members on a courtesy visit to the SURWASH Programme Implementation Office in Abuja.
Tide source reports that the 700 million U.S. dollars programme is being implemented in seven states of Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina and Plateau.
SURWASH will provide six million people with basic drinking water services and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services and improve WASH services to 2,000 schools and health care facilities.
Attah noted that NEWSAN works to support the Federal Government in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of scaling up access to potable water and sanitation.
He commended FG’s efforts in meeting the SDGs, saying such was reflected in its various intervention programmes.
“We are optimistic that this new project which rests on the theme of programme for results will be different from other projects, as we have seen its objective to include effective monitoring and evaluation.
“NEWSAN has a huge role to play in achieving stated objectives of the SURWASH project, and our partnership would go a long way in advocacy and encourage community partnership for sustainability,” he said.
SURWASH National Programme Coordinator, Mr Abdulhamid Gwaram, said CSOs play a critical role in project implementation and could serve as watchdogs.
According to him, the civil societies will serve as a medium for passing the right information towards reducing misinformation and disinformation.
Gwaram added that SURWASH programme was part of interventions to support the implementation of the National WASH action plan.
The national coordinator said that the role of continuous orientation of all partners towards ensuring community ownership and sustainability was paramount.
He, however, said that the six-year programme had made huge impact within its first year, saying this was made possible through the support and commitment of the Federal ministry of Water Resources.
Use Art and Craft To Curb Plastic Pollution …Experts Tell Government
Some experts in the art and craft sector are calling on the government to use the sector to check plastic pollution in the country.
They said this at the launching of the book , Drift wood And plastic: A medium for Experimental Expressions”written by Dr Benjamin Ejiohuo and and Art exhibition in port Harcourt.
Some of the respondents including Prof. Pamela Egware of the university of port Harcourt and Woko Aguru President Rivers indigenous Visual Artists said since Artists now rely on plastic and wood for their work, encouraging the sector will reduce plastic pollution and create employment opportunities.
On her part pamela who is the Head of Department of Fine Art University of Port Harcourt said Artiste should be involved in waste recycling to create wealth.
She said a policy on waste recycling is urgently needed in the country.
“We need a policy on waste recycling. By so doing jobs will be created and restiveness will be checked”
She also decried the non regard for Artists by some states in the south south.
According to her “it is only Akwa Ibom state that is engaging Artists to beautify their cities.
She said Dr.Ejiohuo is teaching the society to explore and to expand their horizon.
“He is teaching us that wood is not only meant for tables and chairs.His work is to help reduce trash in the environment,” she said.
Pamela said ,using plastic and wood to create fine works of art , the Artist is simply transforming waste to wealth.
Also speaking woko Aguru of the Rives indigenous Visual Artist said the situation has shown that Artists can turn waste to wealth
He described Nigeria as a country that is too wasteful.
“The country is so wasteful that plastic waste is littering everywhere.
“If we look at this angle,you discover that plastic waste is a huge resource that can be transform into wealth.
“If people are employed to exchange the plastic waste,the economy will grow”he said.
Chairman of the occasion Kingsley Eguma said society should appreciate what the Artists are doing for it.
He also advised Artists to be consistent with their work despite the neglect by the society.
Dr Ejiohuo told journalists that the book is about the use of plastic and driftwood to produce Art work.
“I draw,I paint and use drift wood and plastic to express myself”
Ejiohuo also called on his fellow Artists to use resources within their envelope for their work.
“The message is that use what you have in your environment to do what you want to do”.
By: John Bibor
NCF Wants Reduction Of Light Pollution To Conserve Migratory Birds
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and some conservationists have called for the eradication of light pollution to conserve migratory birds.
This is contained in a statement issued by the NCF on Wednesday at the end of an event hosted to mark the World Migratory Bird Day in Lagos.
The Tide source reports that the statement was signed by the NCF Head of Communications, Mr Oladapo Soneye.
The World Migratory Bird Day is an annual event used to raise awareness on bird migration and the importance of protecting the flyways and habitats utilised by birds during this seasonal experience.
Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often north and south along a flyway, between breeding and wintering grounds. Many species of bird migrate.
Light pollution is a significant and growing threat to wildlife including many species of migratory birds.
Every year, light pollution contributes to the death of millions of birds. It alters the natural patterns of light and dark in ecosystems. It can change birds migration patterns, foraging behaviours, and vocal communication.
The statement quoted the Director-General of NCF, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, as saying that Nigerians should participate jointly in bird conservation by eradicating light pollution.
Aminu-Kano expressed concern on the challenges the birds were facing, especially migratory birds challenges, such as, but not limited to loss of habitat, persecution, famine and pollution.
He said that this year’s theme: “Light Pollution: Dim the light for birds at night,” was a clarion call to action for all to jointly participate in bird conservation.
According to him, research shows that birds do have accident flying at night because of illumination from cities.
“When we switch off light bulbs that are not so useful, we help to reduce the chances of the birds having head-on-collision with buildings, trees, and other infrastructures,” Aminu-Kano said.
Dr Soladoye Iwajomo, Senior Lecturer, Department of Zoology, University of Lagos, defined light pollution as the introduction of artificial light, either directly or indirectly, into the natural environment.
Iwajomo said that light pollution results in the alteration of the natural pattern of light and dark in ecosystems.
According to him, light pollution is often caused by the way the light is emitted from lighting equipment.
He said that choosing proper equipment and carefully mounting and aiming would make a significant difference.
Also speaking, Mr Abdulmalik Ogizi, who represented the Federal Ministry of Environment, said that migratory birds fly hundreds of thousand kilometres to find the best ecological conditions and habitats for feeding, breeding, and raising their young ones.
“When conditions at breeding sites become unfavourable, it is time to fly to regions where conditions are better.
“The phenomenon is accompanied by several anthropogenic, political, and environmental challenges on the migratory bird’s survival and conservation,” Ogizi said.
He said that the 2022 campaign highlights the impacts of the increasing but underestimated threat of light pollution on migratory birds.
Ogizi noted that artificial light was increasing globally by at least two per cent per year with adverse effect on bird species.
He said that light pollution was a significant threat to migratory birds, causing disorientation when they fly at night, leading to collisions with buildings, increasing their vulnerability as prey to other animals perturbing their internal clocks, or interfering with their ability to undertake long distance migrations.
The NCF’s Species Programme Lead, Dr Stella Egbe, said that, the world comes together to celebrate and raise awareness on the beauty and threats of migratory birds twice every year.
Egbe described migration as the seasonal movements of birds between their breeding and wintering sites.
She said that the seasonal activity is an important event that ensures the survival of lots of bird species.
“Every year, ornithologists, and conservation biologists study birds in all types of environments globally, monitoring their numbers and diversity.
“In recent years, it has been observed that species are declining rapidly, driving species to the brink of extinction.
“From habitat loss, indiscriminate killing and trade in birds, plastic pollution, birds are increasingly exposed to factors within the environment that they have not adapted to.
“It has been discovered that some adult birds are being harvested, which will prevent reproduction.
This will cause general decline in the population of birds,” Egbe said.
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