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HYPREP Moves To Sustain Water Supply In Ogoni Communities …Sets Up Action Plan Committee

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The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has organised a two-day workshop on sustainable potable water supply to Ogoni communities in Rivers State with a view to making the various ongoing water projects embarked upon by the project, on completion, to stand the test of time.
To this end, HYPREP at the end of the event, set up a high powered committee to fashion out a water policy framework for sustainable potable water supply to the Ogoni communities, comprising experts, community representatives and other Ogoni stakeholders.
The workshop, which commenced on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, attracted personalities from far and near, and terminated on Wednesday, with a visit to the water project sites in Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme Local Government Areas.
In his address, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Dr Ferdinand Giadom said the provision of potable water is a key derivable of the project as recommended for implementation in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on Ogoniland.
Giadom noted that Ogoni is not a virgin land when it comes to water schemes as the place is replete with all kinds of water facilities ranging from mono-pumps, neighbourhood water scheme to even the urban type with city wide reticulation, provided at various times by different donors and government agencies.
He, however, indicated that what is lacking is sustainability plan that had rendered all such efforts at providing potable water for the people moribund.
“Hence, the communities are left with no option than to resort to self-help even when their skies are decorated by large overhead water towers and their neighbourhoods dotted with never flowing water taps”, he said.
While highlighting the fact that the mission of HYPREP to provide safe drinking water for Ogoni communities began in earnest in 2021 when former Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar flagged off the construction of six water contracts in Bori, Giadom said lack of sustainability, which has been the bane of all previous efforts to provide potable water in Ogoni is the reason for the convocation of the workshop.
According to him, the workshop is intended to harvest the participants’ rich wealth of experience on how to run an enduring regional water scheme in Ogoni that meets international benchman.
“A water scheme that will train local hands to maintain to standard the facilities that we are installing. A water scheme that the people can call their own in every sense of the word for its protection and profitability. A water scheme that its model can be replicated in other communities of the Niger Delta. This water scheme we believe will put a final stop to the problem of water shortage in Ogoniland”, he said.
Giadom further indicated that as a first step, towards achieving the sustainability plan of the water projects, HYPREP has commenced discussions with the relevant authorities to connect Ogoniland to the national grid.
In his goodwill message, the Manager, Ogoni Restoration Project, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Dr Vincent Nwabueze expressed delight over the workshop, stressing that a lot of water schemes were installed in Ogoniland but could not see the light of day.
He noted that the essence of having the worksop was to ensure that the whole of Ogoniland has sustainable drinking water, saying, “SPDC is declaring our solidarity and support to this project”.
On his part, GbenemeneTuaTua Tai and Paramount Ruler of Kpite Tai, King Samuel Nnee thanked the management of HYPREP for the bold step to ensure that Ogoni people reap the full benefits of the ongoing water projects, saying, “Water is life. We will do all we can to support HYPREP”.
Also, the Natural and Paramount Ruler of Barako Community, Mene Kadilo Kabari commended HYPREP for the water project initiative, and affirmed that the project is actually constructing a brand new water project in his area.
One of the resource persons at the event and Professor of Engineering and Environmental Geology at the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Enuvie Akpokodje, stressed the need for collaboration, saying, it is key for the water projects to be sustainable. Effective community participation, he said was important.
He also harped on the need for all HYPREP projects not to be politicised.
An institute and governance expert, Prof. Johnson Otun also presented a thought-provoking keynote paper geared towards sustainability of potable water supply in Ogoniland.
However, the presentation of Engr. Joseph Iyaye of the Bonny Utility Company Water Sustainability Model, actually set the tone of the general discussions.
The participants stressed the need for Ogoni communities to be connected to the national grid even as solar power and wind will facilities should be installed to power the water projects.
On administration, it was agreed by the participants that there should be a management water board with training components. It was also agreed that funding of the projects should not be left in the hands of government but funded by the people themselves.
The participants stressed the need for sensitisation to be intensified so as to improve security at the water project sites.

By: Donatus Ebi

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Rivers Gets New NCoS Controller

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A new Controller of Rivers State Correctional Centre, Felix Lawrence, has assumed duty in Rivers Command following an administrative reshuffle within the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) nationwide.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSC Juliet Ofoni.
According to the statement, Lawrence took over from the Assistant Controller General of Corrections, Alex Oditah, on June 24 at a handover ceremony in Port Harcourt.
The statement added that Oditah had similarly been deployed as Desk Officer ACG Restorative Justice at National Headquarters, Abuja.
It also stated that Oditah, at the occasion, urged all staff to give the new Controller the maximum cooperation to achieve “necessary positive change and the mandate of the service’’.
Oditah also expressed appreciation to staff for their diligence to work, adding that he appreciated any action taken to move the State Command forward.
Also, Controller Felix Lawrence, at the occasion, thanked God and the Controller General of Corrections, Haliru Nabab, for his posting to Rivers Command.
He urged all staff to give him maximum cooperation, adding that truancy would not be tolerated.
The statement added that Lawrence had served successfully in various capacities, including State Headquarters, Lagos Command, and State Headquarters, Asaba, Delta.
He also served at Medium Security Custodial Centre, Shendam, Plateau; Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje; Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kano; and Medium Security Custodial Centre, Ikoyi.

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Woji Community Unveils Cars for Transport Company …Awards Chieftaincy Titles To Former Andoni LG Chairman, Others

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Woji Community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, yesterday, unveiled three vehicles to kick-start its transport company.
The community also conferred chieftaincy titles on a former chairman of Andoni Local Government Area, Hon. Orom Nte Ereforokuma; Mr Ani Anthonio Onu and Engr. Andrew Aligbe.
Unveiling the vehicles yesterday during the thanksgiving service at St. Nicholas’ Anglican Church, Woji, to mark his seventh year anniversary as paramount ruler and Nyenwe-Eli Woji, Eze Emeka Ihunwo, said the community set up the transport company to generate funds for community development and provide employment for deserving persons.
He announced that the fleet of three Toyota Sienna vehicles would be integrated into the transport firm floated by the Diocese of Evo, Church of Nigeria for easy management.
He highlighted several development projects executed in the community since his coronation seven years ago to include scholarships to indigent students, manpower development programmes for the youth, and support for indigent women of the community, among others.
Speaking while dedicating the cars, the Bishop of the Diocese of Evo, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Innocent Ordu, commended Woji community for its sense of unity and for setting the pace in community development since Eze Emeka ascended the throne of Eze Woji.
He urged neighbouring communities top borrow a leaf from Woji to ensure peace and development in their areas.
He prayed for God to sustain the leadership of the community and grant them the wisdom to continually maintain peace and development of the community.
In his sermon, the Vicar of St. Nicholas Anglican Church, Woji, Rev. Canon Kingsley Ohajianya, called on the people to put their trust in God always to ensure their unity and progress.
The cleric, who spoke on the topic “Obtain Help from Sanctuary” during his sermon, said God does not fail those who put their trust in him as the only place one can get help is from God.
The man of God said nobody should go to the occult world to seek for help as any power outside God has expiry dates.
On Saturday, Eze Emeka Ihunwo had conferred chieftaincy titles on three non-indigenes of the community. He conferred the title of Eze Chituru of Woji on Orom Nte. Ani Anthonio Onu was conferred with Eze Obanya obi of Woji while Engr Aligbe bagged Eze Chigozilemma of Woji.
Eze Woji charged the awardees to be good ambassadors of Woji Kingdom, adding that the kingdom does not sell its chieftaincy titles but will give to deserving persons who have excelled in their contribution to the development of the community.
Ihunwo said it has been the custom of woji to recognise non- indigenes living with them, adding that even foreigners have in the past been recognised awarded titles.
He said the community has also extended its scholarship programmes and employment opportunities to non-indigenes in the community, and urged others to reciprocate same in their communities as no community can be built by only indigenes.
He urged the inducted chiefs to build synergy with the community with a view to fast tracking its development and charged them to take the titles as one of those good fortunes of life.
The awardees who spoke to newsmen thanked the Paramount Ruler and the Woji Council of Chiefs for the honour, promising to remain law-abidding as well as support the development of the community.

By: John Bibor

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VC Charges Tertiary Institutions On Research

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Acting Vice Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Prof. Okechuku Onuchuku, has called on tertiary institutions in Nigeria to move away from the principles of “publish or perish” and focus more on research results and outcomes that would attract industries for funding.
Onuchuku gave the advice recently when he received the Local Organising committee members of the Fifth Annual International Conference of the Society of Agriculture, Environmental Resource and Management (SAEREM) on a courtesy visit in his office.
Noting that the outcomes and results of such research would not only solve societal problems, but also help the university to generate funds from its commercialisation and capitalisation, the Acting VC said “industries and private individuals that invest in such research project would also reap from their investment with government regulating”.
He encouraged lecturers to make their research work visible for citing, emphasizing that such activities would increase the popularity of the scholar and the rankings of the University.Onuchuku commended the Committee for making IAUE their choice destination for the forth-coming conference with the theme, “Impacts of Climate Change and Oil Pollution on Environmental Resources, Food Production, Biodiversity and Economy Growth”, stressing that the conference would provide avenue for cross fertilization of ideas and showcase the institution.
He also stated that participants would gain from the interactions and presentations that would enhance their academic growth.
The Chief Executive hinted that the agricultural sector remains the largest employer of the labour force in the country and encouraged the Committee to come up with ideas, best practices and break-throughs that can improve food production, promote sustainable food solution, increase food security and eradicate hunger and poverty.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the Fifth Annual International Conference of SAEREM, Professor Godfrey Kalio, expressed appreciation to the Vice Chancellor for the support towards the hosting of the conference, saying that the conference would impact globally on the rankings and visibility index of the University.
In his vote of thanks, Dr. John Chukwumati of the University of PortHarcourt thanked the Vice Chancellor for the opportunity to visit.

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