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Future Of The Earth, On Groups Raise Concern Over

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The fast depletion of the ozone layer, rising sea level, incessant flooding and the soot were some of the issues that dominated the headline as the world marks the 2022 World Environment day
Here in Rivers State Port Harcourt City and environs stood still as some groups rolled out drums to celebrate the event.
This year’s world environment day with the theme, “only One Earth” is being hosted by Sweden.
The first world environment day was held in 1974 and incidentally “only one Earth” was also the theme for the celebration.
Some of the groups which rolled out their drums to mark the day include, the Nigerian Environmental Society(NES),Rivers state the Rivers Network of NGos, Centre for Environment, Human Right and Development, while the ministry of environment was reportedly arranging activities to mark the day.
Meanwhile, stakeholders have called for policies to save the Earth from extinction.
A cross section of stakeholders who spoke in an interview, described the theme of the day as apt inview of human activities that are threatening the Earth.
According to them,urgent attention are needed to curtail activities that are threatening the environment.
They cited the case of gas emission that is contributing to ozone layer depletion,the soot  problem in Port Harcourt and other parts of the Niger Delta and rising sea level threatening communities in the Niger Delta and the indiscriminate dumping of wastes into the environment.and gutters, causing flooding.
They decried the high rate of bush burning ,deforestation and other in inimical  activities against the environment.
Speaking at the celebration,coordinator of Rivers Network of NGOs (Rinngos)DrMina Ogbanga, said the celebration represents a global platform for inspiring positive change.
Ogbanga said with over 150 countries,participating in the event,The UN international day engaged governments, businesses,civil societies,schools,celebrities,cities and communities,raising awareness and celebrating environmental action.
She said the occasion provided an opportunity for individuals to be drivers of change through business action.
According to her, “in this global celebration, Rivers state civil societies are not left out as with support from the European Union, Agent for citizen driven transformation and the British Council ,Rinngos is implementing the climate Action for Sustainability and Environmental protection.
“This comes as a direct response to addressing climate change impact”..
Ogbanga listed the goals to include combating climate change and its impact,strengthening resilience, climate literacy and advocacy among children and youth in Rivers State.
She said the project will increase support for the participation of CSOs,CBOs and youth to accelerate action to tackle the most pressing environmental problems such as pollution,inadequate knowledge and skills in environmental protection.
State coordinator of Rivers Volunteer Sanitation Marshals, Prince Sodin Akiagba, said human activities can destroy the Earth if it is not checked.
Akiagba said in the light of the celebration,various governments across the country should take practical steps to check pollution in their areas.
He listed some of these activities as kpofire,bush burning incesssnt cutting down of trees and blocking of drainages.
Akiagba further called for programmes to encourage waste recycling as it would create jobs for thousands of people.
On his part, Zonal Director of the National Emergency Management Agency, Godwin Tepikor said people should desist from dumping refuse into the gutters.
He also warned against building on water right of ways of water.
A Port Harcourt based journalist Olalekan Ige, said the celebration should serve to reflect on man’s activities threatening the Earth.
Ige also called on people to stop littering the environment to avoid diseases.

By: John Bibor

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Environment

SanitationTaskforce Inaugurates Enforcement Agents

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The Rivers State Taskforce on Sanitation has charged its enforcement agents to be civil in their approach to duty.
Chairman of the Taskforce, Chief Isoboye Jack gave the charge,at a one day capacity building workshop organised by the taskforce for the enforcement agents in port Harcourt.
Jack urged them to use minimal force in their dealing with the public, adding that anyone caught violating the sanitation laws should be arrested and handed over to the police.
He warned against activities that will tarnish the image of the committee, stressing that the taskforce will not tolerate any act that will bring it into disrepute.
Jack said their responsibility is to enforce all sanitation laws against dumping of refuse at unspecified hours as well as dumping on road medians.
He also said his committee has already mapped out strategies towards sensitising the public on the hazards associated with indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
Speaking with newsmen later,the chairman said   plans are underway  to revive the monthly environmental sanitation exercise,as well as bring back the mobile sanitation court.
Also speaking, a member of the taskforce, Hon.Joshua Olu warned them to avoid alcohol while on duty,noting that they are expected to work with the police to get those who violate the law arrested.
He said enforcement agents will be sent to all nooks and crannies of Port Harcourt city and environs to monitor compliance to refuse laws
Meanwhile, the state police command has pledged to cooperate with the committee to ensure its success.
A Chief Superintendent of Police Kerian Ibe from the Operation Department of the State police command said the police will work with the team to ensure compliance with the law.
He also warned them against taking the laws into their hands.
Secretary of the enforcement agents princess  ibiene ogan said they will work hard to return port Harcourt to it garden city status.

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Community Claims Ownership Of Andoni River Estuary

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The Muma Town Local Council of Chiefs, Traditional Rulers and Elders says its ownership of the Andoni River Estuary is not in dispute.
The community said this in a press briefing in Port Harcourt.
The briefing is against the background  of claims by some communities in Andoni Local Government Area disputing the ownership of the Andoni River Estuary.
Briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, a member of the Chief Council Chief Joshua Loveday said Muma’s ownership of the Andoni river estuary can never be in dispute since muma is the first community to settle in that estuary.
He said other fishing settlements that sprang up around the estuary were allegedly given lands by muma.
“The issue we have now is that there are alot of information spreading round Andoni over who owns Andoni River estuary .
“We know right from time ,even published by the British government in 1931 by Jeffreys intelligence Report on Andoni tribe .’adding that the report stated that Muma was the first community in that axis of Andoni.
He also said the NGO clan council of Chiefs had also settled the matter in favour of muma adding that since then the council has been inviting the muma council of chiefs to a meeting.
According to him the Andoni Traditional Rulers council ought to liase with the Muma council of chiefs on any issues concerning the Andoni River Estuary.
Chief Elect Joshua also called on companies operating in the Area to deal with mumaOn any matter concerning the area.
Joshua also cited the Rivers state law which stated that any community closer to a place is the host community.

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Councillor Decries Flooding In Rivers Community

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Councillor representing Ward 1 in the Andoni Local Government Legislative Assembly, Hon.Timothy John Bibo, has called for action to save the community from incessant flooding.
This was  contained in a post by the media unit of the office of the councillor.
According to the post the lawmaker who spoke under  motion for urgent importance said something needs to be done to save the community from being submerged by flood.
He said the situation has heighten agitation in the area especially now that the rains has fully set in.
Bibo blamed the situation on the continuous encroachment on water right of ways  by property developers and the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in canals and drainages thereby blocking the free flow of water into the river.
He also called on the executive arm of the council to put in place policies to check the trend.
Meanwhile some indigenes of Otunria community have sent  a save our soul message to the Andoni Local Government Council and the state government over the continous flooding of the community.
Mr Idante John, an indigene of Otunria Ngo Town said flooding has affected both commercial activities,while the Ngo health centre sited at Otunria is experiencing low activities as a result of the flooding.
Idante called on the government to come to the aid of the community by constructing drainages and roads in the area.
Other residents who spoke on the issue said some of their property have been destroyed by flood in the community.
They said their sources of livelihood have also been affected and called for urgent attention by the government to check the situation.
It would be recalled that Otunria is one of the major communities in Ngo town headquarters of Andoni Local sent Area.
Otunria houses the Ngo health centre,the model secondary school and other government amenities.
Some residents also access the General Hospital and Magistrate Court Ngo through Otunria
It was against this background that the people are calling on the government to come to their aid.

Stories by John Bibor

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