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Flood: NEMA, Experts Task Communities On Preventive Measures

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As the rain intensifies across the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other stakeholders have advised residents of flood-prone communities in the South East to embark on preventive measures for safety of lives and property in the zone.
The agency made the call while responding to a Tide source survey on Challenges of Flooding during rainfall.
The reports say that some states in the South East Zone of Nigeria experience perennial flooding during rainy seasons which threatens lives and the economy of the country, hence the survey.
Some of the stakeholders who spoke to the agency maintained that flood posed disaster risk, not only to prone areas but the nation’s economic development.
The Acting Head of NEMA, Imo/Abia Operations Office, Mr Ifeanyi Nnaji, advised affected communities to always monitor sea level in their areas.
He said the Disaster Risk Management Implication of the 2022 flood prediction by NEMA through the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) will soon be released to help prepare the society for emergency.
”The Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) give the organisation effective planning of weather-related disaster management in Nigeria,” he said.
Nnaji  further advised the public to desist from indiscriminate disposal of waste in or around water channels.
According to him, such habit hinders the free passage of rain water, hence causing the overflow of rain water beyond boundaries to damaging proportions.
Also, the Executive Secretary of Imo State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mrs Agnes Ajoku, expressed concern over the negative impact of flood on the society.
She said if not properly managed, flood effect could cause shortage of food, ecological disaster and even loss of lives and property.
“In 2018, Imo experienced one of the greatest flooding in the history of the state, which left many people homeless, while some lost their lives to the flood.
“Since flooding in most cases is a natural disaster, there is the need for both government and the people to take strict measures to prevent heavy effect of flooding.
“One of the ways is for citizens to stop the habit of blocking drainage system centrally built to checkmate flood with waste,” she said.
She also advised against building on water ways, adding that such structures built on the water ways are potential disaster.
A Director in the Ministry of Environment, Dr Clement Anyawu, said government should consider demolishing all buildings around water ways.
Anyawu said the ministry had studied Federal Government prediction for the 2022 flood outlook, adding that necessary actions had been taken to address the issue.
He appealed to residents in the flood prone communities to always adhere to early warning measures stipulated by relevant agencies.
In Abia, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said that 45 communities in 14 local government areas of the state were currently being ravaged by flooding.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr Sunday Jackson, told Tide source that the state had already begun to experience high rainfall, in line with the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.
According to him the Annual Flood Outlook Prediction by the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency also shows that Abia, was one of the highly probable flood risk states in the country.

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Environment

LG Boss Moves To Check Cholera Outbreak

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The Chairman of Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, Barrister Erastus Awortu, has attributed the ongoing effort by his administration to provide potable water across communities as a move to forestall future cholera outbreak in the area.
Awortu said this at an agenda for baseline validation and investment planning meeting organized by The Rivers State Rural Water Supply and sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) in Port Harcourt.
He said so far five communities have benefitted from the council, gesture in this direction.
“My own administration is local government because we are from Andoni .There are cases of cholera and other waterborne diseases,so we have been making concerted effort to see that we provide potable water in the communities big and small.
“We are taking step by step and inaugurated potable water scheme and we decided that each month we are going to provide water in one community or the other”
He said so far the effort is yielding result as cases of cholera have been reduced.
Awortu said the meeting is of particular interest to his administration “to see where we can get help to further boost our effort and to spread good health “he said.
He said some local government areas in the state because of their locations required huge sums of money to sink water project.
Awortu commended the federal and state governments and the international agencies for their effort to improve water supply in rural communities.
“I think that these are commendable effort. Part of systemic effort by the administration of Rivers State Water Corporation and the international agencies,the World Bank and the federal government to improve water and sanitation in all the localities, especially in rural areas of the country.

By: John Bibor

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FG To Support Efforts On Protection Of Nigerian Mangrove Ecosystems

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Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, says the Federal Government will support efforts to raise awareness on the protection of Nigerian mangrove ecosystems for the provision of suitable livelihoods.
Abdullahi said this in a press statement made available newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, on the commemoration of the10km mangrove ecosystem awareness marathon.
He was represented by the Conservator-General, National Park Service (NPS), Dr Ibrahim Goni.
The minister said that the Mangrove Marathon is aimed at marking the 2022 International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystems annually celebrated on July 30.
Abdullahi said the Federal Government had promised to support the protection of the Nigerian mangrove ecosystems to the coastal communities in Nigeria as well as the world at large.
He said that mangrove ecosystems are found in the fringes between the sea and the land along coasts and riverbanks where fresh and saltwater meet.
Abdullahi added that mangrove ecosystems had continued to serve as food, shelter, income, medicine and protection for people from coastal erosion and sea waves amongst others.
He said that globally, the ecosystems are rare areas of about 240,000 square kilometres in 123 tropical and subtropical nations of the world.
Abdullahi said this represents less than one per cent of all the tropical forests worldwide and less than 0.4 per cent of the total global forest estate.
The Minister said that Nigeria has the largest mangrove ecosystems in Africa and it is the third largest in the world with an estimate of 7.386sq.km having lost 26 per cent since 1980.
He said that although these ecosystems are known to perform immense socio-economic and ecological functions, no policy has been enacted for their conservation in Nigeria.
However, he said this gesture has been changed by the recent establishment of 10 additional national parks across the country by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the gesture has brought the total number of national parks in the country to 17, with two, Apoi and Edumenum National Parks, located in the Bayelsa State’s ecosystems.
The Minister expressed

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Environment

Plastic Pollution: Group Tasks Nigerians On Behavioural Change

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The Foundation for a Better Environment (FABE) International has called for a positive behavioural change among Nigerians toward plastic pollution.
Mrs Temitope Okunnu, the Founder of FABE, made the call during the clean-up of Okun-Ajah Beach on Thursday in Lagos.
The Tide source reports that FABE International partnered Cardtonic to clean-up o Okun-Ajah Beach on Thursday.
The training of women and children in recycling and upcycling activities in the community was part of the clean-up themed: “Plastic Free July”
Okunnu said that the residents should not only be concerned with the recycling rewards but sustainability as a lifestyle.
“It is ‘Plastic Free July’ and we are ending the month of July with the beach clean-up at Okun-Ajah community in collaboration with Cardtonic.
“Recycling is an activity that has gained popularity in Lagos state and that is why the residents feel they should get paid before any clean-up.
“Yes, there are monetary rewards for recycling but our aim as an organisation is to get the residents to have the necessary behavioural change for a sustainable environment.
“We want people to recycle not just because of the reward they may get from it, but because it has become a lifestyle to preserve the environment,” Okunnu said.
The environmentalist, however, commended women in the community for drive in eradicating plastic pollution through upscale recycling activities.
According to her, women in the Okun-Ajah community have taken it upon themselves to rid the beach of plastics.
“They call us every other week that they are ready for a pick-up to the recycling hubs.
“They engage children and friends in the plastic collection that is why you see we have fewer plastics to pick at the beach this year compared to last year’s clean-up.
“We are happy with the behavioural change we witnessed as regards plastic pollution.
“The resident participants at clean-up will be rewarded with food items, home appliances and gifts aside the points they get from recycling pet bottles,” she said.

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