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UNICEF Gets $2.7m Swedish Fund For Water, Nutrition In North-East

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received $2.7 million from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), to implement the maternal nutrition counselling and acute intervention programme in the North-East.
Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, in a statement recently said malnutrition, the single most deadly threat to child survival was affecting children in north-east Nigeria in a deadly way.
Hawkins said insecurity, global hike in food prices and humanitarian interventions targeting early detection at household level were resulting in a record number of under-five children presenting symptoms of acute malnutrition and needing life-saving services.
“UNICEF is grateful that the support from SIDA will help to scale treatment services to more children and address contributory water and sanitation services issues in camps and settlements.
“It will also help increase investment in preventive nutrition services targeting pregnant women and lactating mothers with maternal nutrition services,” he said.
Hawkins said unless urgent actions were taken, at least 1.7 million under-five children in north-east Nigeria would need acute malnutrition treatment in 2022.
According to the UN agency, 13 years of armed conflict in north-east Nigeria has left women and children in acute vulnerability.
It asserts that congestion in camps, high rates of open defecation and poor sanitation practices have put conflict-affected families and children at risk of disease outbreaks and preventable deaths.
Also, insecurity, loss of livelihood opportunities, high food prices and COVID-19 combined have put 4.1 million people in need of food assistance, drastically impacting the nutrition quality available for children in the region.
The UN body says that the  North-East is currently experiencing its highest burden of acute malnutrition since 2016, with 34 per cent projected increase in 2022, compared to 2021.

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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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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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