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2022 Flooding And Food Crisis

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Except nature intervenes, the flood situation currently ravaging some parts of the country may surely get to Rivers State. It would be recalled that the Nigerian Meterological Agency (NiMET) and its sister agency, Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA), predicted massive flooding this year in the country.
According to NiMET predictions, 20 states and more will be affected by flooding this year.
The high risk States, according to the agency, are Kebbi, Jigawa, Borno and Bauchi States.
The rest are Taraba, Plateau,Bayelsa, Rivers, Adamawa, Kano and Akwa Ibom States.
Also to be affected are Cross River, Abia, Imo, Enugu, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti States.
NiMET based its predictions on the rainfall distribution and rainfall amount recorded so far in the country.
As at the time of filing this report, a number of States across the country are reeling from the impacts of severe flooding.
Reports of impacts of flooding so far obtained show that Borno State has lost 4,989 shelters / houses to flood, while 40,000 people are already displaced, farmlands totaling 4,000 hectares of land, including crops also destroyed.
Also  in Adamawa State, 962 houses were destroyed, 979 people displaced and rendered homeless, while food and cash crops running into millions of Naira destroyed.
In Yobe State, 58 Houses were destroyed, three deaths recorded, four persons sustained various degrees of injuries, while farmlands and crops running into millions of Naira destroyed.
Similarly, reports also had it that in Lagos State, three children and four adults were killed in the flooding.
In Jigawa State, 50 people lost their lives and thousands of homes damaged, including farmlands and crops.
Similarly, in Ebonyi State, 15 houses were destroyed, farmlands, including rice farms, cassava and yam farm also affected.
Also, in Niger State, a total of 35 persons were killed, 51 others injured, while 8,215 houses, including farmlands destroyed.
The situation was also reported in Gombe State where a three-year-old girl was reportedly killed, a two-year-old girl critically injured and properties worth millions of Naira, including farmlands and crops destroyed.
Also, in Cross River State six were killed, houses submerged, farmlands destroyed including crops, schools and other facilities also affected.
Within the past years, Rivers State was not left out as far as flood was concerned.
It would be noted that the Orashi region of Rivers State has been a flash point as far as flooding is concerned.
Incidentally, this area is 80 percent agricultural, and any distortion in its farming system may affect not just the region but the entire state.
The 2012,/2013,/2014/,2015 even the 2020 flooding wrecked innumerable havocs in the area.
The Orashi region, for instance, was a flash point in the 2020 flooding.
Deaths were recorded in Omoku, Ubie  and Engenni Kingdoms while places like Andoni, Opobo, Akuku-Toru and others withnessed series of damage and destructions to both public and individual property.
In most of these areas,   farmers lost their crops  and belongings, and some of them are yet to recover.
The implications of this was not only  grave for the state but the nation at large.
Even if   the current  flooding being experienced in parts of the country is  yet  to be withnessed in the state, there are reports of panic and apprehensions, especially among farmers.
According to an indigene of Joinkrama in Engenni Kingdom, farmers are already contemplating premature harvesting because of previous experiences.
Sodin Akiagba, a native of Joinkrama Engenni Kingdom in Ahoada-West Local Government Area told The Tide in an exclusive interview that farmers are major victims of flood disasters in Engenni Kingdom.
He said his people who are predominantly farmers always bore the brunt of flood disasters
“I can tell you authoritatively that our people are already confused over what to do, some of them have started harvesting their crops prematurely to avoid them being destroyed by the impending flood”, Akiagba said.
Akiagba regretted that no farmers have received any palliatives as a result of previous flooding in Engenni Kingdom.
He said apart from the expected food shortages, massive poverty will also result from the situation.
Akiagba said that the only way of protecting farmers from the perennial flooding is the introduction of crops with shorter life span.
He also said the dredging of the Orashi river will reduce the impact of flooding in the region.
Also speaking with The Tide, the state Chairman of the  All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Chief Ofimaobari Igwe, said food crisis is imminent in the country, if there is no intervention from the state and Federal Governments.
Igwe said within the past  few years, millions of farmers across the state and country have been suffering the impacts of flooding.
He said farmers have lost millions of Naira to flood without compensation by governments.
The AFAN Chairman said government should rise up to its responsibilities by providing relief materials during flood disasters.
“If what I am hearing across the country is anything to go by, then, we are in for a hard time in the country.
“My advice is that government should rise up and protect farmers from this problem.
“They should make available palliatives and crops with shorter life span”, he said
He called on Rivers farmers to be vigilant and observe all flood signals.
Also speaking, a farmer in Etche Local Government Area, Mrs Kaina Amadi told The Tide that she was a victim of flood disasters in the state
She said previous flood disasters had affected her farming activities, stressing that she lost her crops to flooding in the area.
Amadi said for this year, she is fervently praying that what is happening around the country should not get to Rivers State.
She however expressed the hope that Rivers State will not witness flooding this year.
Also speaking, the Eze Odinta Nanya of Etcheland Eze Ndubuisi Nwankwo, solicted for support to farmers in the state from both the federal and state governments.
He said farmers have always been at the receiving end at every flood season .
“Farmers need government’s support because they always lose everything during flooding,” he said.
The traditional ruler also expressed concern over the destruction by flooding in other parts of the country, stressing that the situation may lead to food scarcity next year if not well handled.
Also, a civil society activist, Miss Blessing Digbani, regretted that farmers across the country are losing their farmlands to flooding.
She said the situation may lead to mass poverty in the country.
Also, Prince William Chinwo said society will suffer from the effects of the current flood disaster in parts of the country.
He said Rivers State and the rest of the Niger Delta should put appropriate mechanism in place to assist farmers in the event that the incident gets to the region.
For Dan Mbachi, another civil society activist, it is time government wake up to support farmers in the state.
He said majority of farmers will lose their sources of livelihood if what is happening in other parts of the country gets to the state.
An environmentalist, Barrister Iniuro Wills called for a flood master plan for the Niger Delta.
He also soclicited for support to farmers.
The Zonal Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Godwin Tepikor could not be reached for comments but an official in the agency said they are sensitising farmers on how to manage the situation in the event of flooding in the state.
According to him, farmers have been sensitise to be on the alert with a view to commencing the harvesting of crops and expressed the hope that going by the low rainfalls this year, the situation may not be worst as anticipated.
It is clear that going by flood reports   especially with the continuous destruction of farmlands  across the country, Nigeria may experience food shortages next year and beyond and the country’s already bad inflation situation may  also be worsened.

By: John Bibor & Adigun Oreoluwa

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Environment

Table Water Producers Increase Price Of Satchet Water

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The Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) has increased the price of sachet water.
The Tide source reports that the increase was contained in a statement signed by the ATWAP President, Clementine Ativie.
The statement said ATWAP
has raised the price of sachet (‘pure’) water to N300 per bag.
Ativie said the  decision was unanimously reached during the ATWAP national convention in Abuja.
He explained that the increment was due to current prices of material and Nigeria’s economic situation.
“The price of sachet water popularly known as pure water is now N300 per bag as the company price.
“There will be no extra bag or extra pieces henceforth for wholesale or retail buyers,” she said.
The President added that the cost of production had gone far beyond what they can bear.
She said the new rate would help them to keep up with bills and remain in business.
The statement appealed to citizens to be understanding and bear with the association.
It would be recalled ATWAP had earlier increased the price of a bag of pure water to N200 on November 11, 2021.

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Environment

PANDEF, Others Carpet FG Over Niger Delta Environment

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PAN Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and a group, “We The People (WTP),” have decried alleged Federal Government‘s lack of commitment to the Niger Delta environmental situation, despite International Oil Companies…
PAN Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and a group, We The People (WTP), have decried alleged Federal Government‘s lack of commitment to the Niger Delta environmental situation, despite International Oil Companies (IOCs), which messed up the region, are leaving the area.
They  vowed to sue the IOCs for the destruction of the environment and livelihood of the people in the course of oil exploration and exploitation.
The Executive Director of WTP, Ken Henshaw, while speaking, y in Port Harcourt, in a one-day multi-stakeholders conference on oil company divestment in the Niger Delta, said the damage done by oil companies was enough to take them to court.
Henshaw said: “I think what the oil companies have done to the Niger Delta, the environmental pollution they have caused, the livelihood lost, the destruction of the environment they engendered are well known and we’ll document health risks the companies have created. They are enough grounds to take them to court.
“We think the oil companies can be found wanting on the basis of the fact that they have, for 64 years of extraction, destroyed the traditional livelihood of the people.”
“The oil that has spilled onto the land, into the creeks and rivers of the Niger Delta region, has reduced the life expectancy in the Niger Delta region. Life expectancy in Nigeria is 54 years but life expectancy in Niger Delta is between 41 and 45 years.”
National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson, said: “On the issue of divestment, we, the people of Niger Delta need to ask ourselves the question; what do we do? Niger Delta communities are occupied communities and not host communities as it were.

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Environment

NEMA ,UNDP Propose National Disaster Database For Nigeria

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National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have partnered to establish a national disaster database for Nigeria.
The organisations disclosed this at a two-day workshop on “creation of National Disaster Database and Risk Information Management for Sustainable and Risk-informed Development in Nigeria,”  in Abuja.
The workshop, within the context of the “Sahel Resilience Project” of the UNDP, had in attendance stakeholders from MDAs, States Emergency Management Agencies, FRSC, and the academia, among others.
NEMA Director-General, Mr Mustapha Ahmed, said that the project covered seven countries in the Sahel Region of West Africa, namely Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.
He described the project as a multi-partnership scheme implemented by UNDP, in collaboration with African Union Commission, ECOWAS, UN Women, Lake Chad Basin Commission and other regional organisations.
Ahmed said that the project was funded under the sole assistance of the Swedish Government.
According to him, the choice of the region is very germane, considering the worrisome physical and human development indices in the area.
He added that the region, which had continued to suffer drought as a major risk factor, had also been faced with continuous deterioration of livelihoods and food security.
The director-general added that the situation required concerted and collective disaster management efforts to ensure that no one was left behind, and as such, data was important.
“It is necessary to stress that management of disaster risks in the contemporary period are anchored on preparedness, mitigation, risk reduction and adaptation.
“This cannot be realised without the full deployment of both quantitative and qualitative data for disaster risk-informed decision, planning and programme implementation.
“I commend UNDP for this laudable workshop on the creation of disaster database for risk informed sustainable development in Nigeria,” he said.
Also speaking, the Project Manager, Sahel Resilience Project, UNDP, Ms Reshmi Theckthil, added that one of the major aspects to effective disaster management was the availability of data.
She added that investment in good, accurate and accessible data would help various communities to develop resilience to disasters in the country.
The project manager also called on government to develop and implement policies that would make the created data useful in the country.

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