The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to make an urgent request for a supplementary budget of N100,000,000,00.00 or more, for Ecological Project Office (EPO) as an intervention fund to execute the programs of the agency nationwide with a view to combating ecological challenges created by recent floodings across the country
The House also mandated its Committee on Appropriation to make provision for N200, 000,000,000.00 in the 20023 budget, for the EPO in the Presidency for flood preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery and relief packages ahead of next year.
The House also sought the release of N5,000,000,000.00 into the already created special ecological fund account of each state of the federation and F.C.T, to mitigate the effects of flooding that recently ravaged the entire nation.
These resolutions were reached following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance titled “Need for Strategic Planning and Funding to Prevent the Reoccurrence of Flood and Erosion Disasters in Nigeria in 2023 and Beyond”, brought by Hon. Henry Nwawuba and Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka.
Hon. Nwawuba in his presentation expressed worries over the recent flooding incidents that ravaged the country, saying that the warning by relevant authorities was not heeded.
He said in view of another prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) that another round of flooding was imminent next year, the authorities should take proactive measures.
“We pay deaf ears to the sound and presence of risks associated with flooding. One thing is clear they will surely occur whether we plan for them or not. But, strategic planning and adequate funding will help mitigate the effects and facilitate quick and better recovery of lives, properties, economy and overall environment.
Delta Harps On Construction Of Dams
Delta State Goverment says the construction of dams will mitigate flooding in the state.
Commissioner of Information Charles Aniagwu also said the introduction of in-land waterway transportation and dams would mitigate flooding problems, generate electricity and increase productivity in the country.
Aniagwu said this in an interview with The Tide source on Asaba.
He said the adoption of in-land waterways and the construction of dams would boost economic development by fostering commerce and facilitating the movement of goods, services and people in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government should take steps to dam the river Niger and river Benue to prevent flooding and generate electricity”, he said.
“We noticed that many states have difficulty carrying out agricultural activities during the dry season but with dams that would have ended the lack of water and prevented the magnitude of the flood that would cause trouble to Nigerians.”
Speaking on the recent floods in the country, the commissioner noted that the vulnerable members of the society, especially poor farmers, were at the receiving end of the disaster.
“The amount of money the Federal Government spend is enough to go a long way in preventing this annual flood, individuals have lost a lot of valuables much more than the government has spent.
NEMA SpendsN112bn On Disaster Management
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said it spent N112.13 billion from consolidated accruals and ecological fund utilisation on disaster management in the country from 2011-2022.
This is just as members of the House of Representatives Committee on Ecology expressed displeasure with the disclosure by Ahmed Mustapha, the Director General of NEMA that the agency reached out to over 1,427,370 persons displaced by the flood disaster across the nation.
Mustapha, who appeared before the committee which is investigating the total consolidated accruals and utilisation of ecological fund, said unlike other appropriated finance, balances from the funds are rolled over to a next fiscal year.
The director-general told the committee that documents for
the 2010 expenditure were not available as they were destroyed during the #ENDSARS protests, and police extract to that effect has been obtained.
He lamented that 2022 flood disaster was the worst flood disaster in the history of Nigeria, saying it was far more devastating than the 2012 flood which was hitherto considered unprecedented in the country’s history.
“As predicted, the 2022 flood hit the country with devastating consequences, impacted thousands of communities and wreaked havoc in all the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT. A total of 612 persons lost their lives, 3,219,780 persons were affected, 1,427,370 persons were displaced and 2,776 others suffered various degrees of injuries.
“A total of 181,600 houses were partially damaged and 123,807 houses were totally damaged. A total of 176,852 hectares of farmland were partially destroyed while 392,300 hectares of farmland got totally destroyed as a result of the floods,” Mustapha said.
The NEMA boss also said the provision of food and non-food items for immediate relief and building materials to facilitate long term rehabilitation of those affected by flood was ongoing.
But Oghuma Johnson (APC, Edo), a member of the committee who frowned at Mustapha’s statement, accused NEMA of favouring a particular region of the country in their relief materials distribution selection process.
The lawmaker, who later staged a walk out, said the director general was partial as the impact of their distribution claims was not seen or felt in his constituency and Edo State as a whole.
WTD: RSG Recommits To End Open Defecation
As Rivers State joins the rest of the world to celebrate World Toilet Day,General Manager of the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA),Mr Napoleon Adah, says the agency is working hard to stop the practice of open defecation in the state.
Napoleon who spoke to The Tide against the backdrop of the celebration said the agency is also working with some local goverment areas especially in the riverine areas of the state to check the trend.
He said RUWASSA has embarked on massive sensitisation programm across the state on the need for an end to open defecation.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says over 1.5 million people die annually from diarrhoea.
Director General of the organisation, Ghebreyesus Tedros also said one in five people doesn’t have access to a toilet, and almost one in two lack safe sanitation services.
He told The Tide source that more than 1.5 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases including Cholera, which it said: “is resurging alarmingly in many countries”.
The WHO Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, disclosed this Saturday night in a message to commemorate World Toilet Day (WTD).
He added that one in five people does not have access to a toilet, and almost one in two lack safe sanitation services.
Speaking further, he said: “health systems also struggle with the burden of increasingly resistant infections, girls drop out of school, and economies suffer.
“Today in the lead up to the UN 2023 conference on the water we’re launching the countdown to 2030 calling for a fourfold acceleration on sanitation.”
Sanitation in Africa
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, also revealed that 779 million people in Africa lack essential sanitation services.
Ms Moeti said this in a press statement commemorating the 2022 WTD with the theme: ‘Sanitation and Groundwater,’ adding that 208 million still practice open defecation.
She said, “Access to safely managed sanitation services, in combination with safely managed drinking water services and good hygiene
The WHO Africa boss added that “Africa must work on average four times faster to ensure everyone has a safe toilet by 2030 as the connection between sanitation and groundwater cannot be overlooked.”
She added that densely populated urban settings, pit latrines and septic tanks sited close to waterpoints that draw from shallow aquifers creates potentially serious health risks.
“For women and girls, in particular, toilets at home, school, and at work help them fulfil their potential and play their full role in society, especially during menstruation and pregnancy.
“The indignity, inconvenience, and danger of not having access to safely managed sanitation is a barrier to their full participation in society.
“Toilets drive improvements in health, gender equality, education, economics, and the environment,” she noted.
Ms Moeti also suggested that the link between groundwater and sanitation needs to be strengthened through inclusive policy and coordinated implementation.
“Thus, cooperation between policymakers, water resource, sanitation specialists and practitioners should be increased,” she said.
World Toilet day is celebrated 19 th of November every year.
By: John Bibor
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