Bayelsa Landslide: Govt. Calls Seeks Federal Intervention

Bayelsa Signs MOU For Management of HospitalThe Bayelsa State government on Wednesday made a passionate appeal to the Federal Ministry of Environment, to join its efforts in combating coastal erosion.

It is also asking agencies and other well-meaning organisations to support its efforts in addressing environmental disasters ravaging the state.

The Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (Rtd), made the appeal, shortly after inspecting a landslide site at Okoloba Community in the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.

Lamenting the loss of houses and other valuable property to the disaster, Rear Admiral Jonah urged the Federal Government to participate more effectively in the protection of the Bayelsa environment, which he noted, had suffered serious degradation owing to erosion and oil exploration activities.

According to the Deputy Governor, several communities in the state, including Koluama, which had been washed away by ocean surge and coastal erosion are now in their new settlements.

In his words: “There are lots of erosion sites in Bayelsa State. This is just one of them. We have been reporting about how the ocean surge has been washing off our communities including Koluama.

“There is need for the Federal Ministry of Environment to look into Bayelsa case more seriously now with this wake up call that we have got today. We shall inform the Federal Government on the need for them to participate more effectively in the protection of our environment”.

He sympathised with the victims, assuring them that the government would do everything within its reach to provide them with some temporary relief, while proffering long-standing solutions to the problem.

Rear admiral Jonah, however, cautioned people of the state to be more safety conscious and take proactive measures by avoiding development of houses and other facilities in areas that were prone to natural disasters.

On the issue of providing shoreline protection for the community, the Deputy Governor said: “I understand there is a record that, the government had planned to provide shore protection here. We will look at that and see where the plan stalled and put pressure as much as we can to see that that project comes back to light”.

Giving eyewitness accounts, some of the victims, who are indigenes of Okoloba community, Mr Titus Yeigbagha and Mr Imomoemi Officer, said the incident occurred thrice at about 8:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. respectively on Monday this week.

Mr Yeigbagha, who lamented that property worth several millions of Naira including six houses were wiped away by the slide, called on the government to come to the aid of the victims and the Okoloba community by providing shoreline protection for the area.

Also speaking, the Governor’s Special Representative in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area, Mr Iselema Gbaranbiri, recounted a similar incident that occurred in the community in 2008, 2013 and 2015 and appealed for the urgent attention of the government.

House Summons Agency Over Earth Tremor In Jaba

earth tremor, cracked walls, kaduna tremorThe House of Representatives has summoned the Director General of the National Geological Survey Agency to provide a report on extent of the earth tremor that occurred recently at Jaba Local Government Area in Kaduna.

Sponsoring the motion, Honourable Sunday Marshal expressed concern over the property destroyed on September 11 and 12 and a likely re-occurrence of the incidence.

The House has directed the Federal Ministry of Environment to ascertain the level of destruction and reclaim all damaged areas.

The lawmakers have also called for an in depth investigation to be carried out to determine the causes in order to avoid a re-occurrence in the future.

On September 11, residents of Kwoi community in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State were thrown into panic and fear over what they described as an earth tremor.

A resident of the community told Channels Television’s correspondent on telephone that the underground vibration shook houses in the affected community to their foundations.

He said that residents have fled their homes for fear of being caught unawares by the disturbing occurrence.

After the incident, the Kaduna State government appealed to the people of the community to be calm.

The National Space Research and Development Agency has attributed the tremor in Jama Local Government Area of Kaduna State to passive sources.

In a press statement, a spokesman for the agency, Dr. Delix Ale, said the nature of the source would be determined in the course of investigation.

Dr. Ale added that a team of experts from the agency’s Centre for Geodesy and Geo-dynamics was collecting data, which would be used for further investigation.

In the statement, he confirmed that the tremor occurred in Kwoi, Nok, Sanbah and Chori, all in Jama Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The space agency further appealed to residents of the affected communities to remain calm, as they continue to study the situation.


Nasarawa Flood: Al-Makura Approves 25 Million Naira For Settlement Camp

flood-nasarawaNasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, has approved 25 million naira for the construction of a temporary settlement camp for the Riverine community of Guto in Nasarawa Local Government.

The intervention became necessary following the early warning of flooding by the Federal Ministry of Environment to coastal communities, which Guto community on the banks of River Benue from the Nasarawa axis lies.

Governor Al-Makura disclosed this in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital, after an air surveillance of the coastal communities on the bank of River Benue.

The Governor also promised to relocate the Palace of Oche-Agatu  six kilometers from the present location.

Environment Ministry Terminates N9.2bn Clean Cook Stove Contract

StoveThe Federal Ministry of Environment has terminated the controversial N9.2 billion clean cook stoves and wonder bags project, initiated by the former Goodluck Jonathan administration, for rural women under the national clean cooking scheme.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Mrs Fatima Mede, said the German contractor who was given three months to supply 750,000 units of the stove and 18,000 wonder bags under the project had failed on his part to deliver the items.

Mrs. Mede noted that five billion Naira had been released to the Ministry by the government out of which the contractor was paid N1.3 billion.

She urged Nigerians not to be apprehensive over the remaining N3.7 billion in the ministry’s coffers, which according to her remains untouched.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the stoves which were to be assembled locally were meant to provide jobs to Nigerians among other benefits.

According to the former administration, the programme was launched to engender clean cooking culture amongst rural women, in order to reduce and eliminate cooking with solid fossil which is considered detrimental to health.

Senate To Investigate 21m Naira Contract In Bama

SenateThe Senate Committee on Environment has announced plans to investigate a 21 million Naira contract awarded by the Ministry of Environment in Bama, Borno State.

During an oversight visit of the committee to the Federal Ministry of Environment, the members of the committee expressed scepticism that the drainage and erosion contract in Bama, Borno State were executed at all, as Bama had been under siege in the past few months. They were in doubt that increasing insurgency in the area could not have allowed construction workers to work.

In the past two weeks, the senate and the House of Representatives have been working on the 2014 budget.

Part of the budget process requires that government Ministries, Departments and Agencies bring their budget proposals to the National Assembly for scrutiny.

But the Senate Committee on Environment, led by Senator Bukola Saraki, did not wait for the Ministry of Environment to come to them; rather, the committee members were at the ministry to get answers to some worrying questions.

The Minister of Environment was away on official assignment so it was up to the Permanent Secretary, Taiye Haruna, to explain how much was appropriated for the ministry in 2013.

But midway into the briefing of the committee, the attention of lawmakers was drawn to a project in Kogi State which the permanent secretary had said was completed.

The lawmakers expressed displeasure with the ministry of the Kogi project and other projects.

Many Nigerians have said the budget defence exercise in the National Assembly had assumed the status of a yearly ritual where ministries present almost the same budget as previous years and more often cannot account for how the funds appropriated for projects were utilised.

But critics put the blame on federal lawmakers for failing to properly scrutinise these agencies, saying these lapses could have been discovered earlier.

Aso Rock may be flooded – Ministry of Environment

The Federal Ministry of Environment has predicted that heavy rainfall and flooding would occur in 18 states if adequate precautions are not taken between now and July 20.

The Deputy Director, Erosion, Flood and Coastal Zone Management Department,  Morohunkeji Oyeleke,  disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to her,  the areas to be affected are Argungu, Birnin-Kebbi, Bungudu, Bunza, Gwandu, Jega, Kalgo, Ribah, Rijau, Wara and Sakaba in Kebbi.

Others are Asokoro, Aso Rock, Garki 1 and 2, Gwarinpa, Kubwa, Mabushi, Maitama in FCT and Hadeja, Gumel and Miga in Jigawa.

She also listed Goronyo, Gunmi, Shagari, Shinkafi, Wamakko, Silame in Sokoto; Bindawa, Katsina, Jibia and Kaita in Katsina State as well as Echara, Onu-Ebonyi in Ebonyi.

Others are Eti-osa, Ikorodu, Surulere in Lagos; Gwarzo and Karaye in Kano State; Jamaare in Bauchi State; Mutum biyu in Taraba; New Bussa in Kwara; and Shendam in Plateau.

The deputy director appealed to governments of the respective states to take necessary precautionary measures to avoid loss of lives and property.