Flood: FEMA calls for preparedness against raining season

The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has emphasized the need for residents to prepare for the rains and avoid environmental practices that could lead to flooding in the FCT this rainy season. 

Speaking to Newsmen in his office recently, Alhaji Abbas ldriss, Director General FEMA, stated that preparedness and sensitization remains the key toward reducing disaster to the barest minimum in the FCT.

He reiterated FEMA’S Preparedness for this rainy season, and prevention measures put in place by the Agency.

Idris appealed to residents to desist from acts that could lead to flooding this rainy season, especially indiscriminate waste disposal into water channels and rivers, building on water ways and river banks as well as diverting water channels

“ Everyone is a stakeholder in this disaster prevention efforts and FEMA has created a high level  awareness amongst FCT residents, through several media platforms to established the consciousness of disaster prevention and mitigation rather than management. This yields better result, because community participation by residents in disaster management will bring about greater results” He said.

On pro-active action plans being made by the Agency for the rainy season,  ldriss said FEMA does not rest at the end of any rainy season but always brings it’s stakeholders together to review and take stock of cause of events, identify gaps and proffer solution for the relevant stakeholders to swing into actions.

“Residents will notice lots of clearing around the city since the last rainy season, removal of illegal structures, desilting of drainages. expansion of narrow drainages removal of waste from dump sites as well as removal of any obstructed thing that could block water from flowing well.  This shows that the FCT Administration is living no stones unturned to ensure no live is lost to flooding this rainy season but residents also have a role to play”, He said.

“If you follow the trend of our response, you will discover that some of the flood issues of 2019 did not reoccur in the same locations, except new ones that came up in different locations. Such locations like Area one and Lokogoma flood issues were taken care of after identifying the obstacles. We also mounted reflective flood warning sign posts at the flash points to sensitive and warn residents from driving or walking into a running water.  some Our monitoring personnel at all locations are surveiling the city for monitoring and reporting situations in and around their areas and report feedbacks from the residents”, he adds.   

He revealed that NIMET has predicted that the Northern part of country should expect rains from May and June this year, while the coastal areas expects rain from 1st of March, but that the rains will not last longer in the year. He therefore advised Argicultural and Extension Officers to sensitize farmers on this and provide for them crops that are suitable for the season to avert food insecurity which could also result to serious disaster.

Alh. ldriss appreciated it’s stakeholders for ensuring that all hands are on deck to prevent disasters in the FCT. He also commended FEMA trained Vanguards, Volunteers and Local Divers who proactively respond to emergencies, adding that with their help and that of the traditional rulers, FEMA has been able to sensitize the rural communities and reduced severity of disasters tremendously in the FCT.

“This year, we have devised another means of reaching out to the communities – through the recently lunched FCTA Citizens Participation Portal for quicker reach out and prompt response”.

Alh. ldriss stressed that while waiting for Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency detailed outlook on floods for this rainy season, it is important for residents to join hands and complement the efforts of the FCT Administration to prevent flood disasters  in the FCT this rainy season, adding that residents have vital role to play as major stake holders in Emergency prevention and mitigation.

He advised them to always clear their drainages. Proper disposal of refuse. Avoid building on flood plains and river banks. Avoid driving or walking on running waters.

He, however, appealed to all residents that are in distress to call the Toll Free Emergency Number 112 to report any emergency for a quick and prompt response.

Bauchi Gov Commissions Environmental Science Laboratory

Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi state has on Monday commissioned the first environmental science laboratory in the state, designed to test 15 environmental core components.

Commissioning the project at the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency, BASEPA headquarters, the Governor said modern environmental science facility will serve as a reference centre for testing the quality of core environmental components which include water, soil and plants.

According to him, the laboratory will also serve as a one-stop-solution centre for analysing and safe custody of samples gathered from the environmental scan.

Governor Bala Mohammed directed BASEPA to conduct environmental scan for the state to highlight both existing and anticipated environmental problems across the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.

The governor opined that the move was to identify vulnerable groups,  measure the magnitude of the problems, proffer solutions in accordance with the Best Management Practices as well as provide costs estimates for implementation of the proffered solutions.

” I am happy to inform you that, the sophistication associated with the installed capacity in the laboratory allows for a test of a minimum of 15 parameters of each of the core environmental components listed above.”

“This, is but a platform for enriching lives in the context of a well-protected environment hence, the aspiration of every progressing society. We do everything within the context of the environment”, the governor stated.

The governor who argued that no sustainable development could be achieved without being mindful of the environment, said his administration is not only safeguarding the environment, but also improving it for future generation.

Governor Bala Mohammed who recalled that, the administration had inherited unwholesome environment from the previous administration, said so far, the state government has recorded gigantic improvement in waste management through construction of modern and durable waste collection centres.

“It is strong fact that makes environment our priority. Government knowing fully well the need for evidence and empirical data in dealing with emerging environmental problems, we join the global trend of responding to issues based on scientific facts.”

The governor said the state government is currently formulating favourable policies that will clearly outline and inform the citizens of the state about their roles and responsibilities in ensuring clean environment.

He said the draft of Bauchi State Waste and Pest Management Policy which is currently under review by relevant stakeholders and recent directives for environmental sanitation exercise in the entire state are parts of effort to achieve clean environment.

The governor was also conferred an award of excellence “Clean-Up Nigeria”, which rated the State as the cleanest in the north east.
The governor who expressed gratitude to the organisation for the honour, also assured that his administration will sustain the development.

Kebbi Flood: Rep, Invest N10m in Evacuation of Drainages

Member, Federal House of Representative Hon. Bashir Mutawale has expanded over N10m on the evacuation of drainages across the Arugungu town.

Addressing journalists at the weekend, the Federal Lawmaker said that after witnessing the flood that submerged houses last week, and seek for the professional advised on how to stop the flood, he now decided to find lasting solutions to the problems by employing youths to start evacuating the drainages and rent some trucks that will packed the waste.

He added that the dumping of refuges had blocked all the movement of the rains in the area which caused the flood and submerged some houses, urging people not to be dumping any waste in the culvert in order to allow free flow of waters.

The Federal lawmaker who is representing Arugungu and Augie Federal Constituency in Kebbi State, also said 150 youths have been trained on the danger of drugs and alcohol Consumptions adding that another second batch is also ongoing in order to make them to be self employed.

He explained further that the training which was in collaboration with the NDLEA and NGOs is to rehabilitate all the political thugs that are been on drugs and alcohol Consumptions in the area.

“I want to ensure that all of them have been engaged in doing one or two things, and they will be settled with money and other equipments such as Tailoring machine,l and others” he added.

The Federal lawmaker appealed to the other stakeholders to complement Government efforts in assisting the people of communities by supporting and empowering the youths and also provide more jobs opportunities to them.

He then called on the social media people to collaborated with the conventional media for the benefit of the peace in the country.

He expressed dismay with the way and manner some social media posted their news without balancing, saying “is good they should be alliance with the conventional media and also they should be trained on how to used the news or practice the profession, most of their acts is unconstitutional.”

Stakeholders Evaluate Environmental Guidelines for Petroleum Sector

Since its issuance in 1991 by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (EGASPIN) has remained an imperative document in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

EGASPIN outlines environmental and safety standards that must be complied with by oil operators in the country to prevent, minimise and control pollution from the various aspects of petroleum operations. In line with the DPR’s resolve periodically update the publication “as new knowledge becomes available”, EGASPIN was revised and updated in 2002.

Sixteen years later in 2018, the Institute for Oil, Gas, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (OGEES Institute) of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti in Ekiti State, appears to have revisited the much-vaunted document, in an apparent bid to determine its alignment with international best practices.

OGEES Institute, which has been undertaking a comprehensive review of the regulatory framework for environmental protection in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, embarked on a study in this regard. The findings by the institute’s research team on the project were the subject of discussion by a gathering of stakeholders at a validation workshop that held in Abuja on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

“Given the significance of EGASPIN to enhancing environmental sustainability and good governance in the Nigerian oil sector, it is pertinent to review and assess various aspects of the document in the light of the current knowledge and advancements in international best practices, laws, governance methodologies and pollution control technologies,” said Prof. Damilola Olawuyi, Director, OGEES Institute.

He listed the objectives of the study to include:

  • Reviewing and evaluating EGASPIN to determine its alignment with international best practice on environmental protection, especially during approval, operations and decommissioning phases of the oil and gas sector value chain;
  • Identifying existing gaps; and,
  • Providing recommendations and improvements that would increase its effectiveness.

Authored by Prof. Olawuyi and Dr Zibima Tubodenyefa (of the Niger Delta University), the study, among others, compared EGASPIN with the environmental regulation and processes in the comparator countries with respect to stringency, transparency and compliance.

International best practice on stringency, transparency and compliance, it was gathered, were drawn looking at three stages in the life cycle of an oil and gas project: approval of the project, construction and operations, and closure or decommissioning.

“This report and its recommendations aim to help stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, especially the DPR, to improve EGASPIN’s contribution to achieving efficient, safe, orderly and environmentally responsible development of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources,” stated Dr. Tubodenyefa.