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NGO Distributes 210 Water Treatment Solar Sacks to Women IDPs

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Blu Impact, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has distributed 210 water treatment solar sacks to women Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Lagos.

Mrs Judith Obiajulu-Isaac, Co-founder, Blu Impact, gave out the items on Tuesday in Lagos at an event organised to teach the beneficiaries the importance of drinking safe water.

Obiajulu-Isaac told Newsmen on the sidelines of the event, that her organisation  targets vulnerable people in vulnerable organised communities.

“People who probably don’t have access to things like safe drinking water, you know, are very susceptible to things like cholera, diarrhea and other waterborne diseases.

“We are basically here to provide simple solutions that will help these communities provide just basic things to improve their lives,” she said.

She said that the solar sack was an innovative water purification device that had the potential to make people have access to clean, portable water.

She said the sack’s unique approach to water purification is based on the use of the sun’s readily available energy to produce drinking water.

“To use the solar sack, simply fill the bag with water and place it in sunlight.

“After  two to four hours, depending on the intensity of the sun,  the water will be safe for drinking,” Obiajulu-Isaac said.

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She said the ultraviolet rays of the sun and heat help in killing the germs in the water.

She added that going by the present exchange rate, each of the solar sacks cost $7.

Obiajulu-Isaac said the project was in partnership with Sesor Empowerment Foundation, who already was taking care of women IDPs in Lagos and across the country.

The co-founder said that they intend to engage the women in their neighborhoods to ensure that they were using the technology for their benefit.

“So, this is the pilot phase.

“We are targeting 10 million people in 10 years to ensure that they have access to clean, safe and portable water.

“60 million people in Nigeria don’t have access to safe drinking water.

“So, that’s the plan and we’re just starting with this 210 people.

“So in the next one year, if we can reach up to 500,000 people; that will be fantastic for us,” Obiajulu Isaac said.

She said that her organisation was open to partnerships with the government and the organised private sector to provide safe, portable and clean water for the majority of Nigerians.

On the acceptability of the solar sack for use, Obiajulu-Isaac said that the solar sack had gained international recognition.

See also  Ogoni Clean-Up: Traditional Rulers calls For HYPREP's Independence

“The solar sack is on the UN list of approved products for water purification. So internationally, it has gained recognition.

“It’s been used extensively in East Africa and in Ghana; so it does have industry certifications and all of that globally.

“However in Nigeria, we didn’t just want to rest on global certifications. We wanted to test its efficacy in our climate.

“So we had the Ministry of Water Resources ran a test on it in two main locations; one in Kano, and one in Lagos,” she said.

She said the different locations for examining the solar sack were as a result of the differentials intensity of the sun.

She said the test done in the North showed that after subjecting the solar sack to the sun for one hour, the bacteria and pathogens in the water were killed.

She said the same result was achieved in Lagos, but after the bag was left for about two to three hours, because of the cloudy nature of the city.

Also speaking, Mrs Merit Arike-Emmanuel, Head of Programmes, Sesor Empowerment Foundation, said the foundation worked with displaced persons to help them thrive by providing psychosocial and economic support for them.

She said they have provided support for the women in their businesses and the education of their children.

See also  Organisation Urges Recognition of Women’s Contributions to Nation Building

She also said that they are partnering with Blu Impact to address the water challenge of the women they catered for.

Newsmen report that Blu Impact was set out to lead development efforts by combining innovation and partnerships to create social impact.

It also strengthens vulnerable communities to build capacity to fight diseases. (NAN)

Environment

U.S. Commits $200m to Address Climate Change in Nigeria

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The United States Government is to commit 200 million U.S. dollars to start-up process on Clean Energy Demand Initiative to help address climate change in the country.

The U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Mr John Kerry, made the commitment when his team paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Kerry, who also signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the minister on the initiative, said the programme started in Glasgow.

According to him, the initiative is a way by which companies and countries can make decisions to implement buying or production of green products.

“The initiative is also to accelerate the marketplace creation, so that it will help transition programme faster and help to achieve a clean energy economy as well as dealing with climate crisis.

“The minister has agreed in the letter of intent.

We have 200 million dollars at the moment committed to the startup in the process of safety,” he said.

Kerry said the initiative would take a lot of billions of dollars and trillions of investment in the country.

”We talked today about the ways in which we can be helpful to bring major amount of capital to the table with technology to help Nigeria, move faster to the clean energy economy.

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“That is the future and all of the citizens of Nigeria will benefit from cleaner air,” he said.

He said that the programme would provide job opportunities and develop economic as well as promoting a healthy environment in the country.

“I will like to explore with you and listen to you to think through how we can work together as you implement your own climate change.

“As you also think about the long term future and sustainability for Nigeria for the Africa, we will like to explore with you on how we can increase the ambition that you have set out already in your Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

“I congratulate you. Nigeria is taking a lead towards COP 27 and it is an opportunity to reduce emissions and deal with the climate crisis.

“So, on that note, the initiative is a very important effort to try to send a signal to the marketplace and to bring your businesses to the table.

“We are going to work together. I’ve got a good team here.

“We are all working on this programme every day, trying to figure out the road ahead and I look forward to hearing your thoughts about that,” he said.

The minister said the MoU would help Nigeria to participate in the clean energy demand initiative being supported by the U.S. government.

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He said the essence of the initiative was to ensure a healthy and clean energy accessible in the country.

He thanked the U.S. Government for the support and commitment in ensuring that environmental crisis is tackled in the country.

Abdullahi said that the ministry was also committed to strongly work with the U.S Government for effective implementation of environmental programmes and achieve net zero in the country. (NAN)

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Environment

Buhari Laments Plight of Over 500,000 Flood Victims Nationwide

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has said he was worried over the flood situation in the country, which has affected over 500,000 Nigerians since January this year.

Extending heartfelt condolences to all the families affected by the recent flooding in different States across the country, the President pledged to provide the needed emergency assistance to individuals and communities affected by the disaster.

In a statement by Senior Special Assistant , Media and Public Affairs, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President urged other public-spirited individuals and organisations to support hundreds of thousands of people in need of urgent help in the affected communities.

“The President reiterates that these tragic events have brought to fore the need for States and local governments to step up their level of preparedness in handling emergencies, which remains a shared responsibility with the Government at the Centre,” the statement said.

Buhari affirmed that the Federal Government will continue to monitor the situation very closely to work more with states and affected communities to reduce the impact of the disaster, provide resources and improve response and recovery efforts and advised inhabitants of flood-prone areas to always adhere to the early warning advisories as issued by the organisations saddled with climate monitoring and disaster management.

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Since January this year flooding has been reported in Lagos, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Adamawa, Edo, Delta, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Benue, Ebonyi, Anambra, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Imo, Abia States and the Federal Capital Territory, affecting  508,721 people.

The destructive floods have displaced 73,379 people, 115 casualties, and injured 277 people.

The floods and heavy rain have left around 37, 633 houses destroyed or severely damaged, according to latest data made available to the Presidency from the relevant Federal Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).

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Environment

Flooding: Kano Govt Sets up Technical Committee, to Demolish Structures on Waterways — Commissioner

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Kano State Government has constituted a technical committee to expeditiously look into the prevailing flooding occasioned by the intermittent heavy downpours recorded in the state.

The State Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Kano.

He said that the government was worried about the occurrence of the floods, which wrecked havoc on the metropolitan areas.

Garba said the committee was saddled with the task of studying the metropolitan roads, drainage systems and culverts that were dilapidated, with a view to rehabilitating them, or reconstructing new ones where possible.

He pointed out that the committee would also find out structures built on waterways that often times blocked free flow of water, thereby causing flooding.

The commissioner expressed concern over the calamity and commiserated with the victims.

He called on the residents of the state to bear with the government, as everything possible would be done to address the situation.(NAN)

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