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Pipeline Explosion Rocks Delta Community, Injures Many

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Dozens of indigenes of Tuomo community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday, sustained various degrees of burns as Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC, crude-bearing pipeline exploded in the community.

An eyewitness said, the explosion occurred almost a week ago with indigenes of the two host communities, Tuomo and Ayamasa, scooping the leaked condensate when tragedy occurred on Monday evening.

Our source said: “The incident occurred almost a week ago when the Tuomo-Ogboinbiri Agip pipeline, believed to be carrying gas as claimed by Agip, exploded and diesel began to spill out of the pipeline.

“So, the community folk trooped out to the site and began to scoop the fuel. This has been on for almost a week now. It was agreed upon by the two host communities, Tuomo and Ayamasa, to take turns in the scooping process day by day.

“It was the turn of Tuomo community today when tragedy struck, as one of them lit a lighter to smoke a cigarette when the place went up in flames with dozens of casualties, about five victims have been evacuated to nearby hospitals at Bomadi.

“As I’m talking to you, local rescue operations are still ongoing and we cannot tell the total number of victims now, though we’ve not recorded any death”.

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Environment

Kano Launches 2022 Tree Planting Initiative in Schools, Cemeteries, Communities

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The Kano State Government says it’s tree planting programme in schools, cemeteries and vulnerable communities is intended to mitigate the harsh effects of climate change in the state.
The Commissioner for Environment, Dr Kabiru Getso, said this on Tuesday, when he launched the first phase of tree planting campaign for 2022 in Kawaji and Dakata villages.
Getso said that the essence of the exercise was to mitigate the negative effects of environmental hazards such as climate change, global warming, desertification and enchorachment.


He said: “The essence of the tree planting is to improve the vegatative cover and address some of the environmental challenges in the state.
“The trees would be planted in schools, mosques, cemeteries, streets and neighbourhoods to achieve the desired objective.”
The commissioner charged the residents to plant a tree each “in order to control desertification, bring down the climate temperature, control flooding and provide food and medicine”.

In an address of welcome, the Village Head of Kawaji Ward, Alhaji Umaru Adamu, appealed to the residents of the area to nurture the trees planted by the government for their own benefits.
Also, the Village Head of Dakata, Alhaji Salisu Ibrahim, commended the State Government for launching the campaign in their area.
The two community heads pledged to nurture the trees that would be planted and ensure the sustenance of the culture.
They gave assurance that they would motivate the natives to plant more trees in their respective neighbourhoods.
Newsmen report that Kawaji and Dakata villages are mostly affected by environmental challenges in the state. (NAN)

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Environment

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.

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“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.

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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)

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Environment

Issues of Biosecurity, key to National Security – DG Biosafety Agency

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The Director General (DG) National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, on Monday said that issues of biosecurity are key to national security.

Ebegba said this in Abuja at the public presentation of National Biosafety Guidelines on Genetically Modified (GM) plants with stacked genes and GM fish.

“We have put in place biosecurity policies, we are at the verge of presenting it for stakeholders to further understand how this policy will be implemented.

“In the area of insecurity in our country, we are very much aware of the way the world is going,” he said.

Ebegba said that the policy had adequately addressed the area of bio-terrorism that might likely occur.

The DG said that the agency is in collaboration with stakeholders to prevent the unintentional release of harmful biological agents.

“We must ensure that we properly curtail them so that they are not released to the environment,” Ebegba said.

Similarly, the Country Coordinator, Programme for Biosafety System (PBS) Dr Matthew Dore, applauded the presentation of the document.

“We in PBS are happy to be associated with this policy,” Dore said.

He said that the document seeks to guide practitioners and stakeholders on modern technology.

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Dore commended NBMA for its efforts to ensure development in the biotechnology field especially with the application and the challenges of regulating it. (NAN)

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