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GCF, UNEP seek to fortify the Gambia against droughts, floods



The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources of the Gambia, Lamin Dibba, has said that a Green Climate Fund (GCF)-funded adaptation project launched on Tuesday, January 24, 2018 will provide benefits across the West African country.
Minster of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources in Gambia, Lamin B. Dibba
“This timely assistance will integrate ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change into planning at the national, district and village levels throughout the Gambia,” said Minister Dibba. “Increasingly severe droughts during the past few years, along with the threat of sea level rise, means the Gambia is particularly susceptible to a changing climate.”

The project , which combines a $20.5 million GCF grant with a $5 million outlay from the government of the Gambia, will restore agricultural landscapes and degraded ecosystems – including forests, mangroves and savannahs – using climate-resilient tree and shrub species across an area of at least 10,000 hectares.
The six-year project along the Gambia River in four of the country’s seven regions is being implemented by UN Environment (UNEP), a GCF Accredited Entity.
Pa Ousman Jarju, GCF’s Director of Country Programming Division, said the project is strengthening the government’s mainstreaming of climate change adaptation across all levels of government. “I am pleased to see this remains a major government priority,” said Mr Jarju.
Mr Jarju added environmental degradation comes with severe economic consequences, as it reduces soil fertility and lowers agricultural productivity. He said this is especially devastating in a country like the Gambia, which relies on agriculture for about 40 percent of its national exports and 26 percent of its GDP.
The geographic nature of this smallest mainland African country, a meandering strip of land which follows the Gambia River and is no wider than 80 km, means it is vulnerable to rising sea levels as well as drought. The combined effects of sea level rise, erosion of coastal embankments and increased river sedimentation threaten to dislocate communities through major flooding.
UN Environment representative Ermira Fida, UN Environment’s Green Climate Fund Coordinator, said during the project launch this initiative is estimated to benefit over 11,000 people, over half of whom will be women.
“UN Environment is particularly proud of this project as its ecosystem-based adaptation approach not only helps vulnerable rural communities build resilience over large landscapes. it also empowers them to use their own knowledge and decision-making processes to take climate change action,” she said.

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12m ladies turn out to be youngster brides yearly – UNICEF



An estimated 12 million ladies underneath 18 years of age are getting married yearly globally, in response to new knowledge from UNICEF launched on Tuesday.

The newly collated figures sign a 15 per cent drop within the final decade, from one in 4 to roughly one in 5 ladies.

File; Baby-marriage

UNICEF warned that if youngster marriage continues on the present fee, greater than 150 million ladies the world over will marry earlier than their 18th birthdays by 2030.

“When a lady is pressured to marry as a toddler, she faces fast and lifelong penalties.

“Her odds of ending faculty lower whereas her odds of being abused by her husband and struggling issues throughout being pregnant enhance,” Anju Malhotra, UNICEF’s principal gender adviser, stated in an announcement.

In South Asia, there was a lower within the prevalence of kid brides from 50 per cent ten years in the past to 30 per cent at this time.

In sub-Saharan Africa, there has additionally been a decline, with 43 per cent of ladies married in childhood ten years in the past in comparison with 38 per cent at this time.

UNICEF stated there has additionally been a shift in the place the best variety of youngster brides are positioned, with near one-third of all probably the most not too long ago married youngster brides globally now in sub-Saharan Africa, in comparison with one in 5 a decade in the past.

Based on UNICEF, an estimated 650 million girls alive at this time have been married as youngsters.

The UN Sustainable Improvement Targets units out plans to finish youngster marriage by 2030.



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It appears Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State is standing alone in his current ordeal and moment of grief as he buried over 70 natives who were victims of the recent herdsmen attack on his state.  This comes as governors of adjoining states of Plateau and Nasarawa have either chided Ortom for his statement that the killers came from a neighbouring state or voted against the enactment of ant—grazing law, a statute that was suspected to have triggered the fresh attack.

Gov. Tanko Al-Makura and other stakeholders in Nasarawa State have denied the   allegation by Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue that Nasarawa State is habouring killer herdsmen in Tunga, Awe local Government Area.

On his part, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau says his administration will not enact the controversial anti-grazing law in the state, as grazing areas for cattle ranching have yet to be developed.

The governor said this on Thursday when he fielded questions from State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Lalong said that he had earlier advised the governors of Taraba and Benue against implementing the anti-grazing law in their respective states, even though ranching remained the only way to guarantee peaceful farmers-herdsmen coexistence in the country.

“When the governor of Benue was doing the law, I told him: `Just be careful, take other steps before you start implementation’.

“But he said that states are different, that his own concept is different and for us in Plateau, it is different. I said I will not do the law before the implementation of certain things.

“I have not seen rangers; I have not yet developed the ranching areas. So, I cannot go and say I put up a law to stop who? If I stop people (herdsmen), what is the alternative?’’ he asked.

On the concept of cattle colonies, being advocated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lalong said that he had been convinced of the usefulness of the concept by the ministry.

He said that the state government had already earmarked two large areas as sites for the grazing of domestic animals in the state.

He, therefore, expressed the hope that the creation of cattle colonies would check the persistent farmers-herdsmen conflicts across the country.

Meanwhile, Al-Makura of Nasarawa while making a presentation at a stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris in. Lafia on Thursday, described the allegation that he was harbouring killer herdsmen as “grievous, unacceptable and terribly speculative”.

He said the Benue governor’s accusation that Nasarawa State had camped killer herdsmen to attack his state was a stigma and an aspersion on the state,

“This is an unfair comment to make of Nasarawa State, especially that we enjoy very cordial relationship and can always be reached with any evidence in that regard.

“In any case, the onus of proof lies with the accuser and I would appeal to my colleague to avail security operatives with the details of where he thinks the killer herdsmen are being camped.

“I can assure you as the chief security officer of the state that we would give the police all the necessary support to comb every part of the state to ascertain whether there is any such thing,” Al-Makura added.

He said he had never received any security reports from the state either from security officer or his administrative detail of the existence of such killer herdsmen camping in Nasarawa State.

Al-Makura pointed out that in Awe, where the killer herdsmen were allegedly being camped, had become a sanctuary for displaced persons, mostly of Tiv extraction, from both states.

Similarly, the Emir of Tunga, Alhaji Bala Galadima, expressed worry over the allegation,

He said there was no such camp in Tunga as the people in the area had a security apparatus in place to detect strangers among them.

Galadima said many Tiv people were fleeing their homes in panic because of the attacks in Benue and noted that farmers and herdsmen in the area had lived  peacefully over the years.

The Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Mustapha Agwai I, described the statement credited to Ortom as hate speech and urged the stakeholders to condemn it.

He urged leaders to desist from making unguarded statements capable of breaching the peace.

The Emir of Azara, Dr Ibrahim Musa, said there was  no crisis in Nasarawa State but panic attack orchestrated by poor implementation of the anti-open grazing law in Benue.

He called on the Federal Government to investigate the implementation of the law to ascertain the provision of ranches and other facilities as spelt out by the law in Benue.

However, some stakeholders of Tiv extraction said  some of their kinsmen were killed in the attacks.

The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Gabriel Aka’aka, expressed worry over the alleged attack on Tiv people in Nasarawa State when they had  nothing to do with the anti-open grazing law in Benue.

He stressed the need for security reinforcement along the border communities to apprehend the “mysterious killers” in the areas.

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It’s no longer sustainable to sell petrol at N145/litre – Fed Govt



The Minister of State For Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Thursday said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has incurred a cumulative loss of N85.5 billion in importing petrol and selling at the current retail price of N145 per litre.

Kachikwu said the price was fixed in the first quarter of 2016, when crude oil was selling for $49 and pointed out that with crude price rising to $67 a barrel, the pump price, may no longer be sustainable.

Kachikwu made the explanation to the National Assembly joint committee on Petroleum Resources ( Downstream).

According to Kachikwu, the landing cost of PMS which was N133.28 per litre in 2016, is now N171 per litre , which has resulted into stoppage of importation of the product by independent marketers.

This, he said had made the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC ) to be the 100 per cent importer of the product.

The minister disclosed further that as a result of the N26 difference per litre between the current landing cost of the product ( N171) and pump price of N145, NNPC which had been singularly importing the product at the volume of 25million litres per day since October last year, has been incurring a daily loss of about N800-N900million, cumulatively reaching N85.5billion today, in just three months.

According to him, already government has mandated him and along with a committee set up to find ways out of the problem which he said requires emergency of about 18 months before the local refineries are expected to be in good shape.

He said three solutions are being considered.

” One , is for the Central bank of Nigeria ( CBN) to allow the marketers access forex at the rate of N204 to a dollar as against the official rate of N305 to keep the pump price of fuel per litre at N145.

” Two , to give room for modulated deregulation where NNPC would be allowed to continue selling at N145 per litre in all its mega stations across the country while the independent marketers should be allowed to sell at whatever price is profitable to them in all their outlets.

” Three, to look at the direction of blanket subsidy for all the importers in bridging the gap which would be like going back to a problem that had earlier been solved “, he said .

He, however, stressed that the final solution to the problem was for the nation to put her refineries in good shape in a way that 80 per cent of local consumption of the product should be provided for locally.

In his submission , the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Baru Maikanti said the just ended fuel scarcity was caused by combination of factors ranging from diversion of the product from depots by tanker drivers to neighbouring countries where it sold between N300 to N400 per litre to outright hoarding of the product by unscrupulous marketers at home.

According to him, the NNPC had prior to the scarcity, had 1.9billion litres in reserve, which was emptied as a result of panic buying arising from rumour earlier made on social media about price increase , the one day strike action embarked upon by PENGASSAN, hoarding and diversion by some dubious players in the sector. – The News.

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