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Environment

El-Rufai Wants Nigerian Govt To Transfer Ecological Fund To Environment Ministry

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Saturday called for the transfer of the Ecological Fund to the Federal Ministry of Environment, saying the ministry had the expertise and national reach to manage the fund more efficiently.

The governor made the call when the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, presented one million seedlings to the state government for planting across the state.

El-Rufai said it was absolutely important for the Ecological Fund to be domiciled in the ministry because the fund was meant to fight environmental erosion, deforestation, desertification and other environmental issues.

He said: “Apart from that, the ministry has the knowledge, technicality and expertise as well as the national reach to better manage the fund and utilise it for the benefit of the entire country.”

The governor revealed that a committee he headed during the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration recommended the transfer of the fund to the ministry.

According to him, the matter was presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and a decision was taken on it, but the resolution has not been implemented.

He regretted that Kaduna State has lost a lot of its forest in the last few years before the advent of his administration, adding that the state is being re-forested again.

‘’In the last five years, we have been planting 1.5 million trees every year. Only about 50 percent of the trees survive, but we have not given up.

“It is an investment that we are willing to make for our children and grandchildren,’’ El-Rufai added.

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Environment

Flood Kills 7, Displaces 2,800 In Kwara

Flooding in different parts of Kwara in 2022 has caused about 7 deaths.

This was disclosed by the managing Director, Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, HYPPADEC, Abubakar Yelwa, on Sunday, September 25, in Patigi, Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State.

He identified riverine communities in Patigi as the worst hit by the disaster.

Abubakar said 1,300 households and 2,800 persons were affected by the flood disaster.

He further revealed that large hectares of farmlands and houses were also submerged in Patigi.

The commission was in the area to assist the victims with relief materials.

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Environment

Tropical Storm Ian strengthens into a hurricane, heads toward Cuba, Florida

Tropical Storm Ian strengthens into a hurricane, heads toward Cuba, Florida

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Ian has strengthened into a hurricane as it moves closer to Cuba on a track expected to take it to Florida in the coming days.

Ian was forecast to intensify rapidly and become a major hurricane as soon as late Monday.

Authorities in Cuba suspended classes in Pinar del Rio province and said they will begin evacuations Monday as Ian was forecast to strengthen before reaching the western part of the island on its way to Florida.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Grand Cayman and the Cuban provinces of Isla de Juventud, Pinar del Rio and Artemisa. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Ian should reach the far-western part of Cuba late Monday or early Tuesday, hitting near the country’s most famed tobacco fields. It could become a major hurricane before a likely landfall in Florida around the middle of the week, possibly the state’s western coast or Panhandle.

Cuba state media outlet Granma said authorities would begin evacuating people from vulnerable areas early Monday in the far-western province of Pinar del Rio. Classes there have been suspended.

At 5 a.m. EDT on Monday, Ian was moving northwest at 13 mph (20 kph), about 90 miles (150 kilometers) southwest of Grand Cayman, according to the center. It had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph).

Meanwhile, residents in Florida were keeping a cautious eye on Ian as it rumbled ominously through the Caribbean on a path toward the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency throughout Florida and urged residents to prepare for the storm to lash large swaths of the state with heavy rains, high winds and rising seas.

Forecasters are still unsure of exactly where Ian could make landfall, with current models plotting it toward Florida’s west coast or panhandle regions, he said.

“We’re going to keep monitoring the track of this storm. But it really is important to stress the degree of uncertainty that still exists,” DeSantis said at a news conference Sunday, cautioning that “even if you’re not necessarily right in the eye of the path of the storm, there’s going to be pretty broad impacts throughout the state.”

Flash and urban flooding is possible in the Florida Keys and Florida peninsula through midweek, and then heavy rainfall was possible for north Florida, the Florida panhandle and the southeast United States later this week.

The agency placed a tropical storm watch over the lower Florida Keys on Sunday evening and has advised Floridians to have hurricane plans in place and monitor updates of the storm’s evolving path.

President Joe Biden also declared an emergency, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance to protect lives and property. The president postponed a scheduled Sept. 27 trip to Florida because of the storm.

John Cangialosi, a senior hurricane specialist at the Miami-based center, said in an interview Sunday that it is not clear exactly where Ian will hit hardest in Florida. Residents should begin preparations, including gathering supplies for potential power outages, he said.

“It’s a hard thing to say stay tuned, but that’s the right message right now,” Cangialosi said “But for those in Florida, it’s still time to prepare. I’m not telling you to put up your shutters yet or do anything like that, but it’s still time to get your supplies.”

Local media in Florida have reported a consumer rush on water, generators and other supplies in some areas where residents moved to stock up on goods ahead of the storm.

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Environment

134 Dead, 76,887 Houses Destroyed As Flooding Hits Jigawa

Heavy flooding in Jigawa State has resulted in the death of 134 persons and destroyed 76,887 houses.

The deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Umar Namadi disclosed this when he hosted the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) official, Rahman Rihub Mahmud Fara on Saturday.

He said the state lost property worth more than N1.5 trillion to the floods.

A total of 22 roads and 11 bridges were completely washed away by the floods, he said.

The deputy governor said an entire village was also completely destroyed.

He said the flood affected 272,189 people, out of which 76,887 lost their houses.Mr Namadi said Kirikasamma and Birniwa local government areas are greatly affected.

UNICEF chief field officer in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, Mr Fara, said they came to assess the situation and see what could be done to alleviate the suffering of the communities affected by flood in the state.

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