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‘Rogue’ paddleboarders and kayakers threaten seabird sanctuary

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‘Rogue’ paddleboarders and kayakers threaten seabird sanctuary

A bird sanctuary island in Northumberland, home to Britain’s rarest nesting seabird, is being threatened by an influx of “rogue” paddleboarders and kayakers who are causing major disturbances.

Dr Paul Morrison, the site manager of Coquet Island, said in his 37 years in the job he had seen a lot of changes, but “this is one of the most serious ones”.

“We’ve had a season of disturbance. There’s paddleboards everywhere. And some of these kayak groups are there nearly every day, and constant disturbance could mean the birds don’t settle, or they abandon their eggs, or the eggs go cold,” he said.

“We’re having to take action against them. We guard the island 24/7, we’ve got a very sophisticated police-recommended security system. But there are one or two that either don’t know, or disregard the law and push their luck.

“We’ve been trying to get the message out, but there’s still a rogue element which doesn’t respect the birds.”

Coquet Island is home to the UK’s only roseate tern breeding colony as well as about 30,000 pairs of puffins and 1,400 pairs of arctic terns. There were as few as 16 breeding pairs of roseate terns in the UK in the 1970s, a number which has risen to more than 100 thanks to conservation efforts.

In 1979 Coquet Island became a designated sanctuary, meaning it is protected from disturbance and landings all year round, and breaching these rules is illegal.

“The police have made it clear to us that it’s not just an offence for [intruders], it’s an offence for us if we don’t intervene and do something about the disturbance,” Morrison said. “At one time it was just egg thieves, that was bad enough, but now it’s twofold – we’ve got egg thieves and disturbance.”

Morrison said they are trying to ensure kayakers and paddleboarders don’t come closer than 20 metres to the island, and said disturbing birds on the beach can cause a “second wave” response where nesting birds also fly away.

“Obviously after Covid a lot of people have just taken to the waters because they want to have a little bit more freedom, but they need to respect the island,” he said.

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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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Environment

NEMA Confirms Four Dead In Mushin Building Collapse

The three-storey building which collapsed on Friday in Lagos killed four persons.

This is according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The agency said one other person was rescued in the building that collapsed on Oye Sonuga Street, Palm Avenue, in Mushin, Lagos.

NEMA South-West Zonal Coordinator, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, revealed that those who died were two males and two females.

Earlier, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins the cause of the collapse would beinvestigated.

It is learnt that the three-storey building built 40 years would be pulled down immediately for safety reasons and to forestall further collapse, said Bamgbose-Matins.

He has therefore, ordered the Lagos State Building Control Agency and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory to unravel the cause of the collapse.

 

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Environment

Flooding Displaces 2000 In Nasarawa Communities

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Heaving flooding in some communities in Nasarawa state has caused the displacement of about 2000 people.

The Chairman, Doma Local Government in Nasarawa State, Ahmed Sarki-Usman who spoke on Friday during an assessment visit to the affected communities said the incident happened on September 20.

He said his visit was to ascertain the level of damage caused by the flood to report the situation to the state government for necessary action.

“It is unfortunate that the flood destroyed houses, farmlands, produce and other valuables worth millions of naira. Many inhabitants of the area affected by the flood have deserted their homes and are now camping at primary schools as temporary sites. What my people are facing is completely devastating,’’ he lamented.

Sarki-Usman urged people in the communities to remain calm as the government would soon assist them.

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