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Quake kills 4 in Indonesia’s Papua province

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 Four people were killed on Thursday as a result of a magnitude-5.1 earthquake in Indonesia’s Papua province, an official said.

Residents had already retrieved the bodies of the four from the sea.

They had been in a waterfront cafe when the quake hit the provincial capital, Jayapura, and destroyed the building, according to Asep Khalid, the head of the local disaster management agency.

The shallow quake also damaged homes and other buildings, including the city’s largest shopping mall.

Patients at the Jayapura General Hospital were taken outside the building, Khalid said.

The quake struck at 3:28 p.m. (0828 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to the national geophysics agency.

The agency said the city had been rocked by more than 1,000 earthquakes since Jan. 2.

“Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area known for volcanic eruptions and seismic upheavals,” said the agency.

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World Environment Day: Bauchi school children rise against deforestation, plants trees

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By Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi

School children in Bauchi State are championing the campaign against deforestation, climate change and pollution and are creating forest gardens in their various schools and communities.  Celebrating this year’s World Environment Day, school administrators in Bauchi in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and relevant agencies of government took tree planting campaigns to various schools in Bauchi local councils.

The State being one of the worst hit in environmental degradation is working with UNICEF to inculcate the habit of clean and green environment in the school children.

Speaking in Fawari Primary and Secondary Schools, Misau in Misau local council, the Director General of the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency, (BASEPA), Dr. Ibrahim Kabir, said that it has become necessary for schools to mandate school children to learn environmental protection.

He said that the habit of waste management, pollution and recycling is necessary in school to save the lives of the next generation.

Meanwhile, according to UNICEF, currently, up to 40 percent of the world’s land is degraded, impacting around 3.2 billion people globally due to desertification.

It said this year, World Environment Day is being hosted by The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a focus on the theme: “Our Land, Our Future. We are #GenerationRestoration.”

It said that its focus is on tree plantation and raising awareness about the detrimental effects of deforestation. By engaging residents, schools, and organisations, we can make a positive impact on our environment.

Also speaking, the General Manager, Bauchi State Rural Water Sanitation, Supply Agency (RUWASSA), Adamu Sabo Dass, said that “toilets in households especially in flood-prone areas stand the risk of being destroyed by flood waters, we have got to think of local solutions to resist climatic factors by providing climate resilience water and sanitation facilities.”

“It is a time to look inward to achieve this target, this can also be achieved when individual households identify how climatic conditions are affecting them and use local solutions to protect themselves.”

He urged the children and community leaders to keep their environment clean and green.

The school children planted trees at the various gardens created in some schools in Misau and Azare communities.

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World Environment Day: A global call to restore our land, combat desertification to secure our future

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By Esther Agbo

On June 5, 2024, Nigeria joined the global community in celebrating World Environment Day, focusing on the pressing issues of land restoration, halting desertification, and building drought resilience. Under the United Nations’ theme, “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.”

This year’s observance emphasises the urgent need to protect and rejuvenate Nigeria’s land resources for a sustainable future.

In a statement on the official website of the United Nations, Land restoration is a key pillar of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

The statement read, “Land restoration is a key pillar of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, which is critical to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

“This/ is why/ World Environment Day/ 2024 focuses on land restoration, halting desertification/ and building drought resilience under the slogan ‘Our land, Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.’  We cannot turn back time, but we can grow forests, revive water sources, and bring back soils. We are the generation that can make peace with land.”

Desertification is however a growing threat in Nigeria, particularly in the northern regions, where overgrazing, deforestation, and unsustainable farming practices have turned fertile lands into barren deserts. This environmental degradation has severe implications for food security, livelihoods, and the overall well-being of communities.

According to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, up to 40 percent of the planet’s land is degraded, directly affecting half of the world’s population. The number and duration of droughts has increased by 29 per cent since 2000, without urgent action, droughts may affect over three-quarters of the world’s population by 2050.

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, Damilola Ogunbiyi in a statement on her official X (formerly Twitter) handle said, “by 2030, drought, land degradation and desertification could force 135 million people to migrate as the climate crisis worsens.”

“That’s why on World Environment Day, we must recommit to fighting climate change by championing clean energy that will greatly reduce emissions.”

Moreover, in response to these challenges, various initiatives are underway across the country. One of the most notable is the Great Green Wall project, a pan-African effort involving 11 countries, including Nigeria. This ambitious initiative aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, sequester 250 million tonnes of carbon and create a vast belt of greenery stretching from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east.

 In Nigeria, the project is focused on reforesting degraded lands, promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and creating jobs in rural areas.

On the ground, local communities are taking action. In the arid northern regions, farmers are adopting innovative techniques such as agroforestry, which integrates trees and shrubs into crop and livestock systems. This approach not only helps restore soil fertility but also provides additional sources of income and food.

 Similarly, water conservation projects are being implemented to harvest rainwater and improve irrigation efficiency, ensuring that precious water resources are used more sustainably.

Government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are also playing crucial roles. The Nigerian government has launched several policies aimed at combating desertification and promoting land restoration. For instance, the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) is spearheading efforts to rehabilitate degraded lands through tree planting, community education, and capacity building.

NGOs such as the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) are partnering with local communities to implement sustainable land management practices. These organizations provide training on techniques like crop rotation, organic farming, and the use of drought-resistant crops, which help improve soil health and increase agricultural productivity.

As Nigeria celebrates World Environment Day, it is a time for reflection and action.

The year 2024 World Environment Day’s theme “Land restoration, halting desertification and building drought resilience, under the slogan Our land, Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration” serves as a powerful reminder that the fate of our environment lies in our hands.

 By restoring degraded lands and building resilience against drought, Nigeria can secure a sustainable future for its people and contribute to the global fight against climate change.

Individuals can also play their part. Simple actions such as planting trees, reducing water usage, and supporting sustainable agriculture can collectively make a significant impact. World Environment Day is not just a celebration but a call to action for all Nigerians to embrace sustainable practices and protect the environment for future generations.

As we look to the future, the vision of a greener, more resilient Nigeria is within reach. Through concerted efforts and a shared commitment to restoration, Nigeria can turn the tide on desertification and drought, ensuring that our land remains vibrant and productive for generations to come.

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Environment

Burna Boy legendary – Joeboy

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Popular singer, Joseph Akinfenwa Donus, popularly known as Joeboy, has claimed his Grammy-winning colleague, Burna Boy, has attained legendary status in the music industry.

He made the remarks following Burna Boy’s latest groundbreaking achievement.

Burna Boy recently made history as the first African artist to sell out the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada.

He sold out the iconic venue back-to-back; on Saturday, February 24, and Sunday, February 25.

Reacting via his X handle, Joeboy wrote; “Burna boy is on some legendary doings.”

Meanwhile, Asake is also set to sell out the same venue in his upcoming Canadian tour.

 

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