Environmentalists on the continent of Africa have called on their respective governments to think more of the continent future and less of profiteering by transiting from fossil fuel to renewable energy resources.
They made the call in Abuja where they attended the two weeks long Biannual Meeting of the Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), where Just Energy Transition (JET) was one of the focuses.
The Activists who spoke to Peoples Daily exclusively appealed to the various governments on the continent to follow the global trend and embrace renewable energy sources for sustainable development.
According to David Kureeba of Association of Professional Environmentalists and the Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Africa (FoEI) Uganda, time has come for African Leanders to stop behaving like Rats who eats without remembering tomorrow.
He said apart from the environmental harzards posed to the environment, fossil fuel, which was non renewable, was subject to complete depletion someday, wondering what the continent was leaving for the future generation.
He argued that using job creation and general economic development as reason behind indiscriminate mining and minerals excavation in Africa was not tenable, saying a fully developed renewable energy sector could ensure that and even more.
He said: “In Africa and the world over we are aware that energy is the primary engine for development. Most African countries however see fossil fuel as the only energy and this is a non renewable resources that once depleted there would be a huge challenge.
“So, in the conference we are looking at how the funds gotten from fossil fuel can be invested in the development of the renewable resources for sustainable development.”
He said the task before Africa was to think of how best to transit from the use of fossil fuel to renewable energy.
“This is to ensure that Africa does not continue to mine oil and gas since the devastating effect of climate change is already steering the continent in the face.”
Citing his country, Uganda as example, Kureeba said “There is a creeping experience in Uganda where prolonged drought is being experience now, an experience that was not known to us. As a predominantly agricultural country this experience has come down hard on us since we can no longer predict rain fall.”
He said Uganda recently discovered oil in commercial and the country was already laying a pipe stretching about 1400km, a development he said would exacerbate climate change impact on the country.
“It is unfortunate that most African governments are only concerned with economic growth even when it is at the detriment of the environment. They bother mostly about creating jobs, middle income earners but they overlook the fact that developing renewable energy sector would not only ensure availability of employment opportunity but would also safeguard the future of the environment.”
On her part, Nora Bowvier of Friends of the Earth, Liberia and Coordinator, Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), Liberia, regretted that while it takes political will to overlook economic boom in favour of the environment, it was the quality lacking in African leaders.
She said: “They lack the courage to do what is right especially when it has to do with what with challenge their revenue sources.
” They must put on their thinking cap and device ways through which we can take advantage of our natural, abundant renewable energy resources for sustainable development.”
Kwami Kpondzo, Friends of the Earth, Togo, said African continent must go with the rest of the world in embracing renewable energy, adding that the continent can not afford to go in opposite direction from the rest of the world.
He said: ” We are calling on the government to do needful by joining the global movement from non renewable energy resources to renewable energy resources. They must know that they cannot continue to move in opposite direction from where the rest of the world is headed.
“We are calling on the governments around the African continent to remember that there is a generation after ours and they have the responsibility to save guard their future and that they should not continue to behave as if we are living for today.”
NGO trains 1000 vulnerable women, PLWHA on skills acquisition in Bauchi
A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Bauchi Rahma Women Development Programme has trained 1000 vulnerable women and persons living with HIV/AIDS on various skills acquisitions.
Mrs Miriam Iliya the Executive Director Rahma Women Development made this known at the inauguration of Board of trustees in Bauchi on Friday.
“We embarked on the trainings in collaboration with the support of some international partners, the training was conducted within the period of nine months.
“The NGO was committed to make the trainees to become employers of labour in the future and be self reliance.
“The beneficiaries includes the People Living with HIV/AIDs and other vulnerable women whom were trained on different skills acquisitions such as Tailoring, Knitting, Barbing, Hair dressing saloon, Pomade and soap making and baking.
“We also give counselling to (PLWHA) to let them know that being positive is not the end of their lives and also disabuse their mind on the stereotype,”she said.
She however reminded the newly inaugurated board members that they are the custodians of the NGO and always to ensure right things goes in the right direction.
Earlier speaking the the Chairman Board of Directors Rahma Women Development Alhaji Bello Inuwa said the NGO had implemented several projects through international partners in various sectors that impact positively to the lives of people of Bauchi state.
“We carry out interventions in different various sectors such as health, education, water sanitation and hygiene, and micro finance credit facilities to women,” he said
Bello urged government at all levels to support local NGOs to improve the lives of the citizens: nothing that is only the NGOs that interact much with the grass roots people for implementation of projects.
School teacher assaulted, manhandled by officers at Mabushi station
A serving teacher with Dominion International School, Jabi, Abuja, Iorember Doolumun, recently reported that he was maimed by two men of the police force from Surveillance Unit, Mabushi Divisional Police Station while having breakfast in Gishiri Village.
Mr. Doolumun who revealed that he was still in a devastated mood, told journalist that he had only gone for a tea break in Gishiri Village when two armed men stormed the spot to order everyone to lie flat on the floor but despite his decent quest to ascertain the reason for such an assaultive invasion, he got loads of slaps and kick boots from the officers, who told him he was speaking too much grammar, noting that they were also graduates, before conveying him to the Gishiiri Police station in hand cuffs, to get two more slaps for explaining that he had asked a simple civil question.
He further disclosed that he was forced to append to a statement titled, ‘An assault on a police officer’, after which a fine of N10, 000 was paid by friends as ransome for his release, as he cautioned the federal government to quiz the status of such security men for the future of Nigeria, mostly as the 2019 elections are around the corner. He said:
“I went out to eat that morning at a spot in Gishiri village and it was barely minutes when I entered the place that two policemen from Surveillance Unit at Mabushi Divisional Police station invaded the restaurant and ordered everyone to lie flat on the floor.
“I politely asked why they had to assault innocent citizens but in response, they pounced on me with slaps on my ears and kickings all over, telling me they were also graduates before conveying me to the station, where the officer in-charge gave me two more slaps, saying I had assaulted police officers on duty.
“I was forced to write and sign a statement titled, ‘An assault on police officer’, before I was released on bail after payment of a N10, 000 as fine, and I can barely hear well with my ears even as I speak to you, and my limbs are even swollen from the battering.
“It’s very worrisome to think that these are the same supposed custodians of peace in the country and will be the ones to be used as security in the forthcoming elections.
2019 Election: Journalist trained to combat fake news
In the wake of digital social media journalism, Journalist have been urged to play the role of gate keepers to effectively combat the on surge of fake news through fact finding method, also report for public good during the 2019 general elections.
While conducting two day training for journalist, INEC and civil societies, with the theme Combating fake news and Disinformation in the 2019 General Elections, the Center for Democracy and Development CDC noted that media practitioners must be accountable and verify their news content before sending it out to the general public.
In a paper presentation by the Publisher Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi titled Mutations in accountable Journalism, he noted that good journalism helps provide citizens with information they need to make informed decisions about their choices, about being free and about effectively self-governing.
Stressing on the integrity of media to earn the confidence of the public, he added that the primary aim of journalism is an expansion of public good which in the long run will improve the integrity of the journalistic process and media must ensure that they report the general election with good conscience.
“The public must have confidence in the credibility of the media otherwise we run the risk of totally undermining the practice of journalism. In an age without gatekeepers, the need for judgment has become paramount and this is the case for news literacy because what information to believe and which sources to trust have become even more prominent. We need urgent mechanisms to sort the truth as the truth itself has come into peril” he explained.
He however urged Journalist to be accountable, verify all news items, debunk all false information, fake news, fact check and observe balance reporting during the general election for the peace of the country within during and after the elections.
Also speaking was CDD Senior Communications Officer Mr. Armsfree Ajanaku who stated that the training on combating fake news became imminent as Nigerians counts down to the general elections.
“As Nigeria counts down to the general elections, The Center for Democracy and Development CDD is working to combat fake news capable of undermining the integrity of the electoral process. The discipline of fact checking becomes critical at this point in the electoral process when political actors and their supporters could be inclined to spread fake news and misinform to gain political advantage.
“The training is to develop the skills of our core fact checkers, journalist and electoral commission with the capacity to spot and dispel all forms of fake news, misinformation and disinformation capable to affecting the peace in our country” he explained.
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