Search NaijaAgroNet

Friday, March 22, 2019

Conflict: Lack of safe water likely to kill more children than violence - NaijaAgroNet

Children under the age of 15 living in countries affected by protracted conflict are, on average, almost three times more likely to die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by a lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene than by direct violence, UNICEF said in a new report today.

Water Under Fire looks at mortality rates in 16 countries going through prolonged conflicts and finds that, in most of them, children under the age of five are more than 20 times more likely to die from diarrheal-related deaths linked to lack of access to safe water and sanitation than direct violence.

“The odds are already stacked against children living through prolonged conflicts – with many unable to reach a safe water source,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The reality is that there are more children who die from lack of access to safe water than by bullets."

“In Nigeria, conflict has created huge challenges for people living in the north-east of the country, where violence has affected their ability to access water and sanitation, leading to diseases such as cholera,” said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Nigeria Representative.

“More than 3.6 million people are in need of water, sanitation and hygiene services – 1.1 million of these are internally displaced (IDPs), having fled their homes due to violence and conflict. Many of them are out-of-reach, in remote areas still impacted by conflict. About 800,000 people are in hard-to-reach areas and 79 percent of these are children and women,” said Mohamed Fall..

In north-east Nigeria, 5,365 people were affected by cholera, with 61 dying in 2017, while 12,643 people were affected and 175 died of cholera in 2018.

UNICEF is working to scale-up lifesaving responses, especially in IDP camps, to ensure quality and sustainability of WASH services and facilities, minimize the risk of WASH-related diseases, and to provide preventive measures against cholera and other water-borne diseases.

Without safe and effective water, sanitation and hygiene services, children are at risk of malnutrition and preventable diseases including diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera and polio. Girls are particularly affected: They are vulnerable to sexual violence as they collect water or venture out to use latrines. They deal with affronts to their dignity as they bathe and manage menstrual hygiene. And they miss classes during menstruation if their schools have no suitable water and sanitation facilities.

These threats are exacerbated during conflict when deliberate and indiscriminate attacks destroy infrastructure, injure personnel and cut off the power that keeps water, sanitation and hygiene systems running. Armed conflict also limits access to essential repair equipment and consumables such as fuel or chlorine – which can be depleted, rationed, diverted or blocked from delivery. Far too often, essential services are deliberately denied.

“Deliberate attacks on water and sanitation are attacks on vulnerable children,” said Fore. “Water is a basic right. It is a necessity for life.”

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Fayemi commiserates with rainstorm victims - NaijaAgroNet

…..Promises government support
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has commiserated with victims of Tuesday’s rainstorm which damaged some buildings in Ado-Ekiti and some parts of the state and pledged the support of the state government towards mitigating their losses, reports NaijaAgroNet.

He also directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to liaise with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come up with the detailed record of affected areas and individuals for necessary support.

The Governor also appealed to the PHCN and BEDC to move round the affected areas and tidy up damaged electricity poles and cables so that power supply can be restored to the areas.

While government would do her beats in ensuring that support gets to the affected individuals and families, government is also appealing to well- meaning members of the public and philanthropists to come to the aid of the victims of the rainstorm in whatever way possible.

Government is of the view that effects of rainstorms or other natural disaster can be mitigated if individuals would take some precautionary measures. These measures include carrying out routine checks on individual buildings and structures; clearing of drainages and refraining from indiscriminate dumping refuse on rivers, roads, drainages and median.

The Governor has also directed that those who were affected by the rainstorm but who were yet to be visited by officials of the Ministry of Environment or SEMA should take photographs of their damaged buildings with other proofs and report at the office of the Agency for proper documentation.

Governor Fayemi says necessary measures would be put in place to ensure that the coming raining season does not bring havoc.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Friday, March 15, 2019

Gossipmill fear tunes Lagos youth off family planning - NaijaAgroNet

Lagos-based youths have expressed dismay over the attitude of some health care service providers, saying that the fear of becoming gossip mill tune them off family planning, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The youths, largely females, who speak with 
NaijaAgroNet under anonymity decried the attitude of some health care service providers, especially when they approach family planning centres for services or even to inquire.

They confirmed to NaijaAgroNet that in Lagos, for instance, they would not access family planning service in their immediate domain to avoid stigmatization afterwards.

Also, they noted that although Lagos State has some Hello Lagos, which is the life-planning centres for the youth, the bias evident at those centres discourages them.

The youth who spoke on the sideline of the 3-day capacity building workshop on investigative journalism organized by Pathfinder International Nigeria, told 
NaijaAgroNet they came from Ikotu, Alimosho and Agege.

They complained of being made to stand while interrogated during her visit, instead of being attended to or counselled based on their needs in the first instance.

According to one of them, 25-year old Halima and graduate of Business Admin, the service provider’s first question was on her age bracket and on learning she had three boy-friends at 25, the body language changed outside religious concerns and countenance, stressing that she was not even given an opportunity of seeing a condom or counselled properly on other options, hence she has to leave.

She alleged that her welcome was not warm as anticipated, wondering if it should have been better to have unplanned pregnant to receive required attention at family planning units of Public Healthcare Centre (PHC) despite being sexually active.

Another female youth, Helen, 22, who acknowledged being sexually active lamented that the health service provider, she accosted at the Hello Lagos Life planning centre, was visibly furious on noticing she is a Catholic, did not given her required attention and courtesy of offering her a seat or any attempt to make her to relax before supposed grilling.

Helen said that in the course of their tensed-discussion, she understood that both female and male condoms were available at the facility, but she was not given the female condom which she had demanded but a male condom was offered to her.

As said by her, she decided to take away the male condom roll-of-four because half-bread is better than none, stressing that she was concerned that at her back, she became subject of gossip.

For 20-year Ayoshe, who is a makeup artist, the PHC centre she visited was near her community and because of their prying foot-dragging responses to her questions as a teenager wanting to access family planning services, she had to switch role from personal inquiry to on errand for her mother.

She was not shown any options of family planning but told that for her to access any available service, must be during ovulation, which family planning experts, Mrs. Abiola Adekoya disagreed with, even though some pregnant women still ovulate whilst pregnant.

Adekoya, a retired nurse told NaijaAgroNet that these service providers in these cases were bad examples and opposite of what they should be, especially for these youths by counselling them and sharing available options with them and possibly allow them to make informed decision.

Mrs. Adekoya insisted that those service providers need to be trained in the right contemporary path to help the teeming youth who may come across them.

She posited that with the narratives aforementioned, these youngsters may not likely return to the centres again eventually even when they may be ready for family planning, describing it as a missed opportunities to win a soul for family planning and better equip the youth.

Chuks Egbune/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

pic: country director, FP Dr Farouk Jeba

Jega says knowledgeable family planning service providers will make difference - NaijaAgroNet

The country director of the Pathfinder International Nigeria, Dr. Farouk Jega, has said that having a knowledgeable family planning service providers would make a lot of difference in the nation’s health care sector, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Chatting with NaijaAgroNet in Lagos at the ongoing 3-day capacity building workshop on investigative journalism organized by Pathfinder International Nigeria, Dr. Jega said well-informed service providers will bring about enormous change towards building trust in the adoption of family planning uptakes in the country.

“Having service providers who know their jobs will make a lot of difference,” he asserted.

NaijaAgroNet gathered there are several types of health services providers which range from medical doctors, obstetricians cum gynecologists, and physician assistants, to nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice nurses, to pharmacists, and specialists.

Also, Dr. Jega said that every woman, especially in developing economies like Nigeria deserves quality family planning information so as to make informed decision.

“Every woman deserves quality information on family planning,” he declared.

As said by him, every woman no matter the age has the right to know and assess quality family planning information.

Pathfinder International Nigeria, he told NaijaAgroNet believe so in provision of quality family planning information for families, and mostly women, insisting that there should be no coercion on the part of women as far as issues on family planning is concerned.

He advised women to have children at the appropriate time as it has some health implications both for them and child, lamenting “if born at the age nearing menopause.”

NaijaAgroNet gathered that menopause equally known as the climacteric, is the time in most women's lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to bear children.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Pix: Dr Farouk Jega, CD, Pathfinder International Nigeria

Thursday, March 14, 2019

South-South tops in HIV prevalence - NaijaAgroNet

The 2018 Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) has revealed that the South-South zone has the highest HIV prevalence in the country with North West with the lowest, reports NaijaAgroNet .

NAIIS showcased this indicating the South-South zone has the highest HIV prevalence with 3.1 per cent and North West has the lowest 0.6 per cent. 

The latest NAIIS is a cross-sectional survey that will assess the prevalence of key human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related health indicators. This survey is a two-stage cluster survey of 88,775 randomly-selected households in Nigeria, sampled from among 3,551 nationally-representative sample clusters.

According to NAIISResult made available to NaijaAgroNet , showed that HIV prevalence in Nigeria in 1.4 per cent; there are 1.9 million people living with HIV in Nigeria. HIV prevalence is 1.9 per cent among females and 0.9 per cent among males.

The HIV prevalence in Nigerian prisons, NaijaAgroNet gathered was twice higher than in general population.

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Okolo urges Nigerian journalists to use data for family planning - NaijaAgroNet

 The chief executive officer of, Mr. Anselm Okolo has urged Nigerian journalists to be rationale in the use of data in building their news stories and features on family planning, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking in Lagos at a three-day capacity building workshop on investigative journalism organized by Pathfinder International Nigeria, he said that data has become an indispensable part to achieving change in communication and behavior.

He also said that it would assist journalists investigating family planning issues to have a better and accurate planning outcome.

According to him, investigative journalism provides truth about people from government and information on what other entities such as Pathfinder among stakeholders are doing to fulfil their mandates.

This, he said, helps for accurate decision making for development, stressing that it serves as good feedback mechanism for programme review whilst it drives and refines decision making.

“Readers and listeners want to see news stories that evidence based,” he declared.

Earlier, welcoming participants to the workshop, the Communications Manager, Pathfinder International Nigeria, Mrs Somto Atuagha, told NaijaAgroNet that the workshop aims at strengthening the capacity of the Media Advocacy Working Group (MAWG) to complement family planning advocacy efforts in Lagos State towards the attainment of the FP2020 goals.

Atuagha who was accompanied by Programme Coordinator, Advocacy and Policy at Pathfinder, Ms Kosisochukwu Izundu, also named two-key objectives of the workshop include strengthening of capacity of participants on investigative journalism to develop more impactful family planning related media content for broadcast and publication.

In addition, she said it would orientate participants about youth access to family planning in Lagos State and would be hands-on driven.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

FAO calls for sustainability in date palm production - NaijaAgroNet

Investing in innovation and research is key to ensuring the sustainability of date palm production, a valuable food and livelihood resource for millions of people in the Near East and North Africa FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, reports NaijaAgroNet,

“The impacts of climate change are making water increasingly scarce, provoking droughts that are more severe and prolonged, and also contributing to the outbreak and spread of pests and diseases, such as the Red Palm Weevil,” José Graziano da Silva said at the 11th Session of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation (KIADPAI).

“We urgently need to build resilience and promote the adaptation of agricultural sectors through climate-smart practices that can also preserve natural resources and biodiversity,” he stressed, noting the importance of the date palm, which is deeply rooted in the economies, cultures and diets of the people of the Near East and North Africa region.

He referred to the diverse range of tools and knowledge that science and innovation have made available to produce “more and better with less resources”.

These include, for example, hydroponic systems that produce high-quality food with no soil and only 10 percent of the water normally used in traditional systems, and the use of drones to help track pests and diseases, as well as the use of nanotechnology for water desalinization.

“The challenge is to seize all the opportunities to apply and develop innovative solutions,” Graziano da Silva said. “For that, we need to put in place innovative policies, investments and partnerships bringing together the public and private sectors, and look to pursuing long-term commitment.”

Last November, FAO organized the first International Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers, where participants recognized the importance of family farmers for agricultural innovation.

Graziano da Silva emphasized the need to strengthen the capacity of farmers to innovate and acknowledged the invaluable role the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation is playing in the promotion of innovative agricultural practices, especially in water scarce regions.

From “feeding” to “nourishing” people with healthy and nutritious food

The FAO Director-General highlighted the need to foster innovation “across the whole food system,” and not just in the agricultural sectors. “We need to reposition our food systems away from simply ‘feeding’ to ‘nourishing’ people with healthy and nutritious food,” he said. “This change is fundamental to tackle not only hunger but also all forms of malnutrition, particularly obesity.”

Globally, more than 2 billion people are overweight, including 670 million who are obese (accounting for about 13 percent of the world’s adult population).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the proportion of obese adults in the Near East and North of Africa is of around 30 percent, reaching almost 40 percent in specific countries.

“The growing rate of obesity is happening at a huge socio-economic cost,” Graziano da Silva stressed. “Obesity is a risk factor for many non-communicable diseases such as stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer,” he added.

Estimates indicate that the global economic impact of obesity is about$2 trillion per year (2.8 percent of the global GDP). “This is equivalent to the global impacts of smoking or armed conflicts globally,” he warned.

The main reason behind the rise of obesity, he noted, is that current food systems have increased the availability and accessibility of highly processed food that is very caloric and energy-dense, high in fat, sugar and salt.

“This is particularly worrisome when countries have an excessive dependency on food imports, as is the case in the Near East and North Africa region,” Graziano da Silva said. He called for food trade regulations that address the imports of unhealthy food, and contribute to avoiding what he defined as the “globalization of obesity”.

The FAO Director-General said the upcoming Expo 2020 in Dubai, will provide a great opportunity for the international community to discuss innovative ideas and partnerships to tackle future challenges, including food insecurity and malnutrition.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

CAR, IFAD to promote smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate change - NaijaAgroNet

Nearly 30,000 vulnerable households will be better equipped to deal with the fragility created by past conflict and the impacts of climate change thanks to a US$29 million project announced today that aims to improve food and nutrition security in four sub-prefectures of the Central African Republic, reports NaijaAgroNet.

With support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a financing agreement for the Project to Revitalize Crop and Livestock Production in the Savannah (PREPAS) was signed earlier by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD, and Félix Moloua, Minister of Planning, Economy and Cooperation of the Central African Republic.

Financing for the project includes a grant from IFAD ($12.4 million), as well as funding from the Government of Central African Republic ($0.9 million) and the beneficiaries themselves ($3 million). A financing gap of $12.6 million will be covered by future IFAD resource allocation cycles for Central African Republic.

In the Central African Republic, the livelihoods of 74 per cent of the population are dependent on the agropastoral sector, which also accounts for 52 per cent of the GDP. The humanitarian and security crisis between 2013-2015 and continued conflicts have had a devastating effect on the economy, impacting food security and increasing the country's fragility today. As a result, poverty affects about 67 per cent of the entire population.

The main causes of poverty include the poor performance of the agropastoral sector, the impact of the conflicts on the economy, lack of roads, infrastructure and public services in rural areas, vulnerability to climate change, floods and droughts, as well as scarce economic opportunities, especially for the young people.

PREPAS will target agricultural producers in the sub-prefectures of Baoro, Bossemptélé, Bouar and Yaloké, with possible expansion to Bozoum after the project's mid-term review. At least 50 per cent of the participants will be women, 30 per cent young people and 10 per cent heads of the most vulnerable households.

The project aims to strengthen the production, processing and marketing of maize, cassava, groundnut, red beans, poultry, goats, sheep and pigs. It will promote sustainable practices that help famers adapt to climate change conditions, particularly to droughts and floods. Household members will also be trained in good dietary practices, nutrition and hygiene. Increasing the availability of highly nutritious foods will be among project goals. In an attempt to reduce tensions and promote long-term sustainability, the project will also focus on encouraging dialogue between farmers growing crops and livestock producers. 

In addition, the project will establish 800 agricultural, agropastoral and market gardening groups while developing market gardens equipped with solar irrigation devices. Furthermore, 12 product warehouses and eight input storehouses will be constructed, and 450 young people will receive training in processing, marketing or services within the value chains of selected crops and livestock.

Since 1979, IFAD has financed eight rural development programmes and projects in Central African Republic at a total cost of $160.9 million, with an IFAD investment of $71.6 million. These projects and programmes have directly benefited 123,350 rural households.

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Friday, March 8, 2019

Unprecedented report reveals true cost of violence against children - NaijaAgroNet

Today, the high economic cost of violence against children in Nigeria was revealed in an unprecedented report, launched jointly by UNICEF and the Federal Government, under the leadership of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the report, the economic impact of the violence against children in Nigeria is estimated to be about USD$6.1 billion, which is equivalent to about 1.07 percent of the country’s GDP.

This financial loss is from the cumulative loss of earnings due to loss of productivity, stemming from suffering associated with different degrees of violence, over time.

“The cost of inaction is high, when it comes to violence against children,” said Mrs. Ifeoma Anagbogu, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development. “Violence affects children’s health, education, and productivity. It is clear that we need to eliminate any form of violence against children – both from a moral perspective and an economic perspective.”

The report revealed that about half of the Nigerian children surveyed experienced physical violence by parents, adult relatives, direct or indirect caregivers or community members, before they reached 18.

“The findings of this study point to the strong need for increased funding of interventions by government to reduce violence against children in Nigeria,” said Mr Olajide S. Odewale, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

It was noted that the study may actually underestimate the economic burden of violence against children, as several serious consequences of such violence were not included, due to a current lack of data.

The evidence presented in the report indicates an urgent need to provide child protection services in Nigeria and prioritize the elimination of violence against children, which can ensure the country’s human capital has the mental, physical, and emotional stability needed to boost its social and economic development.

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, giving us an opportunity to join our collective efforts to protecting children from violence, abuse and neglect. This includes a re-commitment to increase investment in child protection services,” said Mohamed Malick Fall, UNICEF’s Country Representative in Nigeria.

The research on violence against children was led by the Government of Nigeria, in collaboration with UNICEF, and with funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through USAID, the EU and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Nigerian women are resilience, dogged says Senator Tinubu - NaijaAgroNet

The Senator representing the Lagos-Central. State, Lagos State in the red chamber fo the National Assembly, under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Oluremi Tinubu has described Nigerian women as resilience, powerful and doggedness, reports NaijaAgroNet.
In her message to the celebration of the International Women's Day (IWD) 2019, Senator Tinubu declare she celebrates with Nigerian women all over the world on the occasion of the International Women’s day, 2019.
"Beyond the recognition of the struggles and achievements of womenfolk, it is a celebration of womanhood – her strength, resilience, power and doggedness," she declared.
Tinubu also said that this year, there are two themes in commemoration of International Women’s Day - ‘Balance for Better’ and 'Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.' 

She noted that while both themes may appear to be at variance, they are both pointers to the way forward in the quest for the protection of rights of women and a reminder that we must devise new strategies in the pursuit of gender equity and balance.

"It is apparent that to adequately entrench the rights of women, abrogate gender based violence and ensure equal opportunities for all, men have a role to play. Conscripting men into gender based discussions and actions will enable us address issues of gender disparity, equality in every strata of life, ensure gender balance in government, employment, remuneration of employees and wealth creation," she said.

Hence, she enjoined men to speak up in support of women, stressing that gender balance will benefit humanity and nationhood generally.

In addition, she said, women must rise up and equip themselves to fill gaps in politics, public office, and management. 

"This can only be done if we are all ready to make a difference, speak up for worthy causes and impact on our immediate communities, the type of change we wish to see," she said.
Senator Tinubu went on to congratulate women all over the world and Nigeria in particular, assuring of her unwavering commitment to the empowerment of Nigerian women.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology