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Showing posts with label adoption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label adoption. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Coalition flays cancellation of Lagos clean-up exercise, clamours adoption of WASH policy

The Advocacy and Campaigns Coalition (ACC) has flayed the recent cancellation of the monthly environmental sanitation exercise by the Lagos State Government, calling on the authorities to, as a replacement, urgently adopt the draft state WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) Policy and roll out an effective implementation plan, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The ACC, a platform of Civil Society Networks in Lagos State working with other relevant stakeholders to reduce mortality and morbidity from diarrhea in under-5 children within the framework of the WHO/UNICEF 7-point plan for diarrhea control, expressed dismay over the reason of “present economic realities in the country” given for the cancellation by the Lagos government.

In a statement signed by the ACC coordinator, Ms. Gbemisola Akosa, the group further demands that all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and stakeholders responsible for the review of environmental Laws of Lagos State speed up action on them and ensure the passage of the Laws before the end of the first quarter of 2017.

Additionally, the body demands that regular updates should be given to the general populace with respect to progress on the passage of the harmonised environmental Laws.

The ACC, an initiative of Save the Children, an organisation that promotes the welfare of children, stated: “It is incontestable that improvement in mortality rates from preventable diseases such as typhoid, diarrhea, cholera and malaria, etc., was because of improved standard of environmental sanitation. Thus, we believe that a well-planned, coordinated and implemented environmental sanitation policy for disease prevention and control is what Lagos State needs at this time, given the megacity status of the state.”

Frowning at the abolition of the monthly exercise, the body submits: “With due respect, this apparent attempt to promote economic benefits above clean and healthy environment is capable of undermining people centred governance being promoted by the current administration in the state. The reality is that there cannot be economic viability without a clean and healthy environment which impacts on the productivity of the people.

“We are all the more concerned that the exercise was cancelled without any stop-gap measure in place to preserve the gains of sound environmental sanitation, self-discipline and strict adherence to standard hygiene rules and practices promoted in the last 20 years by the rested environmental sanitation exercise.

“Of utmost concern is the inability of the government to muster enough political will in adopting the Lagos State WASH Policy which has been in the pipeline for several years. These portend grave consequences for public health and sustainable sanitation especially in the face of deteriorating state of public water supply and sanitation services in the state.

“It is acknowledged  that hygiene practices are generally poor in the state due to inadequate access to portable  water (10 per cent or roughly 2.1 million people in Lagos have access to potable water) and sanitation services as well as moral decadence to the environment. This poor state of water and sanitation has contributed significantly to the high prevalence of preventable diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, malaria and typhoid.

“Significantly, Lagos has the second highest prevalence of diarrhea rate in South West Nigeria (7.5 per cent), after Oyo State (9.2 per cent), having an average diarrhea incidence of 13 per cent or 520,000 cases per annum. These diseases also account for the rise in morbidity, mortality and absenteeism in schools and at work.”

Oye Midele/GEE
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Save & Grow adoption encourages ecosystem-based farming

A new book from the stables of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has shown that eco-system-based farming has come of age, through the adoption of Save and Grow initiative, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The new FAO book launched Wednesday in Rome, takes a close look at how the world's major cereals maize, rice and wheat - which together account for an estimated 42.5 per cent of human calories and 37 per cent of our protein - can be grown in ways that respect and even leverage natural ecosystems. 

Drawing on case studies from around the planet, the new book illustrates how the "Save and Grow" approach to agriculture advocated by FAO is already being successfully employed to produce staple grains, pointing the way to a more sustainable future for farming and offering practical guidance on how the world can pursue its new sustainable development agenda.

"International commitments to eradicate poverty and tackle climate change require a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable and inclusive agriculture able to produce higher yields over the longer term," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

The two recent landmark global agreements, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - which require eradicating hunger and putting terrestrial ecosystems on a sound footing by 2030 - and the Paris Climate Change Agreement (COP21), only underscore the need for inclusive innovation in food systems, he adds. 

While the world's cereal harvests may be at record levels today, their productive base is increasingly precarious amid signs of groundwater depletion, environmental pollution, loss of biodiversity and other woes marking the end of the Green Revolution model. Meanwhile, global food production will need to grow by 60 percent - mostly on existing arable land and in the face of climate change  - to feed the future population in 2050,  making it all the more urgent for the smallholders who grow the majority of the world's crops to be enabled to do so more efficiently and in ways that don't further increase humanity's ecological debt.

Save and Grow is a broad-based approach to environmentally friendly, sustainable agriculture aimed at intensifying production, protecting and enhancing agriculture's natural resource base and reducing reliance on chemical inputs by tapping into the Earth's natural ecosystem processes, and to increase farmers' gross income. As such it is an approach intrinsically crafted to contribute to the SDGs and foster resilience to climate change.

Viable Save and Grow practices range from growing shade trees that shed their leaves when  adjacent maize crops most need sunlight, as tried with success in Malawi and Zambia, to scrapping tillage and leaving crop residues as soil surface mulch, a method applied on a massive scale by wheat farmers on the Kazakhstani steppe and increasingly by innovative slash-and-mulch practices adopted by farmers in the highlands of Central and South America

The time has now come for ideas that have proven themselves in farmers' fields to be upscaled in more ambitious national programmes, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva says in the foreword to Save and Grow in Practice in Practice: A Guide to Sustainable Cereal Production, a book he described as "a contribution to creating the world we want."  

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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