President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, in Abuja declared a state of emergency on Nigeria’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector.
The president said the declaration has become imperative to reduce the high-prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the country, which has caused preventable deaths.
Inaugurating the National Action Plan for Revitalization of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector at State House Conference Centre, President Buhari directed government at all levels to redouble efforts and work towards meeting the nation’s water supply and sanitation needs.
The president described statistics on open defecation, access to piped water services and sanitation in the country as ”disturbing”, warning that henceforth, Federal Government support to State Governments will be based on their commitment to implement the National WASH Action Plan in their respective States and to end open defecation by 2025.
”Access to piped water services which was 32% in 1990 has declined to 7% in 2015; access to improved sanitation has also decreased from 38% in 1990 to 29% in 2015.
”Our country now ranks No 2 in the global rating on Open Defecation as about 25% of our population are practicing open defecation.
”WASH services at the rural areas are unsustainable as 46% of all water schemes are non-functional, and the share of our spending on WASH sector has been declining from 0.70% of the GDP in 1990 to about 0.27% in 2015 which is far below the 0.70% at the West African regional level,” he said.
The president used the occasion, attended by state governments and development partners, to reiterate that the provision of potable water supply, adequate sanitation and hygiene are primarily the responsibilities of state and local governments.
”However, these are not being given the required attention judging from the high prevalence of water-borne diseases that are being reported in different parts of the country.
”We cannot and will not continue to allow these preventable occurrences to decimate our population,’’ he said.
President Buhari told the gathering that he was aware that Nigeria did not meet the MDG targets for Water Supply and Sanitation that ended in 2015.
”The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets (6.1 & 6.2) for WASH are even more demanding as they require WASH services to be provided in adequate quantity and quality on premises at affordable prices.
”This cannot be achieved if we continue with ‘a business as usual’ approach.
”It is on this premise that I fully endorse the decision taken at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council in April this year to declare ‘a State of Emergency on our WASH Sector’.
”I call on all State Governments to complement this effort by according the sector similar recognition to enable us work together to achieve the SDG targets for WASH by 2030,’’ he said.
At the federal level, the president pledged that his administration would continue to place priority on infrastructure development including those of water supply, sanitation and hygiene services towards ensuring a better life for Nigerians.
According to him, this is being demonstrated through faithful implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) – which is the present administration’s blueprint for infrastructure and economic development.
”From the inception of this administration, we have demonstrated serious commitment to the development of the Water Sector by preserving the Ministry of Water Resources and subsequently approving the 15-year roadmap developed for the sector.
”The transformation being witnessed in the sector since then is highly commendable.
”I have no doubt that the on-going initiatives including the implementation of the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) in the Ministry will take the water sector to improved performance and supply, thereby meeting the national aspirations as well as the SDGs,” he said.
Court sentences Man to 5 years in prison for manslaughter
An Ado Ekiti High Court has sentenced a 52-year-old man, Joshua Akanbi, to 15 years in prison for manslaughter. He committed the offence during a land dispute between Ayede Ekiti and Itaji Ekiti in 2017.
The convict was arraigned alongside Abiodun Ogundamisi, 40, and Segun Ogundamisi, 22, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder preferred against them.
The trial judge, Justice Toyin Abodunde, held that evidence before the court proved that Akanbi was guilty of manslaughter for opening fire on one Seyi Oladipupo during a dispute when the two communities were laying claim to Orisunmibare farm settlement which later caused the victim’s death.
Justice Abodunde ruled that evidence before the court was not enough to find the accused persons guilty of murder under Section 316 of Criminal Code Cap C16 Laws of Ekiti State 2012 and subsequently discharged them of the charge.
The court consequently found the convict guilty of manslaughter for shooting the deceased contravening Section 319 and 326 Cap 6 Laws of Ekiti State 2012.
An argument ensued between the two contending parties who invaded the land with weapons accusing one another of trespass.
The convict reportedly opened fire when an attempt was made to disarm him of the gun he was holding.
The accused persons were first arraigned on July 6, 2017, when the charges were read to them to which they pleaded not guilty.
During the incident which occurred on January 31, 2017, at the farm settlement, the deceased was rushed to the nearest hospital after being shot but he later died owing to excessive loss of blood according to the medical personnel who conducted a post-mortem examination on the body at Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital.
To prove the case against the convict, the solicitor-general of Ekiti State, Mr. Babatope Ojo, called seven witnesses including the investigating police officer (IPO) and the medical doctor.
Exhibits tendered include one pump action gun, photographs taken at the scene of the incident, live cartridges and statements of the accused persons.
The accused persons in their defence through their counsel, Mr. Sule Longe, called eight witnesses and also tendered photographs of the machete wounds sustained by the convict and the statements volunteered to the police.
Three Schoolgirls face 5 years jail term for writing on President, Nkurunziza’s Photo on their books
Three schoolgirls have been charged by Burundian authorities defacing a picture of President Pierre Nkurunziza, spokeswoman for the country’s Supreme Court, Agnès Bangiricenge, said on Thursday.
The three girls were among seven school children arrested last week in Kirundo province, in Burundi’s northeast and some 200 kilometres from the commercial capital Bujumbura. Four others were subsequently released.
All were accused of insulting Nkurunziza by scribbling over images of him printed in their school text books.
A regional court in Kirundo decided on Wednesday to detain the three further and proceed with a full trial, Bangiricenge said.
They will await trial in a nearby prison and could face up to five years in jail on conviction, a judge told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
“It is true that scribbling (on the president’s picture) is a punishable offence under the Burundian law but since it was committed by teenagers, I believe this is a mitigating circumstance,” David Ninganza, a children’s rights defender working for local group SOGEPAE, told Reuters.
“Those school children are not engaged in any political fights and need no political posts. That’s why judges have to consider all those issues in their investigations.”
School children have in the past been kicked out of school for similar offences, with some jailed and released.
Two JetBlue Pilots drug & rape 3 Airline Workers, infect one with STD
Two pilots of JetBlue Airline have allegedly raped three airline workers during a layover in Puerto Rico and even left one of the women with an STD, according to a new lawsuit.
The Brooklyn suit alleges that on May 9 in San Juan, crew members met Flight Officers Eric Johnson and Dan Watson on the beach.
The women starting drinking beers with the men once learning that they were pilots with JetBlue, the suit reads according to the New York Post.
‘The beer was laced with a drug, and after that point, the rest of the night became a blur for [the women],’ the lawsuit reads. It was filed on Monday.
Both women and a third crew member wound up at the Intercontinental Hotel with the pilots.
Jane Doe 1, from Riverton, Utah, claims that Johnson raped her and the third crew member in the hotel.
‘Johnson was on top of [Jane Doe 1] raping her,’ the lawsuit states. ‘[Jane Doe 1] felt the influence of the drug that [Johnson] laced the beer with, and was unable to react to the situation, but was simply aware that it was happening.
‘[Her] flashes of memory included Johnson having sexual intercourse with the other crewmember who was also under the influence of the drugs.’
Johnson is said to have thanked the woman for ‘making my fantasy come true.’
Jane Doe 2, from Fort Worth, Texas, says that she became ill from the drugs and was repeatedly puking.
‘Johnson and Watson drugged [Jane Doe 2] and intended to rape [her] but did not when [she] began vomiting which was a turnoff,’ the suit continues.
While on a flight to Newark, NJ, the next morning, the women ‘expressed to each other that they were stunned by what had happened’ and expressed feeling ‘groggy and numb.’
The women say that the airline has taken no action against the pilots after they were notified of the incident.
Jane Doe 1 also accused Johnson of intentionally giving her HPV.
‘What happened to my clients is truly horrific, and Jet Blue’s failure to take appropriate action is appalling,’ said Abraham Melamed, the women’s attorney.
Both women are suing for at least $75,000 plus attorney’s fees.
JetBlue said in a statement that it couldn’t comment on pending litigation but that it took ‘allegations of violent or inappropriate behavior very seriously and investigates such claims thoroughly.’
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