BREAKING: Women Minister flags off cooking gas, tree planting exercise in Ebonyi

By Victor Nwegede

The Minister of Women affairs, Hon. Dame Pauline Tallen on Friday flagged off the distribution of cooking gas and tree planting excercise at Onueku, the Ezza South Local Government headquarters in Ebonyi State following the campaign against the predicted global warming. 

Tallen said the project was inspired by President Muhammad Buhari in his demonstration of his dividends of his next level agenda with many bounties for Nigerian indigent rural women and girls. 

She commended President Buhari  for his leadership and efforts to enhance quality of women's lives and children especially the ruralities and as well lauded Governor David Umahi's led administration for her warmed reception and the developmental strides in the state. 

According to her: "This project is in three phase and I am glad, Ebonyi State is in first phase and that's why we are here today. This project could not have come at a more appropriate time than now, that the world is geared towards reducing the green-house emission effect in the society. It is also expected to cushion the effects of the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the whole world, leaving its trails of untold hardship, tears and woes especially on women and children while defying all human known solutions. 

"To flatten the curve, governments all over the world, including Nigeria took drastic measures to reduce the spread"; urging all hands to be on deck to stamp out the dreaded disease by strictly complying to the COVID-19 precautionary measures, and added that the flag off was kept simple with fewer participants to represent all the local government areas.  

Further, the Minister said, World Health Organization, WHO, had reported that emission from cookstoves kills about 4.3 million people annually through air pollution and indoor smoke inhalation causing respiratory diseases and death, saying that the exercise was meant to create awareness and sensitize the public particularly the women and stakeholders on the effects of using firewoods for cooking, the health and environment problems associated with it by introducing use of alternate clean stoves as the world transits to 21st century energy source. 

The Women Minister also said that Buhari has directed each of local government areas be supplied with 1,000 cooking gas cylinders respectively and consequently, she handed over 13,000 of them shared to the 13 council areas in the state.

She equally said, the issues of gender based violence has been brought to the national focus by Mr. President, stressing that both Nigerian women and children are grateful for spotlighting their issues as crucial to the country discourse and development.

"We are still basking in the euphoria of the inauguration of an inter-ministrial gender based violence management committee to proffer a synchronized approach to address all forms of violence against women and children in the country, based on the directives of Mr. President and the directives of the Inspector of Police to deal with perpetrators in furtherance of the declaration of zero tolerance to rape and other gender based violence in Nigeria on Tuesday, 25th August, 2020. I therefore, call on everyone in Ebonyi State to join Mr. President to say 'No' to all forms of abuse and violence against women, girls and boys as perpetrators will be severely punished", she hinted. 

She however, said, women in line with President Buhari's 2019 pledge at the United Nations General Assembly session to plant 25 million trees within one year, flag off economic tree planting 
exercise at the site designated by the state to stimulate green environment and stem the effects of deforestation and climate change in various communities, urging all the grassroot leaders to replicate the exercise in their various areas to become the national life.

Tallen thus, called various organizations to gear up their efforts in breaking all forms of harmful norms and cultural practices that limit female folks, particularly the  children  from reaching their full potentials  and attainment of the sustainable development goals.

Speaking, Governor David Umahi ably represented by his Deputy, Barr. Eric Igwe commended Mr. President for having taken bold step in the campaign against global warming and other several programmes advancing  female folks in the country.

He pledged his administration's commitment to continue carrying out the exercise in Ebonyi, pointing that all the verges of the state are now strategically planted ornamental trees and majority of them are bearing fruits to boost food production and economy with the women fully engaged in his government.

His wife, Chief Mrs. Rachel Umahi, represented by Mrs. Ethel Igwe, the wife of the state Deputy governor, alongside the Commissioner for Women affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Rebecca Ogbuewu and the Chairman of the occasion, Princess Frances Mgbada also expressed gratitude for the flagging off the project and pledged to step down the exercise to the grassroot levels while commending President Buhari  and Governor Umahi whom they said, their governments encourage women and children development.

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