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By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

Nigeria and other 99 countries set to celebrate the 2021 World River on September 27, 2021, following importance of rivers to human existence and development.

The celebration which is a maiden edition in Nigeria is being organised by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources through the Department of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate.

This was made known by the Department of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate in the Ministry, which said, “The World Rivers Day is a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the world’s waterways or river systems in order to highlight the many values of our rivers and increase public awareness around rivers, thereby promoting improved stewardship of all rivers around the world.

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“The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Water Ways in our Communities’ in recognition of the incredible natural, cultural and recreational values of our Rivers and Streams as well as the extent to which they add to our quality of life.

“The celebration is intended to draw attention to the world’s rivers that are in degraded states and facing increasing pressures associated with pollution, industrial development, urbanization and climate change mostly due to human activities.”

According to the founder and Chair of World Rivers Day, Mark Angelo, “The importance of clean fresh water has been essential to the fight against COVID-19, so the World Rivers Day is a timely opportunity for millions of people around the world to come together to commemorate the importance of healthy waters and vibrant waterways.”

“The day has become one of the largest environmental celebrations on the planet earth. During this year’s celebrations, about 100th countries will mark the 2021 World Rivers Day on Sunday, September 26, with both physical and virtual activities.

“In Nigeria, the 2021 World Rivers Day is celebrated simultaneously at the Federal and State levels with special focus on creating public awareness on the importance of Rivers, river clean-ups, river restoration, protection and conservation”, it added.

Rivers slated for the riverside celebration across the country include, River Wupa, Airport Road, Abuja, FCT; River Kwa, Akamkpa L.G.A, Cross River State; River Benue at Geriyo in Yola, Adamawa State; River Otamiri at Egbu in Owerri, Imo State; River Ikpoba at Ikpoba Hill in Benin City, Edo State; River Ngada in Maiduguri, Borno State; River Benue in Makurdi, Benue State.

Others are River Ogun in Abeokuta, Ogun State; River Yashi in Bosso L.G.A, Niger State; River Asa, Aliara in Ilorin, Kwara State; New Calabar River in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State; River Etiope in Etiope L.G.A., Delta State; River Challawa at Gadar Danko in Kano, Kano State; and River Kaduna in Kaduna, Kaduna State.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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