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Flooding: Groups urge adaptation finance in developing nations, revisit of River Niger dredging contracts

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam and Silver Nwokoro
18 October 2022   |   4:03 am
Following the worst flooding witnessed in Nigeria in a decade, global climate movements have called for climate action to support mitigation and adaptation measures in the country.

Following the worst flooding witnessed in Nigeria in a decade, global climate movements have called for climate action to support mitigation and adaptation measures in the country.

The country is prone to seasonal flooding, which has been notably worse this year, with Nigeria’s meteorological agency warning that it could continue until the end of November in some states.

Already over 200,00 homes have been destroyed while some 1.3 million people have been displaced.

The Regional Director, 350Africa, Landry Ninteretse, said: “We are concerned about the devastation caused by the flooding in Nigeria, which the government has attributed to heavy rains and climate change. We stand in solidarity with our partners and communities affected by this disaster.

“African nations on the frontlines of the climate crisis are demanding greater urgency applied to measures aimed at mitigation against and adaptation to climate change. COP27, which starts in a few weeks, must define a concrete operationalisation plan to implement the Global Goal on Adaptation adopted last year to meaningfully support countries, like Nigeria, in their efforts to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate impacts.

“We expect that developed nations will scale up funding for mitigation and adaptation as well as prioritise compensation for climate induced loss and damage suffered by the nations most affected by the climate crisis.”

ON his part, Michael Terungwa of Coal Free Nigeria campaign, called on the Federal Government to implement an energy transition plan, saying: “We urge the government to prioritise clean renewable energy and not false solutions such as fossil gas that will lead us down a perilous paths.

He said: “The heavy rains and resultant flooding currently being experienced in Nigeria is evidence of the extreme climate impacts, primarily driven by fossil fuels, making our homes uninhabitable, endangering lives, health and livelihoods.

“This is a signal that it is time for the world to move away from fossil fuels, as rapid and deep emission cuts are needed to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.”

ALSO, Admiralty Lawyers Society of Nigeria decried floods affecting states in the country, calling on the Federal government to revisit the River Niger dredging contracts.

In a statement, signed by its President, Angus Obinna Chukwuka, yesterday, the group said revisiting the contracts would expand the scope; facilitate an efficient execution of ultra modern dredging and have regard to dam water discharges that have become recurrent.

The current situation, the group said, might have been averted if the River Niger dredging project had been effectively and diligently carried out to logical conclusion within less time and in a broader scope.

It said: “If the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) had been more proactive and effective in the dredging of our inland water ways, the situation would not be this messy. It is also clear that deeper canals constructed and well maintained by state and local governments would have been a great saving grace.

“Again, those who dump refuse in drains may have contributed to the agonies of flood victims as such blockages are now mere catalysts to the floods.”