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Groups seek urgent action against climate change



To mitigate the impact of climate change, concerned environmental groups have called on the federal government to urgently implement national policies and plans to strengthen adaptation and response to climate change emergencies.

The groups, namely, ActionAid Nigeria, Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Activista Youth Platform, Environmental Rights Action (ERA) Friends of the Earth and Fresh & Young Brains Development Initiative (FBIN), lamented that the planet was heating up even more quickly than expected with a looming disasters just around the corner. 

Leading the call at a joint press conference in Abuja last week, Country Director of  ActionAid, Ms. Ene Obi, said many communities around the world and even in Nigeria are dealing with the reality of the climate emergency, stressing that climate impacts such as droughts, flood, rising sea levels, crop losses and loss of livelihoods are causing great havoc, wrecking lives, and driving up poverty rate.

She noted that if the global community does not get their act together to transform the current economic model that is so harmful to the planet and health, or to implement strategies to become more resilient to impacts of climate change, human beings would likely be locked into escalating temperatures in which survival would be very difficult. 

Obi explained that apart from many communities that are already underwater across Nigeria, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had recently issued a red alert that thirteen States would further suffer severe flooding, stressing that it called for urgent preparedness and immediate actions that would forestall such and other climate change challenges. 

Against this background, Obi called on the federal government to, “protect citizens from the impacts of climate change bearing in mind the gender differences as regards climate impact, risks and adaptive capacity especially for women and gins, persons with disability and farmers who often bear the great brunt of climate change National policies and plans to strengthen adaptation and responding to climate emergencies should urgently be implemented.” 

On her part, the Programme Officer of ERA, Chinyere Opia, said the federal government should sit up and do something and not just pay lip service to issues of climate change.

Also, Nkiruka Okonkwo of FBIN said that if the country really wants to achieve zero hunger by 2030, the government has to pay more attention to the issue of climate change. 

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