Climate Change: NGO advocates increased budgetary allocation in Nasarawa

From Esther Akaa, Lafia 

Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has called on Nasarawa State government to increase budgetary allocation to relevant ministries and agencies, in order to address climate change risks in the state. 

The Executive Director of GIFSEP, Mr David Michael made the call on Thursday at the training of 35 communities and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on climate lobby held in Lafia.

According to him, increased funding for relevant ministries; Environment and Natural Resources, Agriculture and Water Resources, Women Affairs, Youths and Sport will help tackle climate change related impacts in the state.

“One of the ways we feel that climate change can be tackled is through appropriate financial provision to be increased in the relevant ministries and agencies for adaptation building and planning.

“Essentially, climate change is impacting us as it’s already evident with the severe flooding the entire nation is witnessing, Nasarawa State is not an exception as flood destroyed farmlands in Doma, Nasarawa, Toto, Awe even part of Lafia Local Government,” he said.

He noted that the destruction of farmlands by flood had led to severe economy lost thereby increasing poverty, hence the need to build resilience and adaptation strategies to mitigate impacts of climate change on the communities.

Michael said that the training of communities activists and CSOs on climate lobby was to enable them to respectfully engage with policy makers for climate action in the state.

He explained that the programme was a continuation of African Activists for Climate Justice project, being implemented by GIFSEP in Nasarawa State, with support from Oxfam in Nigeria.

“In collaboration with the state ministry of environment and CSOs were able to produce the Nasarawa State Climate Risk Register, which highlighted all the climate risks in different local government areas and in some communities.

“Now, we are taking a step further by training these CSOs, communities and climate activists on how to engage with policy makers in a relationship such that they can in their constitutional mandate pass laws that will help to build resilience in communities.

“I know this is a global issue and we cannot continue to wait for international funding, with the little we have, we should be able to help building resilience at the community, local government and the state level,” he said.

Speaking in an interview with The Voice, one of the participants, a development practitioner and climate enthusiast, Obadiah Solomon-Ovye said going forward, he would engage more in activism and more partnership.

Solomon-Ovye promised to use the knowledge gained at the climate lobby training to engage his representatives to achieve a collective solution to climate change issues.

He, therefore, commended GIFSEP for the training and called for more of such engagements.

The Voice reports that GIFSEP which is implementing a five-year project known as “African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) is working in partnership with OXFAM with support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Netherlands and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).

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