Nasarawa govt charged to implement programmes to cushion climate change effects

From Esther Akaa, Lafia 

Nasarawa State government has been urged to design and implement appropriate programmes that will cushion the negative effects of climate change on lives and livelihoods of residents of the state.

The Executive Director, Gender and Environmental Risks Reduction Initiative (GERI), Elizabeth Jeiyol, gave the charge on Wednesday at the development of the state Climate Risk Register held in Lafia, the state capital.

Jeiyol, who is the Lead Consultant for the development of the state Climate Risk Register, charged the state government to take deliberate steps towards proper planning geared towards tackling climate change risks in the state.

She said that already, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) alongside their partners had earlier identified climate change risks in various communities across the 13 local government areas of the state, calling on stakeholders to plan towards mitigating the risks that have been identified.

“So much has gone in already in the course of this exercise and the essence is to identify and map climate change risks and accompany locations where they occur in the state.

“We started with the mapping of climate change risks and compiling them in the register at the community and local government levels and today we are validating the results to ensure that no area or risk is left uncaptured.

“This exercise has therefore, produced a Climate Risk Register for the state and the next step is to finalise the paper work and hand over to the state government in proper format so that the state government will begin to use it for proper planning for climate action to address the challenges of climate change that affect the people of the state,” Jeiyol said.

She, commended Governor Abdullahi Sule for his commitment towards addressing climate related issues in the state  and charged him to do more.

Also speaking, the African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) Project manager in the state, Mr Joseph Ibrahim, said that the exercise was a conclusion on the Climate Risk Register which was earlier developed at community and  local government levels.

Ibrahim explained that the state Climate Risk Register was developed by stakeholders cutting across community members, local and state government officials, as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSO), selected across the state.

“I, therefore, call on the state  government to use this document  because it’s what came from the communities. The government should plan for intervention, especially with the flooding that is currently ravaging the state,” he said.

In an interview with The Voice, one of the participants and Head of Department of Geography, Federal University of Lafia, Dr  Kabiru Dahiru, said that the exercise was enriching as it has  opened them to the issues of climate change and its effects.

Dahiru said that the development of the state Climate Change Risk Register was an important  empowerment tool for the people to lend their voices, aimed at addressing climate induced challenges affecting the state.

He, therefore, called on the citizens to hold the document as a tool to bargain for better interventions that will mitigate the effects of climate change in the state and country at large.

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).

The Voice also reports that the organisation recently trained 45 community activists on Climate Risk Register and Adaptation Planning to enable them develop climate Risk Register for communities, LGAs and the state at large.

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