From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Ahead of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP27, scheduled for Egypt between November 8 and 10, Fame Foundation organized a walk in Abuja on Saturday called “The Green Ball Walk for Climate Change” and demanded that Nigerian delegations take steps to improve the country’s climatic and environmental conditions.
This is even as Coordinator, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), Dr. Chido Onumah, who was part of the walk has warned that the challenges posed by global warming are genuine, thus it is necessary to raise awareness among the public.
“The global warming is real and the environmental challenge is real and it is important we raise awareness for citizens to know to measures to put in place to protect their environment. “Whether it is planting of trees, timely disposal of their refuse all kinds of measures. And it’s for the benefit of everybody because if we destroy our environment we are inadvertently destroying our lives, so I am happy to be part of this event. I congratulate Fame Foundation on what they are doing creating this type of awareness” he stated the AFRICMIL boss.
The Executive Director of Fame Foundation, Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello, addressing participants at the an end of the over three hour walk, urged Federal Government to take immediate action to address the effect of climate change in the country.
She clarified that the Walk was a part of initiatives to raise awareness on effects of climate change in the wake of floods that are wreaking havoc in several parts of the nation.
She emphasizes that residents of particular places, such as rural communities, refugee camps, slums, and underprivileged groups, are already more at risk from climate change and are therefore more vulnerable to its consequences.
“Citizens residing specific locations, such as rural communities, refugee camps, slums, and underserved communities, are already at a higher risk from climate change. They are the most vulnerable to the effects of these damages because of things like high illiteracy rates, poor governance, and little to no actions and policies to control climate change.
“Aside from our health, our ability to generate food, safety, shelter, and employment are all impacted by climate change. Research predicts that between 2030 and 2050, hunger, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress will be responsible for an additional 250,000 deaths.
“While governments with the power and money to address the climate emergency drag their feet, vulnerable groups and communities are paying the deadly price of climate inaction.
“Alongside the recently established climate change council, Nigeria has written and signed policies and treaties to tackle climate change. However, the implementation of these existing policies is relatively poor.
“Additionally, while establishing policies is necessary for climate action, these rules, with new challenges facing Nigeria, hardly ever fit our local context for climate change.
“We hereby demand that the Nigerian government take immediate action to address the ongoing climate disaster affecting the nation. We demand that they take note of Nigerians’ suffering and consider a long-term solution to the matter.
“We urge the delegates to the upcoming COP27 in Egypt to examine the country’s climate situation objectively and make decisions that will benefit the country, particularly the most vulnerable and impacted We anticipate that they will take actions that will improve Nigeria’s climatic and environmental situation.
“We urge the political candidates running in the upcoming general elections in 2023 to address climate change in their manifestos.
“The government at every level, federal, state, or local, must play a role in tackling climate change.
“We also call for a new approach to implementing climate policies into practice fur inclusivity and sustainability. The need to prevent self-defeating austerity, national contexts, and the promotion of government and public cooperation in achieving climatic and environmental goals must all be considered in policy initiatives” Ogunleye-Bello