From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
A climate change expert, Mr. Elochukwu Ezenekwe, has called on the Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, to take urgent actions targeted at addressing climate change issues in the state.
He said that the impacts of climate change which manifest “through various extreme weather and climate-related events that include drought, flooding and gully erosions” seen in Africa were worse in the state.
Ezenekwe, head of the Climate Change Education and Action Program (CLEAP) of the Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development Outreach (PASDO), stated this during an educative session organised by the organisation at the state Government House, Awka.
A staff of PASDO, Ms. Chioma Nwafor, in a statement issued to Daily Sun, said that the session was organised by the nongovernmental organisation as part of its CLEAP program aimed at galvanising climate action by educating stakeholders and actors at the local, state, national and international levels.
Nwafor said that the topics covered during the session included the impacts of climate change globally and in Anambra, as well as the concept of climate justice and international climate change adaptation fund opportunities.
She added that other topics covered at the session were the finance opportunities in climate change mitigation through the international carbon market and emissions trading systems, among others.
The statement quoted the climate expert, Ezenekwe, as saying that “Drought and desertification is the least destructive and easiest to manage. Flooding is more destructive but usually allows for recovery of houses and properties when the waters recede.
“But for gully erosion, the damage is comprehensive and total. Be it classrooms, community health centres, houses, crops, farmlands, roads, electricity infrastructure, livelihoods and all, everything collapses into the very deep gullies and nothing is recovered.
“Anambra State suffers from flooding and is also the headquarters of gully erosion in Africa, hence there is a need to prioritise or even out rightly declare a climate change emergency in the state.”
To mitigate the impact of climate change, Ezenekwe admonished the government to take needed steps now, to start earning income from the carbon credit and emissions trading opportunities presented by the large scale tree planting program, as well as the massive evacuation and treatment of wastes being undertaken by the Soludo-led administration.
Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, while reacting to the lecture, commended the climate expert and PASDO for embarking on the noble work of enlightening the government on the challenges and inherent opportunities that could be explored.
Ezeajughi revealed that the Governor has made it a target to plant one million trees annually. He pledged to coordinate with the executive heads of relevant ministries and agencies to design the best modality for implementing the recommendations proffered by PASDO.