Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) has said that Nigerian communities may continue to experience environmental challenges including flooding unless deliberate steps are taken to address certain behavioural practices.
The centre identified seven environmental challenges which are parts of the causes of climate change in Nigeria.
At a one-day workshop in collaboration with National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills (NACGOND) held in Asaba, Centre LSD listed indiscriminate disposal of solid and liquid waste, illegal building on water ways, poor sensitization on environmental protection, poor drainage system as major factors leading to climate change in Nigeria.
Other factors, according to the centre, are indiscriminate bush burning and deforestation, destruction of farmlands by cattle rearers and weak institutional enforcement of environmental laws.
The one-day-workshop which drew participants from Asaba, Oko, Okpanam, Ugbolu communities, directors from the Delta State Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education, Environment and Youth Development.
In the communiqué which was signed by Mrs. Ebinum-Olisa Florence of Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education; Mr. Victor Efeturi of the mlMinistry of Environment; Morka Benneth of Directorate of Youth Development; Chiedozie Miracle Onyeukwu of Karachi Rural-Urban Development Initiative and community representatives, recommended advocacy to legislators to review policies and enforce environmental laws that are aimed at protecting the environment and mitigating effects of climate change.
It called for organized awareness and outreaches around communities on environmental aspects and human activities that contribute to climate change, noting that business organizations such as markets, parks and shops should be sensitized to engage in aggressive environmental activities.
It also insisted that community gate-keepers and groups should be educated on environmental management such as waste segregation, proper waste packaging and use of disposal facilities for recycling and disposal with proper enforcement of laws by government agencies as strategies that could aid in reducing effects of climate change.
Acting Executive Director of Centre LSD, Monday Osasah, had explained that climate change is one of the most devastating environmental threats around the world, adding that global climate change impacts on human and natural systems with severe aftermaths.
Represented by the Niger Delta coordinator of Centre LSD, Foster Akpore, Osasah said many of the causes of climate change are through human lifestyle, consumption and choices that pollute and exploit resources in an unsustainable manner.
He added that climate change might have detrimental impact on agriculture, fisheries and might lead to collapse of the ecosystem.
Osasah said Centre LSD is an organization built to develop leadership for sustainable development in Africa, noting that the mission is to work with forces of positive change to empower citizens to transform society with the values of transparency, accountability, integrity and dignity of human person and pan Africanism.
He explained that Centre LSD has graduated over 600 persons from its leadership school in Abuja and over 100 from the Warri centre, noting that the centre engages in global, regional and sub-national strategies for development.
He said the centre also addresses election related issues, natural resource governance, inclusive and responsive budgeting, environmental and sustainable livelihoods by building dynamic and visionary leaders and active citizens.