The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), the Civil Society Network for the Lake Chad Basin (North-East Nigeria), the Humanitarian Forum, UK with the support of the International Islamic Charity Organisation (IICO) call on Nigerians to rise to the challenge of natural disaster and climate change in the country as it is an existential issue affecting everyone, especially in North-East Nigeria.
This call was made at the opening ceremony of a 2-day workshop held in Abuja on 26th & 27th August, 2019 with the theme “Resilience Agenda: Natural Disasters and Climate Change – How are we managing risks and crises differently in North-East Nigeria?”
Twenty-one Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the six states in North-East Nigeria, representatives of Government agencies, UN agencies, international NGOs, security agencies and the media gathered at the workshop to take stock of how climate change is being addressed as a risk factor for disasters, review what adaptation measures are being implemented, formulate practical steps to overcome challenges and make a difference to people affected by crisis.
The workshop is also expected to identify concrete areas in which NCF and other groups could collaborate to address Disaster Risk Reduction and build the resilience of communities in the zone.
The outcome of the workshop will feed into discussions at the World Humanitarian Action Forum (WHAF) 2019. WHAF is a project that aims to encourage dialogue and actions through partnership and collaboration among humanitarian actors from the global North and South.
Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General of NCF in his remark stated that “Climate change and environmental degradation are at the root of the humanitarian crises in the North-East, such as shrinking of the Lake Chad, drought and desertification, deforestation and land degradation. The consequences of the crises weigh heavily on climate change and natural resources in the region.”
Dr. Hany El-Banna, President of the Humanitarian Forum, UK remarked that “For us to achieve substantive success in the fight against natural disaster and climate change, we must embrace progress through partnership.”
On his part, Ambassador Shehu Ahmed, President of Civil Society Network for the Lake Chad Basin emphasised that the Federal Government, International organisations and corporate citizens should rise to help now. He revealed that disasters and climate change impact livelihoods and economic development with people living in poor and developing countries bearing the highest risk; impacts of disasters and climate change set back and undermine development efforts and; climate change is causing an increase in frequency and intensity of certain weather-related disaster events. He concluded that these are some of the reasons we should take action immediately.
Alhaji Abdulwasea Adesina, Country Director of IICO appealed to the participants not to end the discussion at the workshop but proceed to chart SMART path to implement the proposals from different quarters.