7 February 2013

Nigeria: Climate Change Must Be Taken Seriously - Saraki

Senator Bukola Saraki, Senate Committee Chairman on Environment has urged the federal government to take serious the issues of climate change following the devastating flood that ravaged the country in 2012.

Saraki, in an interview with Daily Trust said "the issue of climate change is something that must be taken seriously in Nigeria as years go by. We must also accept that some of the behaviours of our people in the aspect of where we build and the kind of infrastructure we put up can also be a big problem in the issue of flooding. We need to begin to address it; urban development laws and policy need to be properly put in place to address such situations. We also need to look at how we can quickly can provide alternative routes and meet the needs of victims just in case we are faced with what we experienced last year regarding floods.

"I wouldn't say we have done enough but I would say we have learnt from experience of last year that these are the kind of things that we will be asking the ministry of environment to let us have in their plan for this year. But the major thing for me is to make sure we try as much as we can to prevent whatever flood that might have been predicted."

He called for the establishment of an Erosion Control Commission as a way of checking the menace in eastern Nigeria. "I believe that there is need to provide adequate funding for areas devastated by these environmental issues. I think unfortunately that hasn't been the case. I know that there is supposed to be a World Bank assisted project worth about $400 million which again is going through due process to ensure that it is as transparent as possible."

He noted that funding was the major challenge to efforts targeted at tackling erosion, stressing that adequate funding was necessary to find final solution to the problem.

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