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), have called on Nigerians to tackle natural disasters and climate change challenges, adversely affecting the people, especially those in the North-east.
This call was made at the opening ceremony of a 2-day workshop held in Abuja with the theme "Resilience Agenda: Natural Disasters and Climate Change - How are we managing risks and crises differently in North East Nigeria?"
A statement by the NCF said 21 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the six states in North-east, 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, what adaptation measures are being implemented, action-oriented discussion to formulate concrete practical steps to overcome challenges and make a difference to people affected by crisis.
The workshop was 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 enhance partnership and collaboration among humanitarian actors from the global North and South and to share effective humanitarian practices and responses that affect local, national and international NGOs.
Director General of NCF, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, 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 outcome of the crises also have heavy consequences for climate change and natural resources in the region; natural areas as bases and battle fronts; concentration of populations in a few areas."
Dr. Hany El-Banna, President of the Humanitarian Forum, UK said that "For us to achieve substantive success in the fight against natural disaster and climate change, we must embrace progress through partnership."
Meanwhile, 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 said "Disasters and climate change impact on lives, livelihoods and economic development, people living in poor and developing countries bear the highest risk for disaster, impacts of disasters and climate change set back and undermine development efforts, Climate Change is causing an increase in frequency and intensity of certain weather-related disaster events are some of the reasons we should take action immediately."
Alhaji Abdulwasea Adesina, Country Director of IICO made an appeal to the participants not to end the discussion at the workshop and also to chart smart path to implement all the proposals from different relevant quarters.