Nigeria and climate change challenge

February 13, 2020By Bob MajiriOghene Etemikuhttps://thenationonlineng.net/nigeria-and-climate-change-challenge/

About a decade ago, the world learnt from scientific data that we were already at a tipping point of climate change. Part of recommendations from scientists to mitigate those unpleasant prospects of climate change was for global climate action plan aimed at a gradual disengagement from reliance on fossil fuels and to replace it with a lifestyle based on renewable energies. Research into reducing reliance on fossil fuels is on-going; soon Europe and the Americas will begin to run their cars on batteries, water and other renewable energies.

Our earth is burning up. Australia has been up in flames and sea levels are rising.  In the light of these global occurrences, does Nigeria see the big picture and her place in it? Is anyone, any policymaker, formulator or executor actually feeling today’s unusual heat, something we all inoculate ourselves from, with our air-conditioned spaces – our rooms, our cars and our offices?

Has anyone in authority, after the ban on the Okada or keke napeps actually taken a walk around and felt the direct heat on top of the heads of Nigerians? Our nonchalance and our irregular pose concerning issues related to the climate challenge surely baffle the rest of the world. How are the numbers ever going to add up for a country earning fantastic monies from that same commodity the world holds responsible for climate change, yet fails to invest in or take a strong position on issues related to renewable energy?

Over the years, nations and peoples have fought bitter wars over ownership and management of water bodies. These wars are being fought on a consistent keel in Nigeria today and it puts a certain focus on Nigeria. Here is a country with a region ravaged by desertification and droughts. The region parades the lowest human development index in the whole of West Africa. It has underage children being married off before their 15th birthday and abandons children on the streets to eke a meal from the streets. Consequently, nomadic herdsmen moving in droves to the South have often clashed with farmers, and resulted in unnecessary conflicts and unfortunate deaths. The UNDP Climate Change Adaptation recommended several strategies for Nigeria, and which can be found on their site. But what is the government response to the calamity of human development in that region?

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.