Due to the changes in weather pattern resulting from climate change, communities within the coastal line of the Niger Delta will face extinction.
Some Civil Society Organisations raised the alarm during a one-day advocacy meeting on gender and climate change with selected councillors from across Niger Delta states, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Godson Jim-Dorgu, executive director of Mac-Jim Foundation, said the coastal communities within the Niger Delta would be wiped away sooner or later due to the effect of climate change.
Jim-Dorgu, who was a facilitator at the meeting, explained that currently, they are currently conducting research on how communities within the coastal line have already been wiped out over the years due to climate change while calling on the government to take urgent steps against the trend.
He maintained that the purpose of the meeting with the councillors was to inform them of the calamities of climate change as it affects the local people and how the local lawmakers can influence their local government to adopt the Draft Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change in Nigeria.
In his contribution, the Councilor representing Ward 3 Emohua Local Government Area, Wodu Achinike said the meeting was an eye opener as most of them would gain new knowledge on how to tackle climate change, especially at the grassroots.
On his part, Tudor Furubel, a councillor representing the K.Dere community in the Gokana Local Government Area, lamented how some youths are destroying the environment through illegal refining which is also contributing to altering the Ozone layer. He said that while the oil companies have over the years destroyed the environment, “it is out of place for our youths to completely devastate the ecosystem because of their personal gains.”
Earlier, the organiser of the event, Emem Okon who is also the Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, represented by Idogesy Alexander stated that the World Bank statistics show that 72percent of the World’s 33 million refugees are women and children who are mostly affected by climate change.
She explained that due to the dangers inflicted by climate change on local women, it is imperative that those in government would use the available policy to change the narrative.
The human rights activist expressed concern over the effect of gas flares and the many problems associated with oil pollution such as flooding, rise in sea level, heat waves, food insecurity and hunger and called on the government at all levels to take urgent steps to address them.
One of the Councilors, Henry Eferebo told the media that they would develop a policy framework in terms of local law to mainstream gender in all their activities in their local communities.