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Climate Change: Group seeks communities’ support to mitigate effects

Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem (GIFSEP), an NGO, on Friday called on community leaders and relevant stakeholders in Nasarawa State to support climate change activists towards mitigating impacts of climate change.

Mr Joseph Ibrahim, Project officer for GIFSEP for the African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) Project, made the call at the end of the two-day training of 45 community activists on development of climate risk register and adaptation planning in Lafia.

Ibrahim said that the call for support from leaders, youths and women groups from communities  became necessary to enable the activists receive maximum cooperation from them towards developing efficient risk register and adaptation planning.

“The essence of this training is to enable activists to get back to their own communities to help in developing community climate risk register and risk mitigation strategies to cope with some of the climate impacts.

“Risk register is simply a tool to help communities to keep track of climate change impacts, and we hope that subsequently the communities will be able to use it to plan better to avoid disasters arising from climate change,” he said.

According to Ibrahim, the training is a continuation of AACJ Project in Nasarawa State, which is being implemented by GIFSEP and with support from Oxfam.

Ibrahim said that the objective of the training was simply to equip 45 selected community activists with necessary knowledge to be able to identify and develop the climate register and adaptation strategies to minimise disaster occurrences.

Also speaking, David Michael, the team leader for GIFSEP, said that the training became necessary to enable the communities to build adaptation plan so as to adapt to the changing climate in the state.

Michael said that climate change register highlighted climate risks that had the highest likelihood and potential to have significant impact on local communities resulting in wide scale disruption.

“The community risk register is a disaster reduction tool which helps communities to prepare for some of the climate impacts within the communities and come up with strategies on how to cope with some of these impacts.

“The good thing about this process is that the community is at the centre of it, mitigation strategies are within their ability, and the ones they cannot do, development partners and government can come in to assist,” he said.

He further said that the training was part of the awareness creation as well as a way of empowering the communities on how to adapt to changes within their environments.

“So, we are supporting communities here and hoping that others can take a cue, if you look at the effect of changing weather this year alone, the flood has killed so many persons in some states.

“And of course Nasarawa being an agrarian state, and taking into consideration the impacts of climate change on farmers and their livelihoods, income and food security, hence this training,” he said.

Dr Johnson Orfega, a participant and  lecturer in the department of Geography, Benue State University, Makurdi, described the training as an interesting, adding that issues of climate change affected every sphere of life.

“There is a need to understand how  to adopt mitigation strategies, what we have learnt will be passed on to the communities to help them prepare, in terms of adaptive capacity to respond to climate change risk,” he said.

In her presentation, Dr Elizabeth Jeiyol, Executive Director, Gender and Environmental Risks Reduction Initiative, called on communities and Nasarawa State Government to take steps to mitigate climate change effects.

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