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International Youth Day: NGO sensitises youths on climate change management 

Centre for Water and Environment Development (CWED), an NGO, sensitised youths in Kaduna on Friday on climate change management, in commemoration of 2022 International Youth Day.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the 2022 International Youth Day celebration is: ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for all Ages’.

Delivering a paper titled: ‘Youths and Climate Change’, a Resource Person at the event, Dr Joseph Ariko, said climate change was one of the most critical global challenges of the present time.

He said recent events had emphatically demonstrated growing vulnerability to climate change and its impacts ranging from affecting agriculture and further endangering food security.

He said that climate change also caused sea-level rise and the accelerated erosion of coastal zones, increasing the intensity of natural disasters, species extinction and spread of vector-borne diseases.

Ariko noted that the issue was of immense importance for every global citizen and, therefore, required an initiative against it globally.

He noted that youths constituted 60 per cent of the population in Nigeria, thereby making their relationship with climate change highly interwoven.

He said youths affected the climate system by virtue of being the most active proportion of the population where activities of components of the global ecosystem resulted to increase in greenhouse gas emission.

Ariko mentioned some of the activities resulting to greenhouse emissions to include burning of fossil fuel as a result of massive industrialization; use of tokunbo vehicles; and improper waste management.

He said that bush burning was common in most developing and agrarian economy where youths embarked on hunting either as source of livelihood or for adventure.

“Most of these youths set bushes on fire and agricultural activities such as use of nitrogen fertiliser, animal dungs, during farm preparation, are also accelerative means of greenhouse gas emission,’’ he said.

Ariko noted that youths were partners in forest destruction through their everyday activities.

He said such activities were, cutting down of trees for firewood, charcoal business, lumbering for timbers, amongst others, which had led to carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere.

A Climate Justice Activist and Energy Enthusiast, Mr Ibrahim Muhammad, said climate change had affected Kaduna state.

Muhammad listed flooding, desert encroachment, drought, land degradation, run-off, soil erosion and loss of water resources, amongst others to have permeated many areas of the state.

He said that Kaduna being the major producer of maize in Nigeria was now ranked third with low productivity due to land degradation and irregular rainfall pattern pushing more people to extreme poverty and malnutrition.

Muhammad said that flooding impacted residents from a wide range of demographics, saying that it was most damaging for low-income, minority groups.

“This is because the majority live in neighborhoods with little or no green spaces to absorb water and in areas that have historically received less flood protection investment, ‘’ he said.

He urged the general public especially the youths to reduce carbon footprint by conserving energy through walking, bicycle riding or carpool for transportation when possible.

Earlier, the Programme Manager of CWED, Mrs Doris Zakama, said it was deliberate they chose to sensitise youths on climate change in celebrating this year’s International Youth Day.

Zakama, represented by CWED Programme Officer, Lydia Saleh, said climate change issues were central to the NGO’s establishment.

She said that climate change, through its effects such as drought and flooding, had led to the destruction of many lives and property.

Zakama noted that the UN Sustainable Development Goals for climate action was more important than ever.

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