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Climate Change: Environment Expert Rates Anambra as Worst Affected States in Nigeria



By Praise Chinecherem

Africa’s foremost climate change expert and head of Climate Change Education and Action Program (CLEAP), Mr. Elochukwu Ezenekwe has described Anambra State as the most affected by climate change impacts in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

Ezenekwe made the disclosure on Wednesday in Awka during an education session organized by Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development Outreach (PASDO) as part of its CLEAP program aimed at galvanizing climate action by educating stakeholders and actors at community, local, state, national and international levels.

Speaking through Ms. Chioma Nwafor, a staff of PASDO, Ezenekwe said, “climate change hits us in Africa through various extreme weather and climate-related events that include drought, flooding and gully erosion.

“Drought and desertification is the least destructive and easiest to manage. Flooding is more destructive but usually allows for recovery of houses and properties when the waters recede.

“But for gully erosion, the damage is comprehensive and total. Be it classrooms, community health centers, houses, crops, farmlands, roads, electricity infrastructure, livelihoods and all, everything collapses into the very deep gullies and nothing is recovered.

“Anambra state suffers from flooding and is also the headquarters of gully erosion in Africa, hence there is need to prioritize or even out rightly declare a climate change emergency in the state.”

On climate change mitigation, Ezenekwe urged government to take needed steps to start earning income from the carbon credit and emissions trading opportunities presented by the large scale tree planting program as well as the massive evacuation and treatment of wastes being undertaken by Prof. Chukwuma Soludo-led administration.

Reacting, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, commended the climate expert and PASDO for embarking on the noble work of enlightening government on the challenges and inherent opportunities that could be explored.

While revealing Governor’s target to plant one million trees yearly (with four million trees to be planted over the next four years), Ezeajughi pledged to coordinate with executive heads of relevant ministries and agencies to design best modality for implementing PASDO recommendations.

Topics covered during the session included impacts of climate change globally and in Anambra State, concept of climate justice and international climate change adaptation fund opportunities, finance opportunities in climate change mitigation through international carbon market and emissions trading systems, among others.

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