Amid escalating concerns over the harmful effects of gas flaring, environmental damage, and other oil exploration impacts in the Niger Delta, several Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and environmental activists are urging immediate governmental and multinational corporate action to counteract climate change.
Voicing their concerns at a climate change conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the CSOs cautioned that the country might not be equipped to handle the severe consequences of ongoing environmental negligence.
Nbani Friday Barilule, the Executive Director of Lekeh Development Foundation, explained the conference’s goal was to formulate a regional strategy for climate change adaptation to reduce the losses and damages incurred from oil exploration in the area.
Barilule criticized the slow response of federal, state, and council governments due to bureaucratic hurdles, and called for the creation of a local action plan to demonstrate to the government and private sector the necessary steps for climate change mitigation.
Emem Okon from the KebetKache Development Centre highlighted the specific impacts of gas flaring in the Niger Delta, including recurrent flooding. She also emphasized the disproportionate impact of climate change on women in the region, through food scarcity, health issues like early menopause, and increased violence and conflict.
Ken Henshaw, Executive Director of We The People (WTP), warned of a worsening climate situation unless immediate action is taken. He stressed the need to address the root causes of climate change, including curtailing crude oil extraction, to effectively account for loss and damages.
Henshaw insisted that to effectively manage loss, damages, or funding, the sources of climate change must be tackled prior. He warned, “Unless emissions are drastically reduced, the devastating effects of climate change will continue to ravage societies and communities, even in developed countries.”
SOURCE: The Guardian