By Murtala Muhammad
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria, says over 110 million children in the country are at risk, having confronted the harsh realities of rising temperatures, flooding, drought, and severe storms.
It stated this in a statement made available to journalists shortly after the launch of Climate Landscape Analysis for Children (CLAC) in Nigeria as part of activities to mark the 2023 World Children’s Day celebration, held in Abuja.
The event which was streamed live also highlighted the alarming rate of child displacement due to environmental disasters, with 650,000 children displaced from 2016 to 2021 due to floods.
It states that Nigeria, as the second most vulnerable country worldwide in terms of children’s exposure to climate change, faces severe challenges such as increased physical dangers, waterborne diseases, and malnutrition.
In a remark, the Director General, National Council on Climate Change, Dr. Salisu Dahiru said “as one of the countries that suffers the greatest exposure to adverse climate impacts, Nigeria’s response to climate change must be swift and holistic, accounting for the needs of vulnerable people, including children and women, at the decision-making level, as well as in the implementation of the National Climate Change Action Plan”.
The UNICEF Representative in
Nigeria Cristian Munduate said the celebration was a crucial platform for the children, who were most affected by climate change, to voice their concerns and experiences, adding their input was essential in shaping the collective path towards a sustainable and resilient future.
The Officer In-Charge, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Dr Clement Adams during the CLAC virtual launch in Gombe stressed the need for stakeholders to devise ways of addressing climate crisis that has the potential to restrict children from achieving their aspirations.
Dr Clement Adams said natural disasters such as drought, flood, among other problems affect children who are vulnerable and dependent in taking life decisions, hence the need to address such issues.
Speaking, the Gombe State Commissioner of Education Aishatu Umar Maigari said the state has devise methods of educating young school children the effects of climate change and how to avert them through planting of trees at least once every year.
During the launch, a quiz competition was conducted between three secondary schools where Government Girls Mega College, Doma clinched first position with twenty one pilots, followed by Government Day Science Secondary School Gombe as first runner up with twenty points and Government Day Secondary School, Gandu second runner up with eighteen points.
As part of the 2023 World Children’s Day celebration with the theme “For Every Child, Every Right”, a tree planting demonstration was also conducted in Federal Low Cost within Gombe metropolis.