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Climate change: NGO charges religious, traditional institutions on effective awareness

The Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), an NGO, has urged traditional and religious leaders to join in creating effective awareness on impact of climate change in the country.

David Terungwa
David Terungwa

Mr David Terungwa, Executive Director of the NGO, made the call at a book launch and capacity building in schools on climate change on Thursday, November 25, 2021 in Abuja.

The book, entitled “Understanding Climate Change, A Guide for Schools in Nigeria”, was written by Terungwa, in support with the staff of the organisation.

Terungwa said that  the organisation selected about 13 Government Secondary Schools  in the FCT to showcase practical activities, focusing on how to address environmental challenges.

He said that the aim of the capacity building was also to apply some practical actions on better ways to address climate change which remained major environmental challenges in the country.

According to him, very importantly, our religious and traditional institutions should be committed in creating effective awareness on the impact of climate change in the country.

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“You know that our people so much respect our traditional and religious leaders in the country, so imagine when they join hands, coming up to speak on this issues, it will go along way to address the challenge.

“We need strong awareness because it is the only way climate change issues can be solved, there is no amount of awareness that is enough, we need to continue in creating more awareness to people in our own little way.

“The aim of the school exhibition is to allow the children to know the impact of climate change, think on best ways to solve the problems and then come up with their own ideas.

“So, we felt that through the children, climate change and other environmental changes can be addressed, which is the major reason we decided to use them,” he said.

Terumgwa said what motivated the organisation to publish the book was that the youth were major instrument to tackle climate change in the country.

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He said that the book focuses on mainly the youths to enable them apply the climate change issues on their activities both at their various homes, schools and other places around them.

He, however, called on other relevant stakeholders to support the government to create effective awareness on climate change, as well as making more effort to provide strategies in addressing other environmental issues in the country.

Mrs Ibironke Olubamise, the National Coordinator, Global Environmental Facilities, (GEF)/Small Grants Programme, said the purpose of the programme was to empower the students on the impact of climate change.

“The idea is that they are the leaders of tomorrow, so if they get the idea now, it will be easier for them to handle or address climate change even in the future to come.”

Olubamise said that the aim of launching the book was to make environmental issues become part of the schools curriculum, adding that the effort would support in addressing environmental challenges.

Also, Mr Richard Nzekwu, climate change specialist, who previewed the book, said that government was creating a lot of programmes to address climate change, adding that launching of the book would also support the government.

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Nzekwu said that the book was not just made for reading alone, but to acquire more knowledge that can be useful to tackle climate change in the country.

“It is not only to read the book but to put those things that could help to mitigate climate change impact into action by planting trees and ensuring that the trees are maintained as well,” he added.

Master Chidiebere Ajah, from Government Secondary School, Gwagwa, one of the students who presented a project on how human activities affect environment, urged Nigerians to avoid such activities that could damage the environment.

Speaking also, Miss Amarachi Igwe, from Government Secondary School, Nyanya, urged the government to collaborate with other relevant stakeholders to effectively address  environmental issues in the country.

By Vivian Emoni

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