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GIFSEP Trains 45 Activists On Climate Risks Management In Nasarawa 

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Nathaniel  Gbaoron, Lafia 

A Non- Governmental Organisation, Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), has trained 45 Community Activists in Nasarawa State  on Climate Risk Register and Adaptation Planning to mitigate the impact of climate change.

This is to enable the trainees develop climate risk registers  for  selected communities across the 13 local government areas of the State.

The organisation which is implementing a 5- year project known as “African Activitists for Climate Justice ( AACJ),  is working in partnership with  OXFAM with  support  from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Netherlands and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).

Speaking at the end of the training, held in Lafia, Executive Director  of GIFSEP, Mr David Michael, said  the training was to equip the community activists with requisite knowledge on how  to develop Community  Climate Risk Register to help  mitigate the impacts of climate change within the communities in the State.

According to him, there was an urgent need for communities to adapt  to the changing  climate by developing adaptatiive  strategies that will  help reduce  disasters as well as some of its impacts.

He said “We are aware of the effects of climate change in Nigeria and Nasarawa  State therefore,  we believe  that adaptation strategies should  be the bottom approach  and the Community  should  be at the centre of it.

“That is why we are training these activists to get back to their communities to help develop  a disaster  reduction tool which will help to prepare against some of the climate impacts.

“The good thing about this process is that the community  is at the centre of it and the mitigation strategies are all within  the ability  of the community. Those little things they can do by themselves and the ones they can not do, development partners and government can come in to assist.

“We are supporting communities and hoping that other states can take a cue and create  awareness  because  when the process is taken down to communities, others can also come together, learn about this issue and take  positive steps on how to adapt to the changes within the environment.”

He, therefore, called on participants  to apply the knowledge gained through  the training and develop the Climate Risk  Register  in order to reduce the occurrence and impacts of disasters in their communities.

In her presentation, Executive Director,  Gender and Environmental Risks Reduction  Initiative ( GERI), Mrs Elizabeth Jeiyol, said community members must build resilience towards climate change related issues.

“Climate change threatens food security through loss of livelihoods and income , loss of marine and coastal ecosystem, loss of terrestrial and inland water ecosystems,  food insecurity and breakdown of food system.

“Climate change impacts may reduce income level and stability  of families,” Jeiyol  said.

She, therefore, called  on the communities as well as the state government to take deliberate steps towards mitigating climate change.

On his part, Acting Director, Climate Change,  State Ministry  of Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Angbashim Ishaku, commended the organisation for implementing its programme in the state.

Ishaku said that the state government through  the ministry  was doing its best to protect the environment as it has banned the use of charcoal in the state due to its negative implication on the environment.

Earlier, the AACJ Project Manager in the State, Mr Joseph Ibrahim, said about 45 persons have been trained as Activists on Climate Risk Register and Adaptation Planning and will go to the communities to carryout the task.

He, therefore, called on community leaders to cooperate with those sent to their communities to enable them to perform the task which will be used as a tool to plan ahead to avoid disasters that occur as a result of climate change.

One of the participants at the training who is also a lecturer at department of Geography, Benue State University Makurdi, Dr Johnson Orfega,  said that knowlege gained will be passed to the communities.

“I believe that what we have  learned will be passed to the communities and they will make good use of it and there will be preparedness interms of adaptive capabilities that will help them respond to the risks of climate change,” he said.

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