As world leaders get set to attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 22) slated for between November 7 and 18, 2016, in Morocco, an international organisation, Oxfam Nigeria, has called on the Nigerian government and other governments to endeavour to meet up with their financial commitments and obligations towards fighting the scourge of climate change.
The financial commitments were made by the nations concerned during the last COP held in Paris, France.
The organisation also asked government at all levels in Nigeria to invest between 15 to 20 per cent of their budget into agriculture in 2017 to achieve “sustainable diversification” of the economy from oil.
At the 2016 Female Food Hero, ‘Ogbonge’ Award organised by Oxfam as part of the events to mark the World Food Day held in Markudi, Benue State, Oxfam Head of Programmes, Mr Constant Tchona, said that in Nigeria and many other developing countries, climate change is already hitting hard and is affecting the most vulnerable, such as women and children.
According to him, climate change is increasingly making it more difficult for women to access their usual means of production such as land, and that they (women) are fast becoming more vulnerable to violent conflicts that often ensue as a result of stiff competition over scarce resources.
“In the north eastern, north western and the south western part of Nigeria, climate change has forced people to migrate from their communities. It has destroyed crops and infrastructure such as schools and roads.
“The many incidents of farmers and herdsmen conflict is a clear manifestation of the consequences of climate change on environmental resources, which is occurring almost on a daily basis in many parts of the country.
“In February 2016 alone, over 300 people lost their lives over herdsmen and farmers’ conflict right here in Benue State. This is a conflict over scarce over green pasture. Unfortunately, the reality is that these pockets of conflict will continue to rise if adequate attention is not given to climate change,” Tchona said.
Wife of the Benue State Governor, Mrs Eunice Ortom, in her remark, said that food security is a top priority to every nation.
“We believe that agriculture is one of the key activities that Nigerians, particularly, women should adopt for their social and economic good.
“A society which cannot feed itself cannot boast of any economic growth, peace and happiness or meaningful progress.
“Our collaboration with Oxfam is already yielding better results just like state government is showing faith in helping Benue women to embrace farming.”