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Climate Change: Shettima Raises Alarm On ‘Existential Threat’ Of Flooding, Drought

Last month, the National Emergency Management Agency said 45 persons died while 171,545 persons were displaced as a result of widespread flooding experienced across the country in 2023.


(FILES) A photo shows a church and other buildings submerged along the East-West highway severed by flooding, bringing to a halt the movement of vehicles and economic activities, in Niger delta region of Ahoada, Rivers State, southern Nigeria, on October 21, 2022. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

 

Vice President Kashim Shettima on Tuesday raised an alarm over what he described as an ‘existential threat’ of flooding and drought in the country.

Last month, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said 45 persons died while  171,545 persons were displaced as a result of widespread flooding experienced across the country in 2023.

Receiving a comprehensive report from the Presidential Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness, and Response, Shettima gave a definite position to speculations about the reality or otherwise of the impact of climate change in Nigeria.

“Climate change is real and the existential threat it poses is glaring at us every day, from the extreme events being witnessed across the globe to the devastating climate facing Africa,” Shettima was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide Stanley Nkwocha.

“Africa is disproportionately impacted and bringing it home to Nigeria, we have been witnessing drought, flood, etc. The saying on the climate crisis is that it is either too much (floods), too little (drought), or too polluted.

“We are all gathered to find a solution for the ‘too much’ scenario that is flooding. Flood events have, in the past, affected communities with devastating impacts on livelihoods, people and the environment with loss of lives witnessed in some cases such as the last flood witnessed in 2022.”

The Vice President also reiterated President Bola Tinubu administration’s commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable Nigerians in the country.

He described the report as a testament to President Tinubu’s commitment to the Renewed Hope Agenda.

The Vice President noted that in drafting the report, the committee was guided by science and forecasts from agencies such as the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).

According to him, the report identifies vulnerable communities prone to flooding and presents a roadmap with recommendations to address the issue.

Commending the committee for its hard work and dedication, Shettima said, “I would like to start by thanking this Committee for the hard work, commitment, and dedication put in to develop the report.

“I particularly thank everyone for the time put in to deliver this assignment within the 7 days that I directed when we first met at this very chamber, which meant you all had to work through the weekend. The mandate was clear and it was delivered.”