Food, health crises loom as climate change hits NigeriaNigeria
NOW, it is official from the experts. Scientists under the platform of the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) have predicted the worst food crisis and poor health for Nigerians as climate change rages.
The scientists, who spoke in Lagos at the weekend during NAS-Pfizer media roundtable, warned Nigeria to expect other spill-over effects from the climate change saga.
NAS is made up of Nigerian scientists who have made their impact in different fields of science while climate change involves “changes in the statistical distribution of weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years.”
NAS President and former Vice –Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, said the “effects of climate change are here with us in Nigeria,” while emeritus professor of Forest Ecology at the University of Ibadan (UI), David Okali, said Nigerians should expect the threat of food crisis and poor health from the change.
Ibidapo-Obe said the first victim of climate change is agriculture with expected knock-on effects. He noted that as a result of the change, many tropical plants were disappearing from the Nigeria at increasing rate.
Okali, who is the Chairman of Nigerian Environmental Study Team (NEST) and NAS’ past president, blamed human-induced activities such as wood, gas and coal burning for increasing green house gas effects, a phenomenon particularly responsible for the upsurge.
Other human-induced activities responsible for global warming, Okali said, include manufacturing, use of fertiliser, propeller, body spray, and agricultural spray, among others.
Okali predicted that with the rate the change is taking place, Nigerians should expect a food crisis in the nearest future as the nation has already started going through drought and flooding in its savannah and coastal regions, a phenomenon, which he said, would discourage increase in production of food and livestock.
NAS Fellow and Professor in the Department of Physiology of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL), Olusola Sofola, said although the change was discouraging mosquitoes from breeding in some areas, the increasing temperature from the change was lowering human beings’ immunity and ability to resist diseases.
He noted that climate change will worsen health primarily through increased vulnerability to poor health due to reduced food security and water security; water-borne diseases associated with reduced water quality due to floods and drought; more favourable conditions for the spread of vector-borne and air-borne diseases; and the direct link between temperatures and heat stress.
Similarly, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has blamed the raging cholera epidemic in the country on the failure of governance at all levels.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, ACN National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said had the various governments lived up to their responsibility by ensuring that the people have access to potable water and good healthcare services, many of those who have died from the disease this year alone would have been alive.
“It is a shame that cholera is killing our people like chicken in the 21st century, despite the fact that it is cheap to treat using oral rehydration solution, a gauged mixture of sugar and salts to be mixed with water and taken in large amount. It is even more shameful that this is happening in a resource-rich country like Nigeria.
“Sadly, while this continues, our so-called leaders are engaged in a diversionary debate on zoning, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is busy churning out, on a weekly basis, billions of naira in contracts that barely touch the lives of the people, while the so-called representatives of the people are busy sharing the spoils of office,’’ it said.
The party said had the federal, state and local councils paid attention to good governance, many of the underlying causes of the diseases that are now ravaging the nation including cholera and measles - would have been checked.
“Governance has taken the back-seat in our country. Decision makers have not been making conscious and consistent efforts to work towards achieving the eight development goals set out in the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals. Goal number six deals with combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (like cholera and measles).”
The persistent use of the creeks in the Niger Delta as toilets by over 90 per cent of the inhabitants has also been identified as the greatest health risk that has led to the outbreak of typhoid fever, cholera, hepatitis and several diseases in the region.
The European Union (EU) Mentor for South-South Nigeria, Ineba Bob-Emmanuel, made the assertion at the weekend in Warri, Delta State, during the official take-off of a health project to promote sanitation in Bomadi, Burutu, Patani, Warri South and Warri South West local councils being executed by EU-INSIDE and Riverine Communities Health Organisation (RIVCHO).
“The water and sanitation situation is below acceptable standard and it is evidently clear that attainment of the MDGs is a near impossibility in the target councils if we don’t intervene.”
Bob-Emmanuel said the disturbing health conditions in the Niger Delta region informed the recent EU grant in which the South-South zone got the highest sum.
El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.
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