21st November, 2023
By Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has lamented the negative impacts of climate change on over one billion children across the globe, revealing that Nigeria accounts for 10 per cent of the figure.
The Chief of the Kano Field Office of UNICEF, Mr Rahama Mohammed Farah stated this during a dialogue organized between school children and Kano policymakers as part of activities to mark the 2023 World Children’s Day with the theme: ‘Impact of Climate Change on the lives of children.”
He expressed worry over the growing impacts of climate change on Nigerian children.
According to him, already, UNICEF has already developed an action plan from 2023 to 2027 to fight the scourge of climate change.
“Children are vulnerable. Around the world, according to current statistics, there are about one billion children who are affected by climate change in countries which are vulnerable to climate change. So in Nigeria, we have a huge number of those children which amounts to about 10 per cent of the total who are vulnerable and affected in Nigeria.
“The way out is to be aware of the size of the problem, the scope of the problem and to develop an action plan to systematically address the issue of climate change. And UNICEF has recently 2023 developed a framework and action plan from 2023 to 2027 which incorporates a lot of actions that we need to take jointly with the government, stakeholders (private sectors, community and religious leaders) to address and mitigate the problem.
“The action plan is the designing of a conscious action and step organized to address certain issues of climate change in Nigeria. We make sure we integrate climate change in whatever we project we implement as UNICEF to ensure resilience to climate change,” he said.
In his remarks, Kano State Commissioner of Environment, Nasiru Sule Garo hinted that the state government has embarked on an aggressive sensitization campaign in schools across the state, educating the children on the need for tree planting and a clean environment.
According to him, the state government has built public toilets across the state as part of measures to discourage open defecation.
Also speaking, the Executive Chairman of Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB), Yusuf Kabir hinted that the state government is spending hugely on education with the largest share of N95 billion in the 2024 budget.
Kabir who spoke through the Acting Board Secretary, Amina Umar, added that the state government has begun massive construction of classroom blocks across all schools in the state to decongest the population of children in classrooms.