From Douglas Blessing, Port Harcourt
The women of the Niger Delta region have urged the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration to provide a special agric package for them to ease the effect of climate change on their land.
The woman made the call yesterday, at a training on woman and climate change, organised by West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), held in Port Harcourt.
Speaking on the effect of climate change on women, Chief Constance Meju, Coordinator, Center for Media, Environment and Development Communication, said the current flooding from heavy downpour has salvaged the livelihood of women in local communities of the region.
Meju remarks: “I am saying that the federal government of Nigeria should arrange a special agric package for Niger Delta women. That is what the Ogoni women forum in this occasion are asking for, because they are triple disadvantage.
“They are disadvantaged by the fact that their land is already degraded from oil activities. Then, the current consequences of Oil and Gas on climate change there is overwhelming flooding going on and that means that the little that is salvaged for livelihood is gone.
“I am saying this because am running a project on re-greening and I found out that the women from Eleme are seriously disempowered. The little they are planting trying to revive their land have been washed away by the heavy rain that have been coming.
“So, the women are saying that the Federal government should give us a special agric package for the Niger Delta. We know they have different types of agric programme but they don’t trickle down to the South South. And this is where the nation draws their oil and as a result the people are suffering because their land is degraded”, she stressed.
Earlier, Chief Bridget Osakwe, National Coordinator, WANEP Nigeria, disclosed that the training was under women in peace building semantic area of their work, adding that the programme tends to enhanced women participation in peace processes.
Osakwe said “In this training, we want to raise awareness of women on climate change, how it impact them and what they do in contributing to tackling the effect of the climate change”.
However, Ms Emem Okon, Coordinator of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, called on the government to take into action restoration of the Niger Delta environment.
She added “Now the Ogoni process is ongoing, but community members are not very satisfied with the pace of work with community participation and there is also need for government to implement the process holistically.
“If the process in Ogoni is right there is hope for other Niger Delta communities.”