The Executive Director, Social and Integral Development Centre, SIDEC, Ugochi Agalaba-Ehiahuruike, says the organization is poised to increase the level of awareness about climate change in Anambra State.

Ehiahuruike disclosed this during an advocacy visit to the State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mrs Chiamaka Nnake, as part of its project tagged, "Climate Change and You", supported by Action Aid Nigeria and funded by the Global Affairs Canada. 

She said, "Our baseline study revealed that most of the farmers especially the female folks do not understand why all the changes around them. They suffer losses due to perennial flooding and need to be sensitized on how to still make their vocation profitable despite the disruption caused by climate change".

"We will be doing that at Umueri for Anambra East and Umunankwo in Ogbaru LGA.

"Women constitute 70 percent of the entire agric work force in the country. They feel the destructive effects of climate change more than their male counterparts. 

"We want to educate them on agroecology. Our goal is to boost the efforts by the state government in terms of climate change awareness among the citizens.

The SIDEC ED regretted that some of the women and girls have lost interest in farming due to perennial flood disaster. "They farm and don't harvest what they farm because of flooding. Some of them told us there is no need to continue. 

In her presentation on agroecology, the Desk Officer, Ministry of Environment, Ifeoma Onuzulike, who was engaged as a consultant for the project, stressed the need for women farmers to embrace agroecology, which she described as a sustainable way of practicing agriculture in a manner that is friendly to the environment. 

"Women and children suffer more during flood season. Same happens during drought. We are concerned about the looming food insecurity in Nigeria and Anambra State". 

"We encourage them to shun agric practices that can worsen the climate change impacts and to consider using organic manure to boost food production instead of inorganic that has negative effects on human health and communities. 

"We need them to switch to climate smart agric as against rain fed agriculture. We want to introduce them to flood resistant crops, educate them on drought and how it affects them.

Undoubtedly, adaptation and mitigation are key to the fight against climate change," Onuzulike submitted.

Responding, the Anambra State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mrs Nnake, noted that any effort by non governmental organizations to educate the populace about climate change is complimentary to what the state government is doing.

"What you're doing is extending the horizon of agriculture beyond what we know. It is commendable and in line with the efforts of the government towards addressing the problem of climate change. 

"The impact of climate change on agriculture is worth the attention of every government, community and individual," she concluded.

The team also visited the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Chief Paul Odenigbo, who also lauded the initiative and pledged to support the project in all possible ways.



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