By Muhammad Nur Tijani
In a sobering revelation, UNICEF has highlighted that an estimated 100 million vulnerable children in Nigeria are on the frontline of climate change impacts, making the nation the second most vulnerable globally.
UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office, Mr Farah Mahmud, made this announcement during the 2023 World Children’s Day celebration in Kano, underlining the urgency of addressing the profound effects of climate change on the lives of children.
During the event, Mahmud unveiled UNICEF’s action plan for 2023 – 2027, aimed at addressing children’s vulnerability to climate change.
The plan emphasises integrating climate change considerations into all UNICEF interventions across sectors, with a focus on building resilience to climate change.
Mahmud stressed that the harsh realities faced by Nigerian children include the threats of rising temperatures, flooding, drought, and severe storms.
The action plan is a deliberate and organised effort to confront the specific challenges of climate change in Nigeria, ensuring that every UNICEF project contributes to resilience against its impacts.
Mahmud explained that the day serves as a vital platform for children to voice their concerns and experiences in the face of the escalating climate crisis.
Looking ahead, UNICEF aims to collaborate with the government and stakeholders to systematically address the challenges posed by climate change in Nigeria.
The Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Nasiru Garo, affirmed the state government’s commitment to sensitising children on climate change dangers and fostering environmental responsibility.
Garo emphasised the government’s dedication to a green and sustainable environment, pledging efforts to combat desert encroachment, control pollution, and promote environmental sanitation.
The commitment extends to achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status and ensuring a resilient environment for the well-being of Nigeria’s children.
World Children’s Day, celebrated annually on November 20, was marked by UNICEF this year with the theme “Impact of climate change on lives of children.” (NAN) www.nannews.ng
Edited by Rabiu Sani-Ali