Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre held a 2-day Gender & Climate Change capacity building training for community women leaders and ward councilors. The aim was to deepen understanding of climate change as well as share experience on climate change manifestations in communities. The training also focused on how community members have adapted to climate change and mitigation strategies used locally.
Kebetkache is a locally rooted, strong, legitimate and autonomous gender-based organization that provides educational and economic support to women and children to strengthen their voices in the public arena to enhance their development and stake in social justice issues in Nigeria and around the world. It envisions a Nigeria where governance processes impact positively on persons irrespective of sex, race, ethnicity, age, social status, and religion with women as key players.
Delegates observed as follows;
That no matter the value of the natural resource, be it oil, gold, or diamond, host Communities continue to live in abject poverty and without basic social amenities like potable water, regular power supply, good roads, health and educational facilities.
Communities in the Niger Delta continue to suffer the raging effects of Climate Change on their basic livelihoods e.g. farming activities, fishing, and all these impacted heavily on women and girls mostly.
Stakeholders noted the incessant and indiscriminate dumping of waste around town, blocking of canals and waterways.
That Climate Change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, with severe increase of health cases in communities, especially cancer cases, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Extreme heat waves amongst others.
The forum acknowledged that women are the majority of the world’s poor and are often responsible for household food production, family health and the management of natural resources-that are particularly sensitive to climate change, e.g. fossil fuels.
Women are commonly faced with higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change in the communities, e.g. during flooding. Their limited participation in decision making processes and labour markets deepen inequalities and often prevent them from fully contributing to climate-related planning, policy-making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The activities of artisanal refining (Kpo fire) and bush burning is one of the major causes of Climate Change, and these activities are going on mainly in the communities
Women have made positive impact bringing about change but their needs are never brought to the negotiating table.
“In our communities, we used to farm corn by August years back, but due to irregular rainfall caused by Climate Change we are now planting it earlier.” – Peace Mgbenwa
For an improved state of affairs, the delegates resolved as follows:
1. Planting of economic trees should be a top priority in restoring of the ecosystem and the mangroves.
2. That government and private agencies should carry effective Sensitization on Proper waste disposal.
3. In curtailing the growing pollution caused by the local refiners, Government should step-up by ensuring that the modular refineries are invested in and locals also employed
4. Government and stakeholders should ensure a gender friendly Policy to control carbon emissions, through gas flares, bush burning and tyres.
5. Government should increase sensitization among the citizenry and also train the youths at the secondary level, to inculcate the habit of protective the environment.
6. Government should create easy methodology for access to climate finance.