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NGO to create grassroots movement for communities affected by climate change

NGO to create grassroots movement for communities affected by climate change
October 26
23:46 2021

Joseph Ibrahim, programme officer, Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), says the organisation will establish a grassroots movement to demand justice for communities affected by climate change

Ibrahim, who spoke on Monday at the national climate lobby day pre-event organised by GIFSEP, said the grassroots movement will give communities the opportunity to express their plight to their representatives in government. 

He said the communities have peculiar stories which might not be well presented by a third party, and so it is pertinent for affected persons to air their views themselves. 

“One of the things that we would be achieving is to build a grassroots movement for climate justice. We want people to be able to lobby and also influence that change, influence climate justice,” he said. 

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“They will be doing that through interaction with not just policy makers, but other CSOs, community members, local groups in the community like women groups, market groups and the likes.

“We tried to get the people who are mostly feeling this impact. Climate change affects people disproportionately. We have community members here who have coal mines in their communities and coal mining is affecting their livelihood, water sources; they are not able to farm; their yields have dried up.

“These people have peculiar stories that we in the city might not be able to relate with. So, we harness all of that information, local community information, CSOs experiences and all of that to lobby for our aim.”

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He said the group would engage with lawmakers to work towards a coal-free Nigeria and increase budgetary allocations to provide more interventions for local communities. 

Speaking with TheCable, some of the participants said they were participating in the lobby process in order to be a voice for their communities. 

“The activities of mining in my community has brought no blessing but doom. Our environment is devastated; our water is polluted; our health is challenged. So, we would meet the legislators to talk to them on the need for climate justice, because if nothing is done, my people would go down with the mines,” Julie Okoh, a participant from Benue, said.

Angwa Adamu, a participant from Nasarawa, said climate change “has adversely affected small scale farmers in Nasarawa and so we are hoping that the government will understand our plight, and respond accordingly by taking informed decisions and making legislation on it”.

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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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