Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
The Nigerian Children’s Parliament has called on the federal government and other relevant stakeholders to institute actions against climate change.
The representatives of the children who made the call included those from Sokoto, Borno, Bauchi, and Enugu states.
The call was made at a two-day children’s dialogue on climate change organised by the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF).
Speaking at the event, Miss Aisha an Advocate at Child Right Advocacy Government Secondary School, Tundun Wada, Abuja said, climate change has led to slow economic growth and development, food scarcity, poverty, unemployment, and poor education.
She said that the children appreciated some initiatives by the government, and efforts being made by individuals, corporate organisations, and development agencies aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change.
She, however, said the children feel concerned that they were not always involved or consulted while making decisions that affect them the most.
“Children are not the cause of climate change and the economy, but the impact on us is high in every aspect, the impact is even harder on children living in remote areas.
“Across Nigeria, children experience increased temperatures and polluted air leading to health problems such as asthma and other dangerous respiratory conditions; poor education, resulting from climate change,” she said.
Aisha said that children were also exposed to trauma and limited ability to attain potential; other areas children suffer are hunger and diseases and children continue to be limited in associating with their peers.
She said that the children want the government to construct drainage, bridges, and dams to reduce the incidence of floods.
She added that the children also called for actions against gas flaring and oil spillage to reduce the negative impact on farming and water life.
She stressed that the government should include awareness programs on climate change and make public schools more conducive with well-paid and qualified teachers and plant trees in the school to make it conducive.
The representative of children in Sokoto Fatima Muhammad Bello, of Nana Secondary School, Sokoto called on the government to prohibit early marriage so children could have the right to education.
She further said that special attention should be paid to children living with disabilities by providing inclusive and special education.
She called on the media and civil society groups to intensify awareness of climate change by using aggressive campaigns on their medium for public enlightenment.
“To our fellow children, our parents, and other adults, we urge you to lead by example by planting trees, keeping drainages clean, ensuring proper waste disposal, and taking actions to reduce harmful gas emissions in the atmosphere.
The children also called for the need to create programmes in schools to teach climate change.