THE United Nations Development Programme’s Global Environmental Facilities-Small Grant Programme (GEF-SGP) and the Civil Rights Concern, a non-governmental organisation, have embarked on an intensive joint community sensitisation drive within three pilot local government areas in Anambra State on climate change and land degradation and how to mitigate the problems.
The programme, according to the Coordinator of the Civil Rights Concern, Okey Onyeka, was meant to sensitise the communities, the citizens, their wards and other stakeholders so as to reduce the impact of climate change and land degradation such as flooding, gully erosion, cutting of trees and deforestation.
The pilot councils, Oyi, Dunukofia and Anambra-East councils, were selected from the three senatorial zones of the state.
Onyeka disclosed that they have also embarked on tree planting and raising awareness on getting the citizens to adopt sustainable healthy living standards.
“We are working in collaboration with the UNDP and the GEF on the problems of climate change and land degradation to formulate responses that can reduce the impact in communities,” he said.
He told indigenes that when completed, the pilot scheme would serve as reference point to nearby communities.
Mitigation measures to tackle the problems will include increasing use of other sources of fuel for cooking that utilise renewable energy to reduce felling of trees for wood, sensitizing and improving the knowledge of the community on reforestation.
Onyeka, who led the combined team to the pilot communities of Nando, Nteje and Umunachi said they also met with school children, community and religious leaders as well as other major stakeholders.
Chief Pius Anwuobi from Nando, Anambra East council told journalists that they reminded the natives of the good old and reliable traditional ways of checking erosion, through use of catchment pits, planting of trees, and the use of trees like cashew, ukwa, ogbono, kola, raffia palm.