The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that an estimated 100 million vulnerable children face climate change impacts in Nigeria.
UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office, Kano, Mr Farah Mahmud stated this during the 2023 World Children’s Day celebration on Monday in Kano.
The theme of the Day is: “Impact of climate change on lives of children”.
He said the UN agency has developed an action plan 2023 – 2027, to address vulnerability of the children to climate change, and to integrate climate change in all its interventions across sectors.
Mahmud said that effective implementation of the projects would build resilience to climate change.
According to him, UNICEF estimates that one billion children are at “extremely high” risk of the impacts of the climate crisis globally.
“Nigeria is the second most vulnerable country worldwide in terms of children’s exposure to climate change, about 100 million children are confronted with harsh realities of rising temperature.
“The action plan is the designing of a conscious action plan and step organised to address certain issues of climate change in Nigeria. We make sure, we integrate climate change in whatever project we implement as UNICEF, to ensure resilience to climate change.
“Nigerian children are also confronted with flooding, drought and severe storms,” he said.
The celebration, he said, focuses on child rights amid escalating climate crisis, adding that, “it is a crucial platform for children to voice out their concerns and experiences”.
According to Mahmud, the Fund will look into the size and scope of the problem as well as develop action plan to systematically stem climate change.
“UNICEF will work with the government and stakeholders to address the problem,” he said.
The World children’s day was established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day, and mark on Nov. 20 each year to promote international togetherness, create awareness among children and improve children’s welfare.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Nasiru Garo, said the state government was sensitizing children on the dangers of climate change, and encourage them to contribute their quota toward reducing its impact.
“They are also sensitized to discourage their peers against open defecation, and ensure construction of public toilets at strategic locations to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status,” he said.
Garo said the state government accorded priority to the environment, especially conservation of biodiversity and restoration of degraded lands.
The commissioner said that the government would fight desert encroachment, pollution control and environmental sanitation to control flooding and soil erosion.
While reiterating government commitment to green and sustainable environment, Garo added that the government would not relent in its effort to achieve ODF status.