Over 110 Million Nigerian Children Vulnerable to Climate Change Impact: Tinubu, Shettima Get Into Action

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) exposed the vulnerability of more than 110 million Nigerian children to the dire consequences of climate change. UNICEF’s recent disclosure positions Nigeria as the second most vulnerable country globally concerning children at risk from extreme weather conditions, such as soaring temperatures, air pollution, water scarcity, and food shortages.

The alarming statistics were shared by Cristian Munduate, the Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, following an inter-school quiz competition held in Gombe State as part of the World Children’s Day 2023 activities. Munduate highlighted the urgent need to address climate change’s potential impacts on children’s immune systems, behavioral characteristics, and overall developmental needs.

The World Children’s Day celebration in Nigeria took a unique turn this year, focusing on the escalating climate crisis. Children from various regions, including Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Enugu, Sokoto, and Maiduguri, actively participated in discussions on the significant impact of climate change on their lives and futures.

The dialogue covered critical issues, including the direct health impacts of climate change on children, such as heightened physical dangers, waterborne diseases, and malnutrition. The event also shed light on the distressing rate of child displacement due to environmental disasters, with 650,000 children displaced between 2016 and 2021 due to floods.

Munduate emphasized the importance of the World Children’s Day celebration as a platform for children to voice their concerns and experiences, asserting that their input is crucial in shaping a sustainable and resilient future.

Dr. Salisu Dahiru, the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change, urged Nigerian authorities to take urgent and proactive measures to combat the worsening climate crisis. Stressing the need for the swift implementation of the National Climate Change Action Plan, Dr. Dahiru emphasized the importance of considering the needs of vulnerable populations, including children and women, at both decision-making and implementation levels.

In a recent statement, Vice President Kashim Shettima assured Nigerians that President Bola Tinubu is actively working to improve the lives of vulnerable Nigerians. Shettima made this statement during a visit from the Presidential Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness, and Response. Acknowledging the real and immediate threat of climate change, Shettima emphasized the necessity of finding solutions to address the impact of floods and extreme weather events in Nigeria.

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