CLIMATE WARNING AND FLOODS IN NIGERIA

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    The recent flooding in most states across Nigeria in the month of July is a sign of the impact of climate change that could consume the earth if nothing is nothing about it.

    Good enough, July greeted Nigerians with torrential downpours and all shouted in celebration. The meteorologists had earlier warned that the southwestern Nigeria, and Lagos in particular, had 4 to 6 inches of rain in the period from July 2 to July 8; of which Nigerians living in States such as Lagos, Delta, Anambra, Edo, Abia, Niger, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Abuja State are already witnessing its impact.

    Although the blockage of drainage channel through improper disposition of waste particles have been highlighted as the cause, however,  the major reason attributed to this year’s flooding has to do with mankind’s continuous search for knowledge, truth, and discovery through their human activities that has directly affected the earth; something which is gradually creating ecological damages that may be irreparable.

    There have been reports that one of the practical ways to combat climate change is to plant more trees in order to take more carbon out of the atmosphere (as long as the trees are planted in the right place).

    There is no doubt that trees help to build soil and help soak up storm water before it can create a flood, and they offer energy-saving shade that reduces global warming and creates habitat for thousands of different species. Trees also help to reduce ozone levels in urban areas. Most importantly, trees sequester carbon, helping to remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air, which cools the earth.

    However, in Nigeria, we have seen extreme weather variations, rising sea levels, encroaching desertification, excessive rainfall, erosion and floods, land degradation – all of which threaten the ecosystem. These developments have devastating human costs and are affecting food security, livelihoods and the very survival of our people.

    Recently, a new study published
    in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, predicts more deadly heat
    from climate change. The researchers further warned that by 2050, more than 350 million people living in ‘megacities’
    would be hit with deadly heat waves every year. Already, scientists have established that environmental disruption is contributing to health threats worldwide. With evidence, they
    posit that the combination of high heat and humidity poses serious risks to many people, especially infants, children, the elderly, those with pre-existing health conditions, poor urban
    residents and coastal residents.

    This is gradually having a direct effect on communities, agriculture (in terms of food supply), water, health, and climate, something the world is yet to proffer a lasting solution to global warming, despite organizing several conferences in Copenhagen and Paris. A warming world also has the potential to change rainfall and snow patterns, increase droughts and severe storms, reduce lake ice cover, melt glaciers, increase sea levels, and change plant and animal behavior.

    As such, Nigerians should
    prepare for more deadly effects of climate change, which could lead to rise in the cases of illness and death, even if most nations are able to contain global warming at agreed-upon levels. Already, meningitis, which is heat-related has killed 438 persons.

    It is high time both the federal and state government converge to profering a possible solution on how to combat the impending danger of climate change that is gradually looming, order to protect the future of the next generation.

    By Augustine Akhilomen

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