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April 17, 2024

 Group Urges Rivers Govt. to Implement National Action Plan on Gender, Climate Change

The Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an advocacy group in Rivers State, has called on the Rivers Government to put into action the National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change.

During a policy engagement with stakeholders in Port Harcourt on Saturday, Confidence Otikor, the Project Officer, made this appeal.

She emphasized the importance of the state government adopting gender-responsive budgeting to mitigate the impact of climate change on the populace.

”Focus should be on frontlines in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies,” she added.

The action plan, introduced by the Federal Government in 2020, aims to guide the implementation of policies across federal, state, and local government levels.

This plan is specifically aimed at reducing the negative impacts of climate change, which are increasingly endangering the social and economic stability of communities, especially women.

Mrs. Otikor highlighted that implementing this action plan would be instrumental in tackling the various challenges faced by women in areas vulnerable to environmental issues.

”This dialogue is organised to find out stakeholders’ level of preparation to comply with the action plan at the ministries.

”The extensive engagement reveals the need for substantial efforts with civil society organisations to collaborate with the ministries to achieve the plan’s objectives.

”As a group, Kebetkache is not satisfied with the current level of implementation in the state, so further actions are needed to address the gaps,” she said.

Mrs Otikor urged non-governmental organisations to always speak out by creating awareness about issues affecting women.

“Involvement of NGOs in the action plan will go a long way to bring out the need for its implementation.

“We urge the state governments to speedily domesticate the action plan across all the ministries, departments and agencies in the states,” she said.

Nkem Odoya, an official from the Forestry Department of the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture, mentioned that the ministry had launched a poverty reduction program to assist individuals impacted by climate change.

Ms. Odoya also mentioned that the state government is actively involved in a program aimed at training and empowering agricultural entrepreneurs at the grassroots level within local government areas.

”We also have a nutritional programme targeting vulnerable children and women in five local government areas,” he said.

Constant Meju, the Coordinator of the Centre for Media, Environment, and Development Communications, raised concerns about the insufficient support provided to women by the State Agriculture Ministry.

She emphasized that such dialogues are essential platforms for civil society organizations to interact with the state government regarding climate change and gender-related policies.

Mrs. Meju underscored the significance of collaboration between the government and CSOs to accomplish common goals.

Furthermore, she pointed out that certain communities in the state are experiencing significant environmental degradation as a result of oil extraction activities.

”The coastal areas have been damaged by flooding, yet the government seems not to be doing anything.

”Society wants to see the government showing empathy over the plight of women in communities affected by degradation,” she said.

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