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March our lives: Live a decent, dignified and healthy life

Climate change is now the defining issue of the 21st century. We are witnessing the devastating impacts of climate fueled floods, droughts, desertification, food insecurity, cyclones, conflicts, displacements and global health pandemics.

These climate impacts will continue to intensify and occur more frequently in the coming months and years. The 2012 flood was described as the worst flood in Nigeria’s history up to that point. 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states were affected and sadly we lost 361 lives. But a mere 10 years later that record was broken by the floods that occurred in 202 affecting nearly all 36 states and the federal capital territory, Property and public infrastructure destroyed in the 2022 flood was worth nearly $6.5 billion dollars according to estimates from the National emergency management agency. Sadly again 604 Nigerian lives were cut short, in tragic days of the flood.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has predicted that the floods this year will be worse than that of 2022 because of the noticeable increase in climate change, that has been triggered by human activities. As a people and as a country we cannot continue to bear this intensifying and more frequent loss of the precious lives of our people and the destruction of our properties and public infrastructure on this scale.    

We can and we should collectively pledge to ourselves that we will take the difficult steps, pass the necessary legislations, implement laws with a sense of purpose and make the required sacrifices to halt these losses.

The global community is still fixated on fossil fuels, the chief culprit in the in the climate crisis that we face even as we lurch from one climate impact to another. We must as a people design a more sustainable economic, social and environmental development pathway that assures us of life beyond oil

It is clear that it is only a strong people’s movement that can accelerate climate action. The Natural Justice mediated Climate Justice Movement of Nigeria, is committed to bringing together local communities, environmental defenders, and climate activists to build a strong pan Nigerian movement that will push for climate justice for all.

This is why we are marching today!

We march for our brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers that we lost in the 2012 flood.

We march for our comrades, friends and families that we lost in the 2022 floods

We march for the tens of thousands of farmers and herdsmen as well as communities across the north east, the north west and north central regions of Nigeria that have had to pay with their lives in the struggle for arable lands on which to farm and feed livestock because of climate change fueled desertification and droughts

We march for generations unborn, that we may hand over to them an environment in which they can live a decent, dignified and healthy life

We march for climate Justice

We march today so that the loss of lives and properties in Nigeria will stop. We march for our lives!

Our Demands

To government

  • Our governments must do more and can certainly do better to enable and support real climate change solutions
  • Our governments must ACT NOW
  • The process of designing real effective solutions to the climate crisis and its impacts must be inclusive- incorporating perspectives from women, youths, persons with disability and local communities.
  • We request that the state and local government flood response committees should be expanded to include youths, persons with disabilities and women.
  • We request that the inclusive flood response committee should be converted to a state climate change advisory council and mandated to develop effective transition plans in the energy, environment, agriculture and social sectors.

To Communities

  • We must continue to protect our ecosystem because as we all know, our environment is our life
  • We must protect our forests and ensure that we allow degraded lands to regenerate naturally
  • We must be prepared to move to higher ground and a safe space in the event of flooding.

SOLIDARITY!!     

22 September 2023

Country

Nigeria

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