No fewer than 650,000 children in Nigeria were displaced by flooding between 2016 and 2021, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Nigeria has disclosed.
The global body also stated that over 110 million children in the country are at great risk due to rising temperatures, drought, and severe storms.
The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, made this known in her address commemorating this year’s World Children’s Day in Nigeria, focusing on Child Rights and Climate Change Awareness.
According to her, Nigeria is the second most vulnerable country globally in terms of children’s exposure to climate change, and the country therefore needs a holistic approach from all stakeholders, ranging from the public to private sectors, to address the problem.
Speaking at a Lagos event held at the UNICEF office, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Lagos State, Mobolaji Ogunlende, emphasized the need for everyone to adopt necessary measures to keep children safe by ensuring they are exposed to a clean, safe, and healthy environment.
He added that we must encourage and support each other to create awareness, do the right things, and also encourage others to do the same in any way they can. The commissioner explained that Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was part of the measures that Lagos State is adopting to achieve a healthy environment in the state, covering all 20 local government and 37 development council areas.
Earlier in her remarks at the event, Chief of UNICEF, Lagos Field Office, Mrs. Celine Lafoucriere, said UNICEF strongly believes that there should be ‘climate action’ for every child. Therefore, bringing together policymakers, students, and other stakeholders for discussion is essential to address climate change issues affecting children.
She declared that every child must be supported to thrive and become positive change agents in society.
Lafoucriere, however, in a statement made available by UNICEF’s Communication Officer, Blessing Ejiofor, noted that parents, teachers, and community leaders also have respective roles to play in this regard and urged them to do so effectively.
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