2022: Heavy floods inundate Nigeria
Catastrophic floods between September and October 2022 killed more than 600 people and displaced 1.3 million from their homes in Nigeria in 2022. Although there are other extreme weather events and Nigerian Federal Government policies that affected the environment environment, the flood disaster overwhelmed the others.
Torrential rains, clear evidence of climate change, coupled with poor urban planning, made parts of the country more vulnerable to flooding. Lokoja, Makurdi, Yola and Yenegoa appeared to be the capitals most affected by the devastating floods.
But the most tragic incident in the Nigerian flood episode was the death of 76 people trying to flee the flood after an escape boat capsized in Anambra. The 85 passengers on board were fleeing Onukwu to the Nkwo Ogbakuba community in the state.
The floods also destroyed around 200,000 houses, while 266,000 acres of farmland were completely or partially washed away.
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A flood of that magnitude occurred a decade ago between July and October 2012, when the Niger and Benue rivers burst their banks. The recorded death toll then was less than 500, but reportedly displaced a similar number of people as this year’s disaster.
The floods have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the country with many more Nigerians, especially internally displaced people (IDPs), facing severe hunger and water shortages.
COP27 held in Africa
Against the backdrop of extreme weather events in Africa, Conference of the Parties (COP) 27 of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change held in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 to 18, 2022, was a beacon of hope for the most vulnerable people affected by climate change.
COP27 provided the platform for more than 30,000 government officials, state representatives, NGOs, private sector organizations, the press, indigenous peoples and members of the public to negotiate the future of climate action.
Most importantly, COP27 ended with a groundbreaking promise to provide financing for loss and damage to vulnerable countries affected by floods, droughts and other climate disasters.
It was widely celebrated as a watershed moment, but the details will need to be worked out over the course of 2023. Details such as who should contribute to the fund, where this money will come from, and which countries will benefit are yet to be decided.
However, a ‘transition committee’ will make recommendations on how to operationalize both the new funding arrangements and the fund for consideration and adoption at COP28 next year. The first meeting of the transition committee is expected to take place before the end of March 2023.
Furthermore, since climate promises are not worth the paper they are written on if they are not taken off the page and turned into concrete action, bold steps were taken to implement decisions made at previous COPs.
Thus, on the opening day of the conference, the executive secretary of UN Climate Change, Simon Stiell, called for aligning “every corner of human activity” with the 1.5 °C goals and said: “Paris will gave the agreement and Katowice and Glasgow gave us the plan, Sharm el-Sheikh leads us to the implementation”.
The set of decisions adopted at COP27 focused on implementation: they aimed to strengthen the action of countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the conspicuous impacts of climate change, as well as boost financial, technological support and capacity building needed by developing countries. .
Nigeria launches Energy Transition Plan
Following the commitments made by Nigeria at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo launched Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan (ETP) on 24 August 2022. The ETP outlines Nigeria’s strategy for achieving a Net Zero Emissions Power System by 2060 The country’s power sector accounts for around 65% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
Stakeholders hailed the launch of the ETP, but there are still concerns that Nigeria’s previous efforts to make its energy system more sustainable, including the Nigerian Renewable Energy Master Plan, have fallen short of their targets.
Again, the huge financial commitment required to fund Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan (ETP), around US$1.9 trillion through 2060, could be an obstacle to successfully implementing the plan.
Landslide in the Ebonyi community
Landslide, a freak natural disaster, on July 1, 2022, struck the Ogwuma Edda indigenous people in Afikpo South Local Government, Ebonyi State.
A landmass collapsed in the community, burying some houses and destroying 15 others. Thirty-eight families were also reportedly left homeless as a result of the disaster.
The landslide tore open the belly of the earth, spewing out a human skull and other ancient artifacts. It was reported that many graves were affected by the slide.
President Buhari appoints Director General of National CCC
President Muhammadu Buhari, on July 25, 2022, approved the appointment of Dr. Salisu Mohammed Dahiru as the pioneering CEO and CEO of the National Council on Climate Change. The appointment followed the enactment of the climate change law in 2021. The Climate Change Law provides the legal and institutional framework with which climate change actions and plans will be implemented.
And as part of his climate change agenda, Mr. President has committed to Nigeria to achieve net zero emissions by 2060, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In this regard, President Buhari hopes that the Dahiru will push for the implementation of Nigeria’s climate change agenda and the National Climate Change Action Plan, including the development of a carbon market framework and a national adaptation plan, which it will be in tune with the aspirations enshrined in the nation’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).