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Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre held a 2-day capacity building training on Gender & Climate Change for community women leaders and ward councilors. The aim of the training was to deepen understanding of climate change as well as share experience on climate change manifestations in communities. The training also deliberated on how community members, particularly women have adapted to climate crisis and the mitigation strategies used locally to respond to the issue.

Kebetkache is a locally rooted, strong, legitimate and autonomous women rights organization that provides educational and economic support to women and children to strengthen their voices in the public arena to enhance their development and stake in social justice issues in Nigeria and around the world. Kebetkache envisions a Nigeria where governance processes impact positively on persons irrespective of sex, race, ethnicity, age, social status, and religion with women as key players.

The training brought together 35 delegates including community women leaders, women farmers, youths, civil society organizations, media, as well as ward councilors to learn and discuss gender and climate change, national action plan on gender and climate change, the Green Climate Fund and the gender dimensions of the Green Climate Fund.

During the two days engagement, the delegates observed as follows;

· That no matter the value of the natural resource, be it oil, gold, or diamond, host Communities continue to live in abject poverty and without basic social amenities like potable water, regular power supply, good roads, health and educational facilities.

· Communities in the Niger Delta continue to suffer the raging effects of Climate Change on their basic livelihoods e.g. farming activities, fishing, and all these impacted heavily on women and girls mostly.

· Stakeholders noted the incessant and indiscriminate dumping of waste around town, blocking of canals and waterways by residents of Port Harcourt.

· That Climate Change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, with severe increase of health implications in communities, especially cancer cases, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and fertility issues.

· Community members experience extreme heat waves, which have made live unbearable especially without regular electricity.

· The forum acknowledged that women are the majority of the world’s poor and are often responsible for household food production, family health and the management of natural resources-that are particularly sensitive to climate change, e.g. fossil fuels.

· Women are commonly faced with higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change in the communities, such as flooding, lack of access to clean water.

· The activities of artisanal refining (Kpo fire) and bush burning are part of the major causes of Climate Change, and these activities are going on mainly in the communities

· Women have made positive impact bringing about change but their needs are never brought to the negotiating table.

For an improved state of affairs, the delegates resolved as follows:

1. Planting of economic trees should be a top priority in the restoration of the ecosystem and the mangroves.

2. That government and private agencies should carry out effective Sensitization on Proper waste disposal.

3. To regulate the activities of artisanal refiners and control the resulting Government should consider issuing licenses for modular and cellular refineries.

4. State and Local governments should adopt and implement Gender and Climate Change Action Plans.

5. Government and stakeholders should ensure a gender friendly Policy to control carbon emissions, through gas flares, bush burning and tyres.

6. Government should increase sensitization among the citizenry and also train the youths at the secondary level, to inculcate the habit of protective the environment.

7. Civil society organizations should conduct training on the Green Climate Finance to provide information and knowledge on how eligible organizations can access the funds.

8. Community Leaders should localize climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

9. State and Local Governments should endeavour to budget for climate change interventions.

In conclusion, delegates said state and local governments should be preparing for flooding since it has become and annual occurrence to enable them intervene strategically in addressing the challenges posed by flooding. Delegates also committed to preparing to participate in the Conference of Parties, particularly the forthcoming COP27 in Egypt.


Kebetkache Women Development & Resource

Mba Okase

Gbogbia Feefeelo

Women Initiative on Climate Change

Otuabagi Women

Okwuzi Women Forum

Abua Women Association

Abua/Odual Kupe Foundation

Egi Women Human Rights Environmental Justice Initiative

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