79,000 Persons Displaced By Disasters In Cross River

In Breaking News, Reports

Published on October 1, 2012 by PM News

Persistent battering of Cross River State by climate change disasters have left over 79,000 persons displaced in the last nine months of the year.

This figure was given by Mr Vincent Oqua, the Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Calabar, while delivering a paper at a workshop jointly organized by the Cross River State Ministry of Information and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) titled Flooding and Climate Change Adaptation in Cross River State: Safety Measures for School Children.

Oqua said disasters such as windstorm, flooding, mudslide, hailstones and ice flakes displaced people in the state with the bulk of those affected most being children.

“It is on record that most of those known to have drowned in flood water or killed by wind storm are children. In one of the communities recently flooded, when we got there some three days after, one of the bodies of a young girl that drowned was still not buried because there was no dry land for a grave to be dug to lower her remains,” he said.

He said the havoc climate change was causing in the state was alarming and this has led to stronger winds, prevalence of pests, loss of agricultural lands and crop failure.

“Cross River State is not exempt from all the climatic adversity. In recent times, the state has experienced various effects of climate change such as increase in intensity of precipitation, stronger winds, crop failure, loss of agricultural land and deaths especially involving children.”

He revealed that to mitigate the impact of climate change in the state, the government through itsministries, departments and agencies, has adopted measures such as public enlightenment using television and radio commercials to educate the public, reforestation of devastated areas, frequent clearing of drains and encouraged behavioural change among the people of the state.

Chief Akin Reckitts, the State Commissioner for Information, who declared the workshop open called for comprehensive x-raying of the climate change impact in the state so that measures can adequately be taken to tackle the menace as the earth and mankind are threatened.

The commissioner, who was represented by a director in the Ministry of Information, Mr Oqua Itu, said the organisers and teachers should ensure that the children who are the target for the workshop are adequately educated on the impact of climate change as their “young fertile minds are capable of absorbing the issues of climate change because they are the ones that would be most affected in future.”
He admonished the organisers to ensure firmness in the school quiz on climate change for both the primary and secondary school levels.

“We cannot change the country without the children’s contribution. Therefore, the organisers and the participating schools should be sincere and refrain from acts capable of marring the benefits of the competition.”

The quiz which featured the primary and secondary school categories was won by Government Secondary School, Akim which scored 26 points, Girls’ Secondary School, Big Qua came second with19 points, while Government Secondary School, Atu came third in the secondary category.

Presbyterian Primary School, Akim came first in the primary category, with Primary School, Barracks Road coming second, while AME Zion Primary school took the third position.

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