In order to lessen the effects of climate-related crises in some affected Benue communities, a non-governmental organization operating under the auspices of International Alert and working in conjunction with the state government of Benue have launched a project dubbed “Powering Peace Through Climate.”
This is despite the fact that the country’s director, Paul-Bemshima Nyulaku, bemoaned the decline in agricultural productivity caused by climate change and the associated conflict and claimed that this has discouraged a great number of farmers, resulting in a sharp decrease in farming activities and yield size.
The project will be executed in the states of Benue and Sokoto, according to Nyulaku, who made this announcement during the project launch in Makurdi, the capital of Benue State. The project will be conducted in two countries—Nigeria and Kenya—and is supported by the Irish government.
He said that the project, which will be implemented in two LGAs in each state, is aimed at women, young people, and traditional leaders of four chosen communities in each LGA. He also claims that the project has great potential for establishing peace by reshaping the local economies of target communities, which will help the communities deal with the effects of climate change.
International Alert is a peace-building organization based in the United Kingdom with a focus on working with government, communities, and key stakeholders to promote peace among members of climate change-affected communities
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“We believe that peace is within our power, and as key stakeholders, we have a critical responsibility not only to deal with the consequences but address the key drivers which the impact of climate change has affected mostly.
“Extreme climate events such as flooding, extreme heat, and drought have led to soil degradation which has resulted in low crop yields, the decline in agricultural productivity which discourages farmers and may lead to a change in livelihood, especially in the rural settings.
“The scarcity and competition for land and other natural resources have led to violent conflict as a result, we need to find ways to deal with the impact of climate change and as well seek to improve agricultural yields through Climate Smart Agricultural practices to promote peace,” he said.
He added that “Communities affected understand their problems and in most cases the solution, they only need a little push and support to deal with these problems and build resilience for emerging situations that impact on their livelihood and social cohesion.”
Presenting the project overview, the programme manager Anicetus Atakpu said the project aims at engaging climate-affected communities to see how they can improve their current situation through a participatory approach.
Story adapted Leadership