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Loss and Damage Finance is not Negotiable

                                Loss and damage finance is not negotiable

                                    photo credit: vanguard newspaper

Floods have ravaged Nigeria. Out of 36 states in Nigeria, 33 have been submerged by floods. This is the most dangerous flood incidence so far in Nigeria since 2012. Even the yard is flooded and corpses were seen flooding yet this is the same water that some drink. This has led to a cholera outbreak in most parts of the state. The climate change reality is becoming visible in Nigeria and beyond. Today it is flooded; we don’t know the next state that will be affected. Over 1.5 million people across Nigeria have been displaced across Nigeria, more than 500,000 hectares of farmlands have been swept away by the flood and even their livelihood eroded and the aftermath of this is the cholera outbreak.

This year 32 states and 233 LGAs were projected to be prone to flooding in 2022. Where there was never water, bodies have turned into water while rivers have turned into oceans. The danger of it all is that it will lead to food insecurity, hunger and poverty due to the fact that economic activities have been disrupted. The problem therein is that we keep dealing with the crisis but yet we are tackling it from the root cause which is by phasing out fossil fuels and coal. We will keep dealing with loss and damage if we don’t act rightly and solve the climate crisis.

These are predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but rather we are not listening to the science but rather to making profit over the people. The outcome of the flood has an immediate impact which includes the loss of livelihoods and lives and the long term impacts could include; economic hardship, positioning Nigeria at the brink of hunger. Before now, Nigeria was faced with food insecurity due to the clashes between the farmers and herders, conflict and climatic conditions other than flood and now this! Dealing with multiple crises is not a good indication for economic growth of a country. In the food basket of the nation (Benue state – Nigeria); 127 communities in the 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) were affected by the flood, while 20,468 hectares, 1818 houses lost or submerged during the flood according to the report. While in Kogi, 500 people were confirmed dead. 45,000 houses destroyed, 70,000 hectares of farmlands submerged according to the report. The incidence goes to other states that were affected. even the International Displaced people camps were affected that is they were re-displaced.

Schools became refugee camps; while in some cases schools were shut down by flood that is no access to classrooms as the flood has occupied it all. In Bayelsa even the graveyard is completely flooded. It is not enough to give people relief materials neither is it sustainable to keep waiting on when the reality of the climate crisis happens before we act; we need to normalize it. We cannot solve the climate crisis without solving it from the root cause. If more than two-thirds of Nigeria is covered by flood, it shows how vulnerable Nigeria is to climate change. The danger of inaction is far greater than the cost of acting on the climate crisis. At COP27 and beyond, we need climate finance channeled towards loss and damage, adaptation, mitigation and not to open more coal plants.

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