The president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) Legborsi Saro Pyagbara said so far the response to the issue of climate change by the Nigerian government is poor.
Speaking in respect of the Lake Chad, he said the lake did not start decreasing today but has been receding for the past 20 years and the issue of migration is due to failure of government to respond to environmental conflict in the areas.
“The root of the matter is that it boils down to issue of climate change, we have not acted as a nation to address issue of climate change. We attend all the meetings but coming back home there is nothing to show for it,” he said.
Pyagbara stated this when he lead a group, Strategic Partnership Alliance for Lobbying and Advocacy, a coalition of civil society organisations pushing for the full implementation of United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) report on Ogoni, to Daily Trust in Abuja, recently.
Speaking on conflict in the region which he attributed to the environmental factors, he said: “When Lake Chad was receding, what has government put in place as it is a natural phenomenon that will always happen, now climate change has led to the receding of Lake Chad to the point that they can no longer support the livelihood system of the local community.”
He said: “If we have designed our own climate change response long before now and know that this is something that will happen, we would have been able to mitigate this whole challenge.”
The leader of MOSOP also noted that aside Lagos state, no other state in Nigeria is designing response to climate change, saying government needs to act steady and fast.
The group also called on the federal government to increase the pace of work in cleaning up Ogoniland, saying they are alarmed at the slow pace of the implementation of UNEP report.
They also noted that the failure of government to build the Integrated Contamination Management Centre may likely lead to more pollution in the land as contractors are meant to develop a means of evacuating their waste, saying this may lead to dumping of the waste in the land.
A member of the group, DrKabari Sam in his remark decried the fact that the legislation on environmental laws have not been reviewed since 1992, saying there is need for a comprehensive legislation.