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GIFSEP Promotes Climate Resilience In Coal Mining Communities

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), with the support of 350 Africa and the Global Green grants Fund, is currently mobilising support and building the climate resilience of coal mining impacted communities in Kogi and Benue states in Nigeria.

GIFSEP is a non-profit organization founded on the ideals of environment education, climate change adaptation and mitigation, renewable energy and sustainable development. Its mission is to mobilize communities to build resilience to a changing climate, to conserve and protect the environment.

350 Africa is an international environmental organization that is focused on addressing the climate crisis. Its goal is to end the use of fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy by building a global, grassroots movement.

The organisation partners with grassroots organizing to run locally-driven campaigns in every corner of the globe. In Africa, it supports grassroots activists running their own independent, loosely affiliated organizations and campaigns across the continent.

In a statement made available to the media at the weekend, GIFSEP said coal mining activities in communities across both states, have been on the receiving end of environmental degradation resulting from such activities.

The statement added that coal mining is posing a grave threat to their health and livelihoods, especially that of women because they are a significant part of livelihood at the community level.

According to the statement, women are more vulnerable and bear most of the brunt of the impacts of coal mining in these communities, adding that waste water from the mines has polluted their water and lands, making the sources of water in these communities unfit for human consumption and domestic use.

“Their lands becoming infertile leading to decrease in crop yield and dying vegetation. Women and girls lose their productive time going long distances in search of clean water for drinking and domestic use as well as fetching fuel wood for cooking”, the statement said.

The Executive Director of GIFSEP, Mr. David Michael Terungwa said the action is part of the community climate resilience building activities his organization has embarked on as an intervention to change the narrative.

Mr. Terungwa added that GIFSEP created awareness on the impact of coal mining, mobilized 100 community women and formed groups of women community environmental champions.

“The groups are now formally registered as cooperative groups and trained on community mobilizing. 3 groups Village Savings Loan Association (VSLA) were also formed in the community and beneficiaries were trained on financial literacy and how to operate a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) groups to empower the women to access small credit loans to startup businesses to improve their livelihood and build climate resilience.

“The beneficiaries were also trained with practical demonstration on rain water harvesting and water harvesting systems were installed in Awo-Akpali and Onupi communities of Kogi state. Additionally, the beneficiaries were trained on the use of energy efficient stoves and on climate smart agriculture where they were introduced to use of household manure to improve soil fertility and use of improved seeds”, he further explained.

He called on the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESRA) and the ministry of Mines and Steel development to monitor the activities of coal mining companies especially in Kogi State and Benue State to ensure compliance to environmental quality standard and the rights of the communities are respected.

He also urged the mining companies to abide by global accepted standards to avoid the human and environmental cost of mining while transitioning to renewable energy as an alternative.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=81582

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