From Msurshima Andrew, Makurdi
A peace building organization, International Alert, in collaboration with Benue state government has concluded plans to implement a 24 months project, “Powering Peace Through Climate Action,” to restore peace for development in the state.
The project is funded by the UK and has potentials for establishing peace, dealing with the impact of climate change and transforming the local economy of targeted communities.
Reviewing the project in Makurdi, the Country Director of International Alert Nigeria, Paul-Bemshima Nyulaku, noted that extreme climatic issues such as flooding, extreme heat and drought has led to soil degradation resulting in low crop yields.
He said if nothing is done and urgently too, decline in agricultural productivity would further discourage the farmers and may lead to change in livelihood especially in the rural settings.
The Country Director also noted that the scarcity and competition for land and other natural resources accounts for violent conflicts and groups across the country, saying “We need to find ways to deal with the impact of climate change, seek to improve agricultural yields through climate smart agricultural practices as a pivot to promote peace and hopefully, prosperity.”
Aacording to him, the project will run for 24 months, and will be implemented in four communities of Makurdi and Agatu Local Governments of Benue state, same as Sokoto states.
The organization called the Benue state government, key traditional leaders among others to support the project to make it a success.
The state Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Mr Godwin Oyiwona, while launching the project said Benue is privileged to be considered by International Alert for implement of the project.
He acknowledged the huge damage that climate change has done on the lives of Benue people over the years, and assured that administration of governor Samuel Ortom would give all necessary support to ensure the project succeeds to improve the lives of the people.
Traditional leaders and members of the Civil Society Organizations, (CSOs), who were present also commended the organization for their peace building project and assured of their commitment and support to make it a success.