The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development and PREMIUM TIMES Thursday released a documentary that shows the “loss and damages” due to the recent flooding disaster in Nigeria.
At the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, a major agenda being put forward at the negotiation table by the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) including Nigeria is “loss and damage” which emphasises financial compensation for the ravaged nations.
This, they say, will help to compensate countries in Africa that contribute less than 3 per cent to the global emission to improve adaptation and mitigation efforts towards coping with the lingering scourge of climate change on the continent.
For instance, in 2022, Nigeria experienced one of its worst flood disasters ever. Over 26 of the 36 states in the country were affected by floods, resulting in the death of hundreds of citizens and the destruction of houses. Also, expansive hectares of farmland were ruined, and roads and bridges were washed off.
This nature’s rage, believed to have been aggravated by the existential climate change effects and poor government attention, sparked humanitarian tragedies as fears of worsening food insecurity linger.
Funded by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, London, the documentary highlights the wanton destruction of livelihoods, houses and farmlands by the flooding incident across the worst hit states (Kogi, Delta, Bayelsa and Adamawa) in Nigeria with some of those affected recounting their ordeals.
The initiative is one of the many interventions by the centre on the recent flooding in Nigeria.
At the height of the disaster, CJID and PREMIUM TIMES deployed a team of investigative journalists to investigate the various loss and damages in 10 of the worst-hit states in Nigeria.
Seven of the field reports published so far have shown the flooding’s impact on businesses – industrial, textile, food and gas – education, agriculture, vulnerable persons in IDP camps as well as women and children.
According to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, over 603 persons died across the country from this year’s flood.
Also, more than 82,053 houses have been totally destroyed, rendering over 1.4 million people homeless and over 2,407 persons badly injured within this period.
Ongoing COP27 negotiations
At the last minute, shortly before the commencement of COP27 in Egypt, and following the official announcement of Sameh Shoukry as the new COP27 President, “loss and damage” made it to the agenda items during the procedural opening of the annual conference.
Ahead of COP27, the item (loss and damage) was still uncertain but it finally crept into the agenda after being put forward by negotiators (including developing countries) after robust discussions among the 194 parties to the UNFCCC.
At the plenary, the COP27 president said this year’s deliberations on climate issues must consider the needs of developing countries (Africa) because they are least responsible for emissions and are the most affected by the global impact of climate change.
“As a COP hosted in Africa, it must consider the needs of the developing countries and ensure climate justice through availing the appropriate finance and other means of implementation, as countries that are the least responsible for emissions are the most affected by climate change,” Mr Shoukry said.
Dozens of African countries and other developing countries are clamouring to see actionable commitments made towards loss and damages in this year’s summit.
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