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Climate change: Over 110 million Nigerian children at risk – UNICEF

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says Nigeria is the second most vulnerable country worldwide in terms of children’s exposure to climate change, saying over 110 million children are confronted with harsh realities of rising temperatures.

This is contained in a statement on Monday by Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria at the end of an inter-school quiz competition in Gombe State as part of activities to mark the 2023 World Children’s Day.

The day, established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day, is celebrated on Nov. 20 each year to promote international togetherness, and awareness among children worldwide, and to improve children’s welfare.

The global observance day has “For Every Child, Every Right” as its theme.

According to her, Nigerian children are also confronted with flooding, drought and severe storms.

She stated that child displacement due to environmental disasters such as floods from 2016 to 2021 in Nigeria stood at 650,000.

She added that “the 2023 World Children’s Day celebration is a crucial platform for children to voice out their concerns and experiences.

“Nigeria celebrated World Children’s Day, focusing on child rights amid escalating climate crisis.

“Events across the country saw children from various regions, including Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Enugu, Sokoto, and Maiduguri, leading discussions on the significant impact of climate change on their lives and future.

“The discussions covered various critical issues, including the direct health impact of climate change on children, such as increased physical dangers, waterborne diseases, and malnutrition.

“The event also shed light on the alarming rate of child displacement due to environmental disasters, with 650,000 children displaced from 2016 to 2021 due to floods.

“Over 110 million Nigerian children are at risk, having confronted the harsh realities of rising temperatures, flooding, drought, and severe storms,” she said.

Munduate, however, said that children’s input in this year’s celebration was essential in shaping stakeholders’ collective path toward a sustainable and resilient future.

The Officer in Charge, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Mr Clement Adams, said children must be celebrated and a better environment must be put in place for them to thrive.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Government Girls Secondary School, Doma, took the first position in the quiz competition with 21 points; Government Day Secondary School, Gandu, took the second position with 20 points; while Government Day Science Secondary School, Gombe, came 3rd with 18 points. (NAN)

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