We Don't Have Time
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We Don't Have Time

“If not me, who will speak up for the most vulnerable? “

Guest Blog Post: I am Dr. Gbujie Daniel Chidubem from Igbo ethnic tribe in south-eastern Nigeria. I am from a clan in Umuayaka- Akabor, of Ahiazu-Mbaise LGA, in Imo State.

My culture and heritage means a lot to me and my people in Nigeria. Our belief and livelihood are intertwined in it, so whatever impacts on it will disrupt and threaten our existence.

Clearly, the story I heard 20 years ago about my hometown having arable land in being a beautiful fertile grassland is obviously a mirage presently. The region has been heavily depleted with rising evidence of degradation and active exploration of fossil fuel (oil) have been implicated through the unending government corruption of funds from the proceeds also have been proven and the large money received may be the reason why Government is not fully committed to transiting to renewable energy. The funds realized from sales if oil if judiciously utilized can help the nation divest more environmentally friendly energy options.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a global conspiracy or some form of external interference by multinational corporations in the oil and financial sector never to allow the largest oil producing nation in Africa (Nigeria) to divest into a cleaner renewable form of energy.

I still remember standing on a farmland in Ogoni, Niger Delta a few years ago in the Southern part of Nigeria with my feet surrounded by tangled green grassland that appears carefully arranged with plants like Maize and cassava growing in alternate row on the small landscape, and clean water flowing from the nearby river hydrating the crops, It was indeed a beautiful sight that scenario doesn’t exit the grass are black with crude oil, causes from leaking of the pipes or from hoodlums vandalizing the exposed pipe to make quick money, either way, the field is completely devastated, with rising daily temperature it only makes things worse with no fertile soil to plant crops livelihood are destroyed. Resulting in people in people living their communities in rural area for imaginary jobs that don’t exist in the various cities or outside the continent.

The agricultural sector in the continent is particularly vulnerable to rainfall change because of the limited ability to control water, poor agricultural research infrastructure, and already low productivity which limits options for adaptation.

This constitutes a greater threat to African nations because of the continued high dependence on the agricultural sector for livelihoods and food security and with Africa’s exploding population the situation will be compounded.

With the growing threat of climate change and socio-economic consequences currently being experienced, the future for any country in Africa is entirely not certain.

In moving forward as a continent, these issues must be understood by all. Therefore, addressing the global climate crisis will have to be top on all African government agenda and actions have start immediately because projection shows that it will get worse most in the coming decades.

This crisis will affect all people and ecosystems, particularly vulnerable people like women, young people, elderly, physically challenged, people with debilitating illnesses and poor people.

The narrative gets a little scary with the 2018 report of catastrophic projection from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from the analyses of data collected. There appears to be a strong broad consensus that temperatures will rise faster than global averages in Africa, and the results of this fast rise in temperature will lead to changes in timing and quantity of rainfall which will have significant social consequences and with a projection of about 4 degrees Celsius in 70 years considerable areas in Africa, will be inhabitable, meaning more transhuman migration will be inevitable, plus we may be looking at an unprecedented humanitarian crisis if we don’t act now.

Sadly, the failure of citizens, African leaders and by extension global leaders to fully understand and comprehend the global warming problem has only quickened the frequency of ecological disasters around the globe. Though part of the reluctant attitude displayed by global leaders who should know better may be connected to some elements in the corporate world who lobby using money few global leaders and some dishonest scientists to discredit the existing facts on climate change.

This is one of the reasons I will be attending and speaking at the climate summit on the 22nd of April 2019 at the Earth Day program organized by the group We Don’t Have Time Climate in Sweden. — Gbujie Daniel Chidubem

Furthermore, as global citizen, we must not condemn our kids and their own children to a future we know too well is beyond there capacity to make better, it will be morally wrong and irresponsible on our part as Adult.

Daniel (right) and his daughter (left) in a snowy USA.

I will also plead the case that our future as a continent by speaking up about the pending jeopardy primarily from the threat posed by global warming.

Though the elements or processes involved in climate change may be poorly understood by citizens and their leaders in Africa because of the poor level of education and the increasing level of abject poverty, however, the environmental evidence of climate change is not in doubt.

The rising temperature, rising sea level, an unprecedented number of cyclones, prolonged period of drought and heavy rainfall with immense flooding power, are all we see too frequently across the continent and all over the world.

Therefore, using the conference platform which is a global stage to plead to the world and African leaders to begin the urgent engagement in providing the needed climate leadership and direction towards addressing climate change consequences is a great way for me to act responsibly on the climate crisis

The summit is also a wonderful way to begin to build a Strategic grassroots support for vulnerable nations this conference is an effective way to pass the message especially since famous global climate advocates who are experts in communicating ideas and facts, passionate ordinary citizens who are audience and concerned, climate investors, government leaders and decision makers addressing climate change will tune in from all across the continent.

The discussion on ways to influence the attitudes and behaviour of global citizens and their leaders to protect the environment is on the agenda and millions of participants who will join online will also gain insights on the climate science and how it impacts them with how best to build climate resilience.

I look forward to a wonderful conference because I will be giving a little perspective about Africa’s climate future and how climate changes will impact critical and inter-related areas like agriculture, health, migration, and conflict on the continent.

Consequently, I will advocate that we need to work modalities to better our adaptation and mitigation strategies. And as global citizens how best to hold national leaders accountable to us on the management of our earthly resources if we envision to achieve sustainable development.

In conclusion, I will want the world to consider the following views in moving forward;

First, it will be a mockery of development to think that one approach will be used or directed to the continent’s climate change crisis with the immense geography and vast diversity of populations. With some of Africa’s states become drier, and others wetter on approach will be unreasonable. An example is the effects in Burundi and Burkina Faso where agriculture accounts for more than 80% of employment will be much different than in Angola, South Africa, and Mauritius where it accounts for only 10%.

Second, the history of post-Colonial Africa has been a history of adaptation to difficult conditions. The reality is citizens in the continent will continue to adapt to a worsening environment eco-space. But the path to adaptation can be made much easier if we work together to take sincere climate action.

If there are nations investing on a terrestrial flight to transport global citizens to the moon, why is it impossible to create green opportunities for people greatly impacted by climate change, so they can continue to build climate resilience and have the ability to provide their own climate solutions in their communities. This means investing in adaptation and mitigation strategy so that farmers can get better technological intelligence about likely weather outcomes and irrigation systems.

Third, there is general acceptance among African that climate change indeed has worsen their current vision of progress in the continent and their ability to build resilience an example is the attack of a category 2 equivalent cyclone called Ida that completely destroy a nation Mozambique and their present government can’t do anything about it, climate change is just one of the driver of the current global change we are witnessing other elements that are influencing negatively our collective lives are not limited to governmental evolution, population, and technologic transformation.

Finally, perhaps the one thing that all African governments can agree on is the culpability of the others for the climate predicaments Africa will face. A shared interest in climate solutions can perhaps ironically provide an avenue for new forms of cooperation between African states. The intercontinental dimensions of the disease may also encourage new forms of cooperation between African states and the rest of the world.

Children’s drawings by Chikerendum Gbujie on “How we can help the Earth”

If we work together, there are so many opportunities that we can create collectively and that can help us achieve the expected sustainable development that is urgently needed in the continent.

Written by Dr. Gbujie Daniel Chidubem

About the Author

Dr. Gbujie Daniel Chidubem hails from Umuayaka in Akabor Ahiazu-Mbaise LGA, Imo State in Nigeria. He is an international award-winning African trained doctor. He founded and runs a not-for-profit organization registered and based in the U.S. called ”Team 54 Project International”.

Web site: https://www.facebook.com/team54project/

Gbujie Daniel Chidubem. Private photo.

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We Don’t Have Time is a social network for everyone who wants to be a part of the solution to the climate crisis. The power of many enables us to influence businesses, politicians and world leaders. But We Don’t Have Time to wait.

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