Balarabe Musa —
In expressing concern over the chronic effects of flooding happening in the country, the International Women Communication Centre (IWCC), under the aegis of the Feminist Movement Against Flooding have canvassed ways mitigating the effect of flood on communities. during a recent meeting in Abuja.
The women from the North West and North Central geo-political zones said that unless measures were put in place to check the trend, the consequences of flooding would be disastrous.
The meeting said to curb incessant flooding in Nigeria, there has to be government and community participation.
The team among other things was working to raise a coalition of Grassroots Feminist Movements against climate action in flooded communities.
Goroso-Giwa, the initiator and Executive Director of IWCC, said that the gathering was aimed at building a movement around flood disasters and crisis management in Nigeria.
“Over the years, people have said that as women rights defenders, we are talking about Gender Bills, she stated.
“We are not talking about other areas which are of concern to the citizens such as climate action, poverty, disaster management and hunger. And that there is a need to be more focused on community-related needs that will amplify the voice of women in the area of livelihood, climate action and disaster management.
“What this project will do specifically is to go to the grassroots to harvest the knowledge of the people, how they manage disaster and climate action in their community. Last year, Nigeria was faced with a flood disaster which killed many, left others homeless and made many IDPs in the country. This is why we are building an action plan against such occurrence again”.
Speaking on the way forward, Goroso-Giwa said there were 10 areas of focus to lead community sensitisation on the issues of rainfall, flooding and other environmental hazards and how to also turn waste into wealth.
“We want the government to take action to prevent future occurrences. We are forming a feminist movement around climate change and economic justice, she continued.
“We are also advocating political will for the government to include women when they are giving humanitarian services to those affected by disasters. For example, when there is a flood, the first thing you see is blankets and mattresses. That is not enough to tackle economic justice around flood disasters.
“There is a need for an assessment of the affected communities and finding a way to stop future occurrences. On our part, we want to be involved in sensitisation efforts and capacity-building workshops for the women and the community level.”
According to her, the project is a Nigerian-focused project on crisis management and the group wants to mobilise the communities to advocate economic justice for those affected by disasters across 31 states in Nigeria.
“They are to talk about their plight, build their capacity and talk about government intervention and consolidate what has been done in the communities. We want to know how many communities are affected by the disaster so that the government can know how to plan and tackle it”.