Global warming: “Delaying action may mean losing Lake Chad”, warns Nigerian environmental activist Adenike Oladosu

“It’s not something theoretical, it’s real. Climate change happens every day.” Adenike Titilope Oladosu is Nigerian. This ecofeminist, who campaigns against global warming and founded the ILeadClimate initiative, is trying to alert the international community to the consequences of the phenomenon in her country. “I saw, I lived the reality of the climate crisis”she laments to BlazeTrends, describing the floods, droughts and the fallout of these extreme events, reinforced by the warming of temperatures due to human activities, on populations.

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From May 25 to 27, she participates in the summit ChangeNow in Paristo continue to “make his voice heard”. Franceinfo questioned her on this occasion.

Franceinfo: You fight to show the international community the realities of climate change and their impacts on different communities. Why is this important?

Adenike Titilope Oladosu: It is important to attract attention, to tell that climate change is a reality. Let it now take place in my community, for example. Last year, floods affected 32 out of 36 states in Nigeria. It was the worst episode ever recorded in the country. This has forced millions of people to move and several hundred thousand hectares of cultivated land have been lost. This has created food insecurity, hunger, poverty. Health issues too: there are bodies in the water. A water that people will drink afterwards, because they have no other choice.

There are also droughts that cause herders to move in search of greener pastures, and which create water use conflicts with farmers. Women are particularly affected by these phenomena. For example, they have to travel great distances to find water. And it’s not even clean water. We are not facing a single crisis, but multiple crises at the same time.

Are world leaders not concerned enough about these concrete consequences in your country?

It is not just about talking about the impacts of climate change, but rather about providing the necessary support to vulnerable people. What are the authorities and decision-makers doing about it? For example, Lake Chad has been shrinking since the 1960s. Actions could have been taken to save it. What has been done? What funding has been allocated to the restoration of the lake?

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The sums paid to help the populations affected by the drying up of Lake Chad are negligible. The funds to deal with the climate crisis in Africa are not even enough for its consequences in Nigeria, so for an entire continent…

More efforts need to be made, especially in the western world. Because this crisis will not only affect Africa, but everyone, regardless of our origins. The climate crisis knows no borders. If it does not affect you through its direct consequences, it will affect you through climate refugees, as large populations will be forced to move countries in search of greener lands.

Are the actions currently being carried out largely insufficient?

Decision makers are discussing “getting out of fossil fuels by 2040, 2050 or 2060”. But it’s passing the burden on to the next generation, which didn’t cause all of this. I ask them: what happens rather during the four or five years during which you are president? What climate actions are you ready to implement? To delay action is to increase vulnerability. Get out of the energies fossil fuels in 2050, this means that Nigeria will continue to bear the brunt of a lack of access to clean water, loss of livelihoods, and a host of worsening crises in our region. Delaying action may mean losing Lake Chad.

It pushes me to act, to want to make my voice heard. According to Martin Luther King, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter”. So I say: we need action.

Where to start ?

World leaders need to stop making promises for 2040, 2050 or 2080. They need to start implementing what their government can do while in office. What percentage of coal consumption will you eliminate? How will you transition to your timescale? What foundations can you lay for the next government to resume in the same place? They keep negotiating. Since the first COP (in 1995). How long will this last? Are we going to negotiate all our life? Now we have to apply what has been decided.

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