My name is Abdulmajid Abubakar and I was opportune to study Natural Resource Management and Climate Change at the Center for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), Bayero University Kano at the master's level in 2017.
As a youth from the global south, I understood the realities of life. And how we exploit the available scarce natural resources within our reach. Africa for instance experiences most of the devastating effects of climate change. Yet we do little or no action to adapt and mitigate it. This can be due to our low level of education, high poverty rate, and lack of technological advancements.
I am a victim of loss and damage. As a student, I took a loan to start a rice farm but unfortunately, I lost it to a flood and had to pay the loan off. This experience made me ask this question; are we doing enough to proffer solutions?
It is no news that global temperatures keep rising as days pass and the problem is Climate Action Failure. The solution we need requires all of us.
Every year in my country Nigeria, particularly my dear state Jigawa, thousands of households lose their means of livelihood and lives lost due to the devastating effect of floods. Food production keeps declining and the government spends a huge amount of money on rehabilitating properties damaged as a result of the disasters. Also, diseases are spreading due to our actions and inactions towards the environment. Women and children are left vulnerable to social vices. We can only address food insecurity, famine, hunger, floods, and desertification if we are ready to halt Climate Change.
I have always had a passion for poverty alleviation. And the desire to boost rural livelihood, provide a better life for women and children and provide access to clean water for its dwellers; sustainable agriculture and environmental sustainability.
As a victim of loss and damage I knew I had to make an impact. That I have to give back to society the knowledge I acquired; that will protect the environment from the adverse effect of Climate Change.
In this regard, I founded and registered a non-governmental, non-political, and non-profit-making youth-led organisation; Eyes on the Environment Initiative (EEI) which champions a sustainable future. With branch offices in Jigawa State and Maradi in Niger Republic.
Since the start of the NGO, I have received several requests from almost all the 19 northern states and beyond to extend our services to them. As such, I pledged to expand the coverage to other states and parts of the African continents (Niger, Mali & Chad to be precise). At present, I extended the organisation to the republic of Niger. I started alone, but we now have more than 200 active members and volunteers.
EEI raises awareness of the impact of Deforestation, Desertification, and Drought on the most vulnerable and degraded landscapes in dryland regions of Nigeria. The result of climate change and natural disasters through nurturing youngsters to love nature and be conscious of the environment at a very early age. We provide climate education to students at all levels. At the same time, we educate the most vulnerable communities, women, and children on mitigation and adaptation measures to build capacity and contribute to minimising its effects on people and the planet.
Likewise, We encourage traditional leaders to partake in climate action, as they are very close to the masses and are respected the most by the people. This aids in providing local environmental governance within affected communities.