Sat. Apr 13th, 2024


The Special Assistant to Abia State Governor on Persons With Disabilities, Mr David Obinna Anyaele has said that the present administration in the state is committed to ensuring that Abia provides enabling framework to cushion the effect of climate change in the State.

Speaking in his office at the Government House, Umuahia when he received in audience, the Interim Head of Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD, Mrs Florence Austin and her team who paid an advocacy visit, Anyaele disclosed that Governor Alex Otti, has approved the establishment of the Department for climate change in the Ministry of Environment, which is currently taking an assessment of the vulnerability to climate change in the various local government areas of Abia State.

Anyaele who appreciated the CCD’s one year project titled: Promoting disability inclusive adaptation and mitigation in Abia State, also disclosed that Abia state was also trying to have a document that will help them to respond to incidents of climate change in the environment, because its effect differs from region to region.

He called on different interventionists, donor agencies on climate change, to emulate CCD in supporting the efforts aimed at improving the quality of the lives of PWDs as it has to do with climate change.

He also requested donor partners, international agencies to support Abia government to ensure the negative impact of climate change is ameliorated.

Anyaele pointed out that Abia State government is willing to collaborate with CCD in promoting this project, as is also willing to support in the creation of awareness and to work with the various MDAs to respond to climate change issues.

Anyaele who said he was excited that CCD chose Abia State for the project on climate change, also expressed gladness that part of the objective was to analyze the extent of PWDs inclusion and to produce an evidence-based report on disability inclusive climate change response.

He also appreciated the intention of CCD to straighten collaboration between OPDs, line committees of the State House of Assembly, MDAs, CSOs and the media to promote disability inclusive climate change response in the State.

The SA on Persons With Disabilities further lauded the CCD’s intentions to create awareness on disability inclusive climate change response, which he observed that the PWDs are disproportionately affected by reason of their diversities.

Earlier in her speech, the Interim Head of CCD, Mrs Florence Austin, who introduced the CCD’s one year project titled: “Promoting disability inclusive adaptation and mitigation in Abia State”, which has a support from DRF, said that PWDs are mostly affected by climate change.

She commended Gov. Otti’s demonstration of commitment to the disability community, which include: the coronation of a hearing impaired as a traditional ruler of a community; the re-establishment of the disability commission in Abia State; the white cane day which was a success through the involvement of Abia First Lady, Mrs. Priscilla Chidinma Otti; the SME grant program in which a good number of PWDs benefited from; sponsorship of the para sports team in international tournaments; and the celebration of Abia Disability Day with the governor in attendance.

She said that the much achievement of the governor within a short period earned him earned him “a disability champion”.

According to her, all of the achievement of the Abia State government within a short period prompted the desire of CCD to work with the Abia State government knowing it will be a success.

Mrs Austin who congratulated the SA on PWDs on his political appointment, applauded him for the positive change of narrative within a short time.

The CCD Senior Program Officer, Mr Damian Ivom, while elaborating on the project – Promoting disability inclusive adaptation and mitigation in Abia State, stated that PWDs are mostly affected by climate change citing the flood disaster in Taraba, Anambra, Bayelsa, Rivers States among other states which were handled with no mention of PWDs.

Mr. Ivom who said that CCD has come to see how to cushion the effect of climate change in Abia State, passionately requested that Mr. Anyaele uses his good offices to see to the successful achievement of the project.

“Apart from this advocacy visit, CCD will be doing a baseline survey, meeting with MDAs, PWDs among others to understand how they’re coping with the climate change. There’ll be teachings using info-graphics, the media, among others, on how to adapt to climate change as to reduce its effect on PWDs”, he also said.

The CCD Project Focal Officer, Attah Florence, was also present during the advocacy visit.


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