By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Communities in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State have expressed resolve and commitment to initiate a tree planting project/regreen the environment while calling on the government to provide the seeds/seedlings that will help the environment and serve other important benefits with respect to livelihoods at both urban, sub-urban and rural communities consequently reducing wood logging activities which is a mainstay of some communities.
They expressed this in a communiqué jointly signed by Christopher Sule Majindadi for Ungwan Na’maigero Community and Dangwa Abbas Danjuma on by half of
Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED), issued at the end of a One-day Engagement On Localizing SDGs: Engaging Non State Actors in Accelerating SDGs and Climate Action held on March 30, 2019 in Ungwan Maigero Community, Chikun LGA, Kaduna State.
The communities pledged to commence sensitization on the SDGs and Climate action as they have been sensitized at this engagement.
“The needs on Primary Healthcare, Basic Education and solid waste disposal should be taken up to the Kaduna State Government and Chikun Local Government councils by the CALPED and other CS to help accelerate this goals that are also in line with the SDGs.
“Non State actors should be engaged during needs assessments from communities to co-create policies and Implementation plans for SDGs such that communities can easily key in and take ownership of such actions and projects when they are executed.
“Communities are committed to initiate a tree planting project/regreen the environment and called on the government to provide the seeds/seedlings that will help the environment and serve other important benefits with respect to livelihoods at both urban, sub-urban and rural communities consequently reducing wood logging activities which is a mainstay of some communities.
“The Ministries and Departments of Agriculture at national and sub-national levels should step up to the responsibility of providing extension services especially around climate intelligence, improved/quality seeds, practices that can help improve food security amidst the challenges of climate change as it affects food production and security.
“As Non State actors on SDGs the communities will ensure effective reporting of their activities to provide the needed information that can aid effective monitoring and evaluation of their activities for learning and adaptation.
“Non Governmental Organizations, Community Based Groups should foster robust partnerships with critical stakeholders especially at community levels to create awareness, encourage participation of individuals at the grassroots to play critical roles in accelerating SDGs,” they said.
In the course of the deliberative session, a number of observations were captured, which include:
“Participants understanding of the SDGs and climate change had been quite remote all along with very low level of awareness especially about their individual contributions to environmental degradation and associated impact of climate change.
“The perception of citizens about the SDGs has been one that is essentially driven by government especially that as citizens they have been rarely sensitized on what roles they are expected play in the attainment of the SDGs especially with the preexisting ‘top to bottom’ state actors had always been using.
“The community decried the absence of a waste transfer station which has not helped in ameliorating challenges faced by residents in solid waste disposal. It has brought about indiscriminate waste disposal which the community is now coming to terms with as the actions that exposes the environment to more degradation.
“Non state actors are interested in contributing to the SDGs and are excited to hear of the possibilities of the bottom to top approach, where citizens as non state actors, can inform the creation of policy and implementation of initiatives towards accelerating the SDGs. Especially the Open Government Partnership, State and Local Government Transparency, Accountability, Sustainability programs as available avenues for citizens to engage Climate governance and actions as well as other global goals.
“The absence of vegetative cover was considered as a major problem that has predisposed the environment to further degradation and other impacts of climate change. Afforestation and agroforestry were identified as the major entry points to combat climate change and its impact on the environment. Planting trees as the government of Kaduna State had begun is an opener for non state actors.
“The Kaduna’s Department of Forestry and Federal College of Forestry & Mechanization produce forest seedlings and seeds and non State actors can apply to obtain from them.
“The communities have identified the need for more investment on low household energy consumption measures especially for domestic uses like cooking which is responsible for large scale deforestation now with many households dependent on wood on a daily basis.
“Participants noted that communities have more capacity to monitor and evaluate both state and non state actors performance in implementing actions concerning SDGs if only they can have a template on how to go about it.
“The farmers’ community decried the absence of support by the government at all levels in helping with information that can equip farmers on varieties, seeds and practices that can help with the dynamic climate farmers have to contend with. This is essential to resilience and adaptation which is now germane to food security.
Other Observations raised:
“That in communities like Ungwan Namaigero, the community had gone out of their way in procuring land in a bid to attract faster the attention of the state and local governments to their need for basic education for the children within the community. This was as a result of their experience in time past where the secondary school facility that would have been sited at the neighbouring community in Karji was moved to another community because of the failure of the Karji community to provide for the land required to develop the school facility.
“Also the advocacy for a Primary Healthcare Facility is still on, and the Ungwan Namaigero has also consented to demands to provide for land for the development which they cannot rejoice over yet as the project is not yet in place,” they observed.
The meeting was organised by the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED) in collaboration with Anvil Research Centre, with goals of engaging Non State Actors in Accelerating SDGs and Climate Actions.
The engagement convened key stakeholders drawn from traditional institution, smallholder farmers, women and youth leaders in Ungwan Na’maigero community, Chikun local government area in Kaduna state. Also, in attendance were civil society actors, environmentalist and media.
The objectives of the session were bring together non State actors to discuss and appreciate their experiences on the SDGs and how it affects them as communities and individuals.
“To strengthen non state actors capacity to identify, create and implement local solutions/actions to accelerate the SDGs and ameliorate the impact of climate change in Kaduna State.
“To identify and discuss on possible solutions on monitoring and evaluating non state actors actions and contributions in accelerating the SDGs effectively across the state.
“To create more awareness around the SDGs and human activities that adversely predisposes the environment to degradation.”
They agreed that the global goals are attainable if it can be localized as the organizers have made effort to do now.
“Citizens as individuals, community need to know how they can participate and ensure that the gains are well managed, sustained to help make the world better.