The Executive Director of Sustainable Environment and Peace Building Foundation, Mr. Authority Benson, has said climate change will kill more people in the future than COVID-19 is doing now if governments continue to ignore the warning signals.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC on Sunday recorded 170 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the total number of infections to 2,558.
The NCDC also said that two new patients died from the virus in the country, bringing the total number of deaths to 87.
The Environmentalist told Daily Trust that COVID-19 is a single virus but climate adverse effects will bring many new illnesses and destabilize every structure and function of the society.
“By nature, we are short-term thinkers and climate change is a very slow-moving problem with debilitating impacts on all life support systems and natural capital which human depend for survival, sustenance and health,” he said.
He explained that there will be illnesses relating to water contamination, poor air quality, cancer, eye and cardiovascular problems, degraded land and land use, which will equally destroy power sector and cause poor agriculture yield.
These problems shall be exacerbated by increase in frequency and intensity of climate variable elements such as change in rainfall patterns, rise in temperature, increase in solar radiation and humidity.
He, however, noted that the situation will be worse in the Niger Delta, especially in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta states that lie barely three meters above sea level and bedded in creeks, streams, swamps and rivers.
“Unfortunately, the natural capacity of our rivers has long been degraded and incapacitated by oil spills and gas flaring.
“Our government is docile and unprepared to tackle climate change. The level of public awareness and policy development is still infant, abstract and conceptual at all levels especially in the Niger Delta.”
“Without early warning systems, technological solutions, education for proactive adaptation for resilience, funding for research and lack of investments in renewable energy, our entire population will remain vulnerable and expose to the pervading harmful impacts in every degree of climate change,” Benson said.