Proposed establishment of a regional competence centre called West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adaptive Land use (WASCAL): The Centre was nominated by the Federal Ministry of Environment to participate in the German initiative on capacity building (education and research) on Climate Change and Adaptive Land use. This initiative proposed a Regional Competence Centre and several satellite Centres (Universities) called West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adaptive Land use (WASCAL). Ten (10) participating countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Gambia, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Senegal and Mali) are partnering with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in Germany on this initiative. The focus would be on graduate research programmes in selected Universities and on the following thematic areas: West African Climate Systems and Regional Masters programme (Nigeria), Climate Change and Land Resources (Ghana), Climate Change and Water resources (Benin), Climate Change and Resources Economics (Senegal), Climate Change and Agriculture (Mali), Climate Change and Biodiversity (Cote D’Ivoire); and Climate Change and People (Togo). The Centre is the host of the Regional Masters Programme on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (with options) and the major responsibility is to prepare students for regional PhD programmes within the framework of WASCAL in six areas of specialization. It is also a in the Academic Board of Climate Change and Land Resources programme in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. However, the Centre has to be upgraded to an Institute to be able to run a graduate degree programme effectively. It is expected that the University and the Federal Ministry of Environment would make contributions to ensure the success of this unique programme in West Africa. Possible take off year is the 2012/2013 session giving the University enough time to obtain NUC approval and also upgrade the Centre to an Institute.
(b) Training Programmes
(i) The 3-tier Certificate Course on Climate Change induced Disaster Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Reduction (DVARR) commenced on the 25th of July 2010 and will end on the 31st of October 2011. The Centre was able to train 8 participants for the full programme and generated N500,000.00 from the self sustaining programme for the 2010/2011 session. Effort is being made to commence training the next set of participants by November 2011. The inauguration of DVARR and commissioning of the Centre’s training laboratory, which was done by the former Honorable Minister of Environment, Mr John Odey represented by the former Head, Special Climate Change Unit of the Ministry, Dr Victor Fodeke. The occasion was witnessed by the Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change, Hon E. C. Ubani as well as Gombe State Honourable Commissioner of Water Resources, Environment and Urban Development, Barrister (Dr) Muhammad Magaji Doho, who was also the current Chairman of the Frontline States’ Commissioners of Environment Forum. The University Management was led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor M. S. Audu fman. During the Advance DVARR certificate course which held in March 2011, a paper on Clean Development Mechanism was presented by the current Head of the Special Climate Change Unit of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr Samuel Adejuwon. The Professional DVARR, which is the third certificate course was commemorated by a University Seminar organized by the University Seminar Committee, in collaboration with the Centre and also the Centre for Disaster Risk management and Development Studies of the University. In the Seminar titled Climate change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction: the Role of Stakeholders, two erudite Professors were invited to present papers. This Seminar held on the 6th October 2011.
(ii) A one day “train the trainers” workshop is also in the pipeline to introduce agricultural extension workers to climate change adaptation techniques with emphasis on crop production. This is scheduled to hold before the end of year 2011. Participants are expected from neighbouring States of Kwara, Kebbi, Kogi including Niger State.
(c) The University hosted some August visitors to the Centre. The first was the Ministerial Team from the Federal Ministry of Environment led by Dr Victor Fodeke, former Head, Special Climate Change Unit. This Team came on a fact finding mission to assess the status of the Centre prior to the visit by the Task Force on the implementation of the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL). The later eventually came on a field visit to the Centre on 27th August 2010 and it was led by the representative of the former Honourable Minister of Environment, Mr John Odey, Mrs Bisi Jaji. The German delegation from the German Ministry of Education and Research was led by Dr Henk Van Liempt and it comprised: Mrs Susanne Madders, Ruth Badeberg and Gabin Ananou. The delegation also consisted of the ten Task Force Members from various West African Countries representing the Ministries participating in WASCAL. This visit was followed on 18th March 2011 by the representative of the WASCAL Headquarters led by Professor Paul Vlek, whose task it is to ensure the success of WASCAL from the Headquarters in Accra, Ghana. The visit became necessary because the Centre had been approved as the host of the Regional Masters in Climate Change and Adapted Land Use during the Task Force Meeting that held in Dakar in February 2011.
RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS
The research conducted with International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington DC, United States was concluded in 2010. Sponsored by the World Bank and titled Sustainable Land and Water Management Practices and Adaptation to Climate Change in Sub-saharan Africa, CCCFR conducted the study in Niger State in collaboration with IFPRI. The Niger State Team was led by the Director of the Centre, Dr A. A. Okhimamhe. Members of the include: Mrs Mairo Mohammed (Department of Geography), Mrs Saratu Ibrahim Usman (Department of Water Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology), Ezekiel Salawu (Department of Geography), Isaiah Sule (CEPES), Mal Haruna Mohammed (Agricultural Extension Technology) and Mal Usman Ibeto (Niger State Ministry of Environment and Forest Resources). A University Seminar on this research is being planned for November 2nd 2011 and the IFPRI Project Leader, Dr Ephraim Nkonya is expected to present the outcome of the research. This research provided the basis for the “train the trainers Workshop organized for Agricultural Extension workers in Niger State. IFPRI discussion paper titled “Climate Risk Management through Sustainable Land Management in Sub-saharan Africa” has been published online.
In 2010, two staff (Dr Rasheed Ojutiku and Mallam Y. M. Suleiman) of the Centre participated in PRESAO Workshop organized by African centre for Meteorological Application and Development (ACMAD) in Niamey, Niger Republic on the 26th – 28th May 2010 to develop their capacity to prepare marketable proposals for the Centre. The Centre also participated in a capacity building Workshop titled “Effective Communication for Teaching and Research” that was organized by the Committee of Deans in their meeting in Adamawa State University, Mubi. The Centre was represented by the Deputy Director, Dr Rasheed Ojutiku. He, in turn, is expected to present a CCCFR Seminar on the subject matter for the other staff to benefit from.
In March 2011, in order to reach out to the youths, the Centre for Climate Change and Freshwater Resources (CCCFR) organized its First Climate Change and Youth programme comprising the following competition: quiz, presentation of playlets and jingles on the theme of the programme: CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE YOUTH: TODAY’S ACTIONS, TOMORROW’S REACTION. This was with the aim of gingering the youths to safe guard their future; and to celebrate both the Mother’s day and International Women’s Day and the justification being that Women and the Youths are very vulnerable to the impact of climate change and should be encouraged to be at the forefront of the fight. It was a community effort that led to a total of at least 13 awards that were presented to ALL the participating secondary schools in the activities above (comprising 24 English, 24 Geography and 24 Mathematics text books for the libraries of the winning schools). From these, the three highest scoring secondary schools were given the following awards:
(a) Overall First Price: N50, 000.00 and the Vice Chancellor’s plaque (Sponsored by First Bank Nigeria PLC): won by Baptist Secondary School, Minna (hence the choice of the secondary school to present the playlet today);
(b) Overall Second Price: N20,000.00 and the Vice Chancellor’s plaque (Anonymous Sponsor): won by El Amin International Secondary School, Minna; and
(c) Overall Third Price: N10,000.00 and the Vice Chancellor’s plaque (Anonymous Sponsor): won by Police Secondary School, Minna.
Attendance from both within and outside the University was very encouraging as all rank and file were represented from both the academia and non-teaching staff. Also, the former Commissioner of Science and Technology, Dr Peter Sarki who was represented by the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Daniel Shashere, who is currently the Secretary to the Niger State Government. It was a community service that demonstrated the concern of staff of the University on issues concerning climate change and its impacts as more than half the funds used were donated by these incredible capacity to give. Search FM 92.3, Campus Radio was on hand to provide live commentary on the programme.
In addition, between March – June 2011, the CCCFR got approval from the Vice Chancellor and sponsored three programmes to create awareness via the University’s Campus Radio, Search FM 92.3. These were:
(a.) Tips on Green living: Highlights simple efforts individuals could make to reduce their carbon footprint;
(b.) 5-Minutes with CCCFR: Summarizes major climate induced disasters across the globe and their causes, estimated human and property loss; and
(c.) Clim-Entertainment: A student friendly entertainment programme combining presentation of impacts of climate change in various sectors with music and current information on climate change issues. The impacts highlighted the specializations from various academic departments on campus and more. This was aimed at allowing the students appreciate the link between climate change and their various academic courses.
(a) Being host for the Regional Masters Programme on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use that is expected to commence in 2012/2013 academic section. Substantial funding is expected from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany for equipment purchase to facilitate the training. The programme is expected to serve as a feeder for PhD programmes within the frame work of West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL). It is expected that students from other West African Countries would participate in the programme which would be conducted in English Language. However, the Centre will need to be upgraded to an Institute to successfully commence this programme;
(b) The Centre was the only recipient of renewable energy project (solar power installation) sponsored by the Federal Ministry of environment, its host Ministry. However, a mishap has delayed its commissioning but we are awaiting the reaction from the sponsoring Ministry. It is the only one of its kind in Nigerian Universities;
(c) The Community Service indicated in this document is one of its kind on climate change in Nigeria. It is our desire to make this an annual event with a wider coverage. Infact, the Centre has received positive reviews and recommendation to televise the playlet that won the first prize.
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