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Benikrukru Community Thanks UNDP, Lite-Africa, FOSCODI For Coming To Their Aid

The People of Benikrukru Community in Gbaramatu kingdom of Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have thanked the organisers of a climate change adaptation project which they said has brought some innovative activities that will help the community cushion the impacts of climate change.

Speaking on Monday after the programme organised by the leadership of the Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-Africa) and the Foundation for Self-reliance and community development initiative (FOSCODI), the participants testified that the project was a blessing to them and to their community as it has brought huge benefits.

The programme which had promoting adaptation to ecosystem degradation and enhanced economic opportunities in Gbaramatu Kingdom was supported by the united nations development programme (UNDP) under its small grants programme (SGP) of the global environment facility (GEF)

Recall that the BeniKrukru community, like many other communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, has been heavily impacted adversely by oil extractive activities which have resulted in the degradation of the environment, the destruction of people’s sources of livelihood and pollution.

The devastation has also left the riverine community in pain, agonies, poverty, hardship and pollution-related health challenges.

Describing the project as a source of succour to the community, Joy Ojobo one of the participants thanked the organisers for choosing the community.

She said “The use of the eco-friendly oven introduced by the project is not only innovative but has led to drastic reduction in deforestation and cutting of mangrove trees for fish smoking around the community.

“In addition to contributing to the reduction in ecosystem degradation, the project has equipped community members with skills to apply agricultural best practices and cooperative/business development ideas to be able to manage poultry and fish farms, thereby improving our livelihoods through enhancement of economic opportunities

“Other activities they trained us on include adaptation to climate change situation, capacity building on climate-smart agriculture, building a farmhouse with poultry pen house, cages and fish tarpaulins, and stocking of the poultry and fish ponds as well as installation of eco-friendly electric fish drying oven in the farm.

Speaking earlier, a representative of Lite Africa, Ifeoma Orisakwe maintained the project idea was conceived when Chevron oil company under its global memorandum of understanding and its partner the Egbema and Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF) came together to deliberate on the way forward as part of a community development programme to contribute in addressing the age-long adverse effects of oil and gas activities in the area.

She said “The deliberation was successful as they succeeded in securing the support of UNDP. The goal was to promote animal husbandry and adaptation to ecosystem degradation and enhance economic opportunities adding that the project was linked to innovative climate-smart agriculture which is relevant to the achievement of the GEF focal landscape.

She disclosed that at a forum organized to document the impacts of the project and lessons learnt, a long list of impacts was generated, which includes a reduction in conflict, Employment for community members, improved income generation opportunities, protection of the environment and climate actions.

Also, reduction in deforestation of mangrove trees in the project community with the acquisition of an eco-friendly oven for fish smoking against the firewood which hitherto community residents have been using, enhanced climate-smart livelihood activities, economic opportunities, supported quality living through capacity building of the local people for wealth creation and sustainable development of the people of Benikrukru she said were also taken into consideration.

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