The United Nations Children’s Fund has identified Nigeria as the second most vulnerable country worldwide in terms of children’s exposure to climate change.
Over 110 million children are confronted with harsh realities of rising temperatures, it said in a statement.
The statement, issued on Monday by Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, came at the end of an inter school quiz competition in Gombe State.
The event was part of activities to mark the 2023 World Children’s Day.
The day, which was established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day, is celebrated on November 20 each year in order to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide and improving children’s welfare.
The theme of this year’s event is: “For Every Child, Every Right.”
According to Munduate, Nigerian children are also confronted with flooding, drought and severe storms.
She stated that child displacement due to environmental disasters such as flood from 2016 to 2021 in Nigeria stood at 650,000.
She added: “The 2023 World Children’s Day celebration is a crucial platform for children to voice out their concerns and experiences.
“Nigeria celebrated World Children’s Day, focusing on child rights amid escalating climate crisis.
“Events across the country saw children from various regions, including Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Enugu, Sokoto, and Maiduguri, leading discussions on the significant impact of climate change on their lives and future.
“The discussions covered various critical issues, including the direct health impact of climate change on children, such as increased physical dangers, waterborne diseases, and malnutrition.
“The event also shed light on the alarming rate of child displacement due to environmental disasters, with 650,000 children displaced from 2016 to 2021 due to floods.
“Over 110 million Nigerian children are at risk, having confronted the harsh realities of rising temperatures, flooding, drought, and severe storms”.
Munduate, however, said that children’s input in this years’ celebration was essential in shaping stakeholders’ collective path toward a sustainable and resilient future.
The Officer in Charge, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Clement Adams, said children must be celebrated and a better environment put in place for them to thrive.
The Government Girls Secondary School, Doma took the first position in the quiz competition with 21 points, Government Day Secondary School, Gandu took the second position with 20 points, while Government Day Science Secondary School, Gombe came third with 18 points.