*Harmful Environmental Practices, Human Factors Responsible for Climate Crises
Experts have reiterated the need for concerted efforts in solving the climate crisis bedeviling the world through sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructure. This was the fulcrum of opinion at the West African Science Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) Forum Day with the theme: DRP WACS in perspective: Progress and Prospects in the development of Climate Change Science in West Africa held as part of the activities marking the Fortieth anniversary of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA on Wednesday , November 17,2021. While delivering the workshop lecture, Professor. Dr. Andreas Fink of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany said harmful environmental practices and human factors have caused an increase in debilitating floods in the Sahel in recent times.
Speaking on the topic: Present Day and Future Rainfall Trends and Extremes in West Africa, Professor Fink said that Africa is tending towards a delayed cessation in rainfall while intense rainfall is projected for large parts of Africa due to the adverse effects of climate change. Fink analyzed rainfall patterns and observed that most of the African continent is semi-arid and hence prone to extreme variations in rainfall from year to year. He said the tendency towards a more intense second rainy season suggests a later withdrawal of rains from the West African subcontinent. He said the fluctuation in the rainfall patterns are an indication that urgent steps must be taken to remediate the climate and ensure that there is a balance in nature.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Professor Philip Oguntunde commended WASCAL for a job well done in creating awareness on the debilitating effects of climate change on the environment. He said the Centre’s contribution towards climate studies in West Africa can not be overlooked. He said “WASCAL is doing an excellent job in FUTA. We are proud of your activities. You have our full support and we hope that you continue to wax stronger and stronger in advancing studies in climate change and also changing the knowledge landscape of West Africa on the realities of climate change through quality learning and research”
In a goodwill message, Director of Capacity Building, WASCAL, Professor Dauda Kone commended the Centre Director, Professor Debo Adeyewa ,for making WASCAL more visible in West Africa. He said FUTA’S role in the training of capable manpower cannot be under estimated. Kone said FUTA is strategic to the fulfilment of the mandate of WASCAL and urged it not relent in its efforts and to keep the flag flying. He also urged all stakeholders to put hands on deck to ensure that the environment is salvaged from all harmful practices threatening its existence.
In his remarks, Professor Adeyewa said the earth is king among all the other planets strategically placed, awesome and a wonderful home for all living things. He said there have been speculations about life on other planets but earth holds the most conducive atmosphere for survival. He however pointed out that the earth has been hitherto abused by the actions and inactions of man’s activities. And that WASCAL has been saddled with the mandate to understand how climate change can be mitigated and how to raise a generation of climate change champions raising awareness on the need to engage in positive steps that will add value to planet earth.
The Deputy Director DRP-WACS FUTA, Dr. Ife Balogun speaking on WASCAL’s programs and projects said WASCAL is involved in and seeks collaboration in the following areas: urban draining, flood control, water resources, coastal management, energy and a host of other climate related activities. He said “when we come together, we can do much more for the earth”
There were good will messages from various ministries and parastatals such as environment, education, urban Development and physical planning, agriculture and natural resources.
Afterwards students of invited secondary schools were taken on a facility tour and educational outreach to the meteorological observatories.