WASCAL organizes outreach for schoolchildren on climate change

WASCAL organizes outreach for schoolchildren on climate change

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As part of its 10th-anniversary celebration, the West African Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Federal University of Technology, Akure, has organized an educational outreach for elementary and secondary schools in Ondo State to educate students on climate change and its effect on the environment.

Declaring the event open, the vice chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji, said since the future belongs to the coming generation, it is important to educate them on how to preserve the environment.

Represented by the deputy vice-chancellor (development), Professor Phillips Oguntunde, the vice chancellor said there are opportunities for young people in Africa to excel in the field of climate science as it has far-reaching effects globally.

She enjoined the participants to avail themselves of the outreach programme and learn new things so that they can also enlighten their peers.

While delivering the outreach lecture entitled ‘Basics on Climate Change and the Environment, the Scientific Coordinator WASCAL Doctoral Research Programme (DRP) in West African Climate System (WACS) FUTA, Dr. Ayo Oluleye, said “We have only one place to live. Our survival depends on the health of our environment. There is no planet ‘B’.

“We interact with our environment to make us comfortable and to create wealth. Thus, when we expand our surroundings, cut down trees for cooking gases, use modern transportation and manufacture goods, we emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

He explained that these gases regulate the global temperature, therefore the large volume of the gases results in rising global temperature.

“Our interaction is harming the environment through gases released into the environment: CO2 from industries and transportation and Methane (NH3) from agriculture; these Greenhouse gasses affect climate change, resulting in devastating effects such as floods in Nigeria, drought in Sudan, outbreak of diseases, wildfires, rise in sea level, global temperature rise, which in turn affect local temperature, regional rainfall, regional agriculture and food supply,” he explained.

As part of efforts to mitigate climate change, Oluleye said action must be taken to reduce the number of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and the deployment of beneficial practices such as reforestation and climate adaptation.

Relating the milestones of WASCAL FUTA, the deputy director, of WASCAL DRP-WACS, Dr. Ife Balogun, said FUTA was formally selected as the lead university for the Doctoral Research Program (DRP) in West African Climate System (WACS) on August 10, 2010.

DRP-WACS focuses on understanding the science of West African climate systems and combating climate change and its associated multisectoral complexities through capacity building and impactful research activities.

Dr. Balogun said DRP-WACS is strongly linked to the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, which is the university component of the Regional Meteorological Training Centre (RMTC) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for West Africa, and its general objective is to create an innovative research network in order to implement climate action in Africa through the responsible development and deployment of artificial intelligence innovations.

The high point of the occasion was the inauguration of the WASCAL-CLIMEP (Climate Environmental Protection) club by the executive director, of Netlink Environmental Conservation, Dr. Oladipo Oladeji.

The CLIMEP club is born out of the need to ensure optimum participation and involvement of elementary and secondary schools in sustainable management of the environment.

At the end of the programme, a quiz was organized, and for the secondary category, Sacred Heart Minor seminary, FUTA Staff Secondary School and Christ the King International Secondary School, Akure, came first, second and third respectively.

In the elementary school category, Bishop Hughes Nursery Primary School, FUTA Staff Primary school, Telnet International Primary School, and Akure, came first, second and third positions respectively.

 

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