Report of the One day stakeholders Engagement on the NImet prediction on Rainfall and climate conditions 2021

Climate and Sustainable Development Network And Foundation For Environmental Rights,Advocacy & Development (FENRAD) organized a one-day sensitization engagement of the rural farmers on the implication of seasonal rainfall prediction (SRP) 2021 on socio-economic across the Southeast Geo-political zone which Started at Abia state at Ugwunagbo LGA of Abia state.

Recently released, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) predicted normal to above normal 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) and rainfall season.

The Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) tool is produced by NiMet to inform policy and decision-makers in key sectors of Nigerian economy such as agriculture, aviation, land transportation, disaster management, mining, water supply and management, to monitor weather and climate in Nigeria and provide authoritative meteorological information for sustainable development and safety of life and property in the country.

Sequel to the above, FENRAD & CSDevnet organized multi-stakeholder engagement with local female farmers groups in Uguwunagbo LGA of Abia state in building the capacities of the Rural women farmers on the NIMET prediction and to share an understanding based on SRP the predicted dates of onset, cessation and duration of 2021 growing season in the Region/State.
To determine the appropriate time and period of planting crops to minimize failures and losses.
To identify the most likely locations and periods of flash and river flooding in the Region.

This Activity is implemented by foundation For Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD) Southeast Regional coordinator of CSDevnet with support from CSDEVnet & Pan African climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Niarobi Kenya..One day Program on engagement of rural women farmers to sensitize them on the implications of seasonal rainfall prediction (SRP) 2021 on socio-economic in Nigeria. The program which was organized by FENRAD Nigeria, was hosted at Asa Amuhie Civic hall in Ugwunagbor local government Area of Abia State.

Centered on the sensitization of the stakeholders drawn from community women farmers around the area. The program Started at about 12:04 pm with the community contact person Hon Angela Ukoma declaring it open. In her brief remarks, she informed the participants that the gathering was not for political purpose but strictly from Non Governmental organization whose one of the core mandates is to engage and equally sensitize respective persons on what need to know. Having said that, she introduced the Executive Director of FENRAD who anchored the program.

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The ED in his remarks, aligned with the community contact person by reemphasizing that the forum has no political connotation but the initiative of NGO. He said that NGOs from time to time will always develop interest after identifying with the people on the area they can offer to help that this program is not exceptional from what NGOs are doing. He said that FENRAD and Climate and Sustainable Network were in Ugwunagbor local government area to educate the rural farmers amongst women folks to know what needs to be done should there be change in Seasonal farming.

The rainfall farming season is one important farming process likely to wipe out farm seeds should one lack the techniques to tackle it. He stressed that the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET), is committed to ensuring that rainy seasons do not affect the process of farming. This is why the information to keep the farmers abreast of weather conditions are being periodically released. A booklet containing weather predicted schedules was read and explained in details to the participants.

Predicted weather conditions information by NIMET which has specific weather projections were taught the participants. In the projections, there is the distance apart raining condition for instance, it could rain in Ugwunagbor that is very close to aba but not raining in Aba etc. He said that Ugwunagbor is highly advantaged given the fact that it has weather friendly conditions that favors planting seasons. Interwovenlly, Mrs Joy Ukoma from Asa Amaise Community asked about what could possibly be the cause of a land or soil that receive maximum rainfall but cannot produce bountifully? Responding, the presenter said that the causes could be connected to:

  1. The activities of Oil operating companies which includes: Gas flaring, Oil spillage, movement of heavy equipment etc. He said that oil spillage can spread to Ten communities and destroy farmlands thereby degrade the soil nutrients.

  1. Natural causes owing to continuous cultivation on the land. He said that such occurrences will only be detected and corrected by a soil testing expert. The second question came from Mrs Comfort C Ukoma who asked about the causes of maize that suffers stunted growth? Responding, the presenter said that it could be as a result of pest or contaminated soil. He suggested that an agric extension officer in the local government council should live up to expectation by visiting the rural farmers. Along the line, the reportiour Comrade Henry O. Nwaigwe, added by saying that bush burning was against the process of farming that if not checked, could cause more harm than good. He mentioned the adverse effect of bush burning to include: serious reduction in soil fertility, environmental degradation etc. He suggested that rather than burning bushes, the plants, should be converted to compost manure in addition to other natural manures that generates from: fowl faeces, ashes, decayed plants etc. He concluded and said that if they are applied, it will improve in the fertilization of planting soil. Going further, the presenter spoke on afforestation and deforestation: explaining this aspect, he said that deforestation is the act of cutting down on trees while afforestation is planting more to save the environment reduce heat and harsh weather. He used Aba city to give an example of deforestation in which buildings have covered the spaces where trees would have been planted to reduce hot weather conditions ravaging aba and it environs. He reemphasized on bush burning. According to him, the bush burning method of farming was seriously condemned with its attendant consequences of killing soil fertility etc. He said that farmers that uses bush burning method do so because of lack of sufficient manpower. He said that this is the area that farmers need government intervention hence they the farmers do not have the financial capacity to procure instruments to practice nonbush burning method like in the northern region. Mrs Joy Ukoma in her advise was of the opinion that such program as this should be lifted to local government level so that the people at that level should add their voices for Government to hear and act where necessary. The presenter responded and promised to hold the next one at the local government council. Madam Nwayinma Nwauju, encouraged the presenter to keep the good work glowing. She said the program has drawn her attention to know when and when not to plant given the prediction of rainfall. She equally acknowledged the effort of the community contact person which according to her that they have found good Government representative where she is. Mrs Vivian Okezie, asked to know if there are crops that can survive in the north and not survive in the East? The presenter, in response said that no crop in the north that cannot survive in the east. He said that why it looks as if the north are growing more crops than the east is because their Government is always given them the necessary support unlike in the east where no famer is being supported by the government. That is why the farmers here after struggling to produce items like Gari, etc they keep it at high cost. However, the presenter comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor Executive Director FENRAD promised that he was going to organize a program where Government officials will be present to hear from them directly. Mrs Joy Ukoma, was appointed to give a vote thanks. In her remarks, she thanked those she called resource persons. She attributed the new method of farming she learnt to the program of the day. She said that her wish is to get more support from the government to be able to practice all that have been taught them at the engagement program. She asked the resource persons to keep the good work going while expecting reward from above. She concluded. Happiness Akwaraonwu, said the closing prayer. In her prayer, she asked God to give them the wisdom to internalize what they have learnt and put it into practice for better result. She asked for journey mercies to all participants and greater blessings to the organizers. The program ended at 01:52; pm
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Signed:
Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor

Executive Director
Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy & Development FENRAD Nigeria

Aba.Abia state, Nigeria

Emails: [email protected], [email protected]
[email protected]

Twitter: @FENRADNigeria

Website: www.fenrad.org.ng

For more information or to request an interview, please contact us on: +2348033383708,07062949232.

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