News / Africa

Lights Out for Nigerian Activists

Map of Nigeria, AfricaMap of Nigeria, Africa
x
Map of Nigeria, Africa
Map of Nigeria, Africa
Heather Murdock
Nigeria joined more than 7,000 cities and towns across the world in celebrating "Earth Hour," a symbolic shutting down of the lights for an hour late Saturday.   More than 100 activists also gathered to launch a petition in favor of Nigeria's Climate Change Bill.  

These activists are celebrating “Earth Hour” in the dark in one of Nigeria’s swankiest hotels.  Not all the lights are out, but the symbolism remains, says Oladotun Fadeyiye, the Abuja Earth-Hour coordinator.
 
At this party, he says, the main event is not the lights out.  It is a petition they hope will pressure the government to adopt the Climate Change Bill, which he says will set up programs to reduce damage to the environment and help people adapt to environmental disasters like floods and desert sprawl.

“There will be money earmarked for people displaced during flooding.  There will be adequate attention for environmental degradation," said Fadeyiye.  "There is a lot of desertification going in the northern part of the country that the federal government, they are ignoring it.”
 
He says the bill was approved by parliament two years ago, but it needs the president’s signature before it becomes law.  

Last year more than 350 people were killed and more than two million displaced in floods that are expected to return with rains in a few months.  Nigerian officials say the country has one of the world’s highest death rates from natural disasters caused by climate change.  
 
On the concrete steps in the courtyard outside the event a group of children hold signs saying things like “Promote Waste Reduction” and “Act Now Control the Flooding.”  Eleven-year-old Andrew Jedy-Agba says for him, climate change is personal.

“In some countries we have this problem of pollution around, and it is a very bad thing because it is destroying our world and a lot of lives are being taken," he said.  
 
Jedy-Agba says he wants to be a football player when he grows up, but he does not think of environmental activism in Nigeria in terms of securing the nation’s future.  Young activists in Nigeria say, for them, fighting climate change is about saving lives today.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs