By Vivian Emoni
Abuja – Women Environmental Programme (WEP) an NGO, on Monday, said it had established gender desks in three ministries to promote environmental and women issues in the country.
Mrs Priscilla Achakpa, the Executive Director of the organisation made this disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Achakpa said that the organisation established the gender desk in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development and in the Ministry of Water Resources.
She said that the aim of setting up the desk was to ensure effective implementation of environmental projects, especially issues on women, water, hygiene and sanitation.
According to her, the desk will also strengthen the organisation’s efforts in collaborating with government agencies.
‘The organisation has achieved a lot in the areas of promoting environmental issues and implementation of environmental projects.
“The establishment of the desk is part of our achievements and I believe it will support a close working relationship with our organisation and the government.
“WEP partners with governments; both federal, states an even local councils.
“If you want to achieve your goals, you have to be focused, be committed and competent in all your efforts; if you remain focused and competent government will look for you.
“Partnering with government has been tremendous; we have been able to tackle a lot of environmental issues.
“Also, that has taken my organisation to various states in ensuring that environmental issues are tackled in all the states.
“We focus especially on the areas of climate change, drought and desertification, energy, water, sanitation and hygiene.
“The organisation has been collaborating effectively with government and that has helped us to assist many women in various communities by making sure that they live independently.
“We train the women in various skill acquisitions not only in the FCT but in all the states; the efforts are to ensure that poverty is reduced in the country,’’ she said.
The executive director said that the organisation was working to address gender injustice on issues relating to the environment, economic and social rights of women as well as young people.
She said that the objectives of the organisation were to raise awareness on the gender impacts of climate change and other environmental activities.
Achakpa added that WEP also called for natural resource management, land rights, social infrastructure, the management of environmental conflicts; empowering women and youths.
She said that WEP was an active observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including facilitating the attendance of women and youth leaders to the Conference of Parties (COP) negotiations.
She noted that the organisation was also an active member of the Environmental NGOs constituency.
“The establishment of the gender desk in the three ministries has helped us to embark on successful sensitisation exercises on various environmental activities.
“We have embarked on sensitisation exercise on the dangers of cutting of trees and importance of tree planting in an environment.
“We have carried out our campaign in various communities in the country on the negative effects of climate change and the measures to mitigate climate change in the environment.
“We also enlightened people on the kind of activities they should engage in that can help promote the environment and support their healthy living”. (NAN)