Climate change: WASCAL FUTA catches them young as it celebrates 10th year anniversary

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As part of   activities marking its 10th year anniversary, the West African Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use WASCAL, Federal University of Technology Akure FUTA 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 represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development, Professor Phillips Oguntunde , said the  programme  was critically important as the future belongs to the coming generation, thus it is important to educate them on how to preserve the environment. The Vice Chancellor said that there were 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 that they can also enlighten their peers about.

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While delivering an outreach lecture titled: Basics on Climate Change and the Environment, the Scientific Coordinator WASCAL Doctoral Research Program (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 surrounding, cut down trees for cooking gases, use modern transportation and manufacture goods, we emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

 He added that these gases regulate the global temperature therefore large volume of the gases results into rising global temperature. According to him the volume of the gases is increasing due to human activities.  He said “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 effect Climate Change resulting in  devastating effects of climate change such as Floods in Nigeria, Drought in Sudan, Outbreak of diseases, Wild fires, Sea level rise, Global temperature rise which in turn affects  local temperature ,Regional rainfall, Regional agriculture and food supply.”

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He said as part of efforts to mitigate climate changeaction must be taken to reduce the amount 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, WASCAL DRP-WACS, Dr. Ife Balogun said the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria was formally selected as the Lead University for the Doctoral Research Program (DRP) in West African Climate System (WACS) on August 10, 2010. He said 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.

He 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 Deputy Director stated that the department has consistently earned full accreditation status of both national (NUC) and International (WMO) accreditation for decades and has recorded remarkable stories which include 5 Batches of Students, 28 Graduates, 22 Ongoing Strategic Placement of Alumni Over 50 Publications Grants and  Projects and Alumni who are all  gainfully employed in all  Sectors of the  economy and international organizations such as Ministry of Fisheries & Water Resources,   ICRISAT, International Meteorological Agencies, Centre for Atmospheric Research,  WASCAL Competence Centre, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank (WB).

Highpoint of the occasion was the inauguration of the WASCAL-CLIMEP club by the Executive Director Netlink Environmental Conservation, NECOR Dr. Oladipo Oladeji. He said the Climate Environmental Protection CLIMEP club is borne 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 positions respectively.In the elementary school category, Bishop Hughes Nursery Primary School, FUTA Staff Primary school Telnet International Primary School Akure came first, second and third positions respectively.

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