Posted by News Express | 12 November 2015 | 5,801 times
The Department for International Development (DFID), UK, and other international partners have released 3.3 million pounds (about N980 million) to fund a three-year study of urban Africa risks in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), University of Ibadan, Prof. Gbemisola Oke, announced this on Wednesday in Ibadan at a maiden stakeholders meeting to flag-off the project.
Oke said that the project, which covers six cities in sub-Saharan Africa, was aimed at finding solutions to better mitigate these risks, including malnutrition, poverty and disasters, both natural and man-made.
The six cities the study covers include Nairobi and Mombasa (Kenya), Ibadan (Nigeria), Dakar (Senegal), Niamey (Niger) and Karonga (Malawi).
“It will be foolhardy for anyone to impose what obtains in another country or culture on our local environment and it is appropriate that the project undertakes to look at the situation in Africa.
“Our environment has no boundaries as whatever pollution is generated here has the capability to affect other environments.”
The DVC urged the stakeholders to contribute meaningfully to the study, in order to enable the facilitators proffer solutions to mitigate the risks prevalent in Ibadan.
Also speaking at the occasion, Mr Olalekan Busari, the Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, said that the city had witnessed its fair share of disasters, particularly flooding.
Busari, who blamed the unplanned nature of the city for the disasters, said that the incidences had a significant impact on the environment.
He said that the government looks forward to the outcome of the project and would make use of its recommendations to formulate policies that would mitigate some of the challenges.
In her remark, the lead research, Urban ARK, Dr Ibidun Adelekan, of the Department of Geography, University of Ibadan, said that the project hopes to bring together experts across various disciplines to rub minds.
She said that the objective of the project was to reduce disaster risks in urban sub-Saharan Africa by studying what was happening in the six selected cities.
Adelekan said that by understanding the underlying factors driving the accumulation of risks, it was hoped that the cycle would be broken.
The lead researcher explained that the study would also look at how the nature and scale of these risks change in the context of urban growth, poverty and climate change.
She said that the study would also consider how institutional arrangements and government practices impact as risks in urban development.
A representative of the International Institute of Environment Development, UK, Dr David Satterthwaite, said that the project was aimed at constructing a picture of risks in Ibadan.
He said that the report from the research would help the government to have a clear picture to plan and address possible challenges, particularly as they affect children and women. (NAN)
•Photo shows aerial view of Ibadan City.
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