Trader Climate Sensitization in Nigeria
ISEC Nigeria organized a climate change awareness program for traders in the Ondo State. They educated traders on methods to reduce their environmental impact within their trading and their daily lives.
One-on-one approach was used for the sensitization process, after the formal greeting and introduction, some routine questions are asked to engage the traders by arousing their interest to our visit this to avoid direct confrontation on discussion on climate change that may make them feel our presence is disrupting their business activity. Examples of such questions are:
1. How is market and the festivity period going?
2. Hope this weather is not too harsh?
3. Do you notice any change in the climatic condition in few years pass and now?
4. How has the change affected your business and you in particular? 5. What do you think is responsible for the change?
After the above questions has been asking in a friendly approach by any member of the team, the project coordinator then picks up the conversation on climate change and begin the sensitization process from the reason(s) the traders stated as responsible for climate change, he starts by correcting wrong notions like the belief that climate change is an act of God as a punishment for human sins.
After correcting these notions he then begin engaging the traders on talks about evidence of climate change, factors responsible for climate change like temperature rainfall etc. and divers human activities that has led to changes in the normal condition of these factors and how these activities can be curbed or control in order to preserve the environment. Of such control measure is proper waste disposal using waste management agencies instead of dumping refuse in the gutters and abandoned land (wastelands) that later causes flooding or land pollution, the use of biodegradable packaging materials like paper instead of polythene based packaging materials etc., stop burning refuse (solid wastes) especially close to human habitation and food items to avoid air pollution and proper disposal of sewage (liquid waste) to avoid land and water pollution
From the information obtained during our interaction with the traders the following was observed:
1. Most of these traders and technically most Nigerians are aware of climate change, but do not have the idea of the reason for such change, ergo their unconscious engagements in activities that are harmful to the environment.
2. Some of the traders attribute such change to an act of God due to human sins and some think it is because of the near apocalypse.
3. To the saw millers and timber contractors, they felt climate change has been beneficial without actually looking at their activities from a broad view.