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Chuks Udo Okonta
WAICA Reinsurance Corporation(WAICA) has taken the lead in the fight against problems associated with climatic change which often lead to flooding, drought and deforestation across Africa.
To this end, the corporation has vowed to, on an annual basis, sponsor a competition that would require people to provide practical solutions to ending this disaster on the continent, while WAICA Re will fund the winning project.
Living to its promise, at the just concluded AIO 2021 in Lagos Nigeria, Ejike Nwankwo won the 2021 WAICA Re. Champions Award, with his entry on how to manage plastic waste to prevent flooding while the corporation promised to finance this initiative to the tune of $100,000 .
He also went home with $5,000.
Uduakobong Inyang won $3000 as first runners-up while $2000 went to Chinwe Anthonia Umeobi of African Alliance Insurance Plc as the 2nd runners-up.
Speaking on this development, the group chief operating officer, WAICA Re, Dr. Abiba Zakariah, said the corporation came up with this initiative as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) to end drought, flood and deforestation across Africa, especially, West African region.
She stated that the projects proffered practical solutions that can be replicated across Africa, saying, WAICA Re is ready to continue to support such initiative with $100,000 annually.
This is to ensure that Africans see themselves as solutions to African problems, she said.
She disclosed that the winner of the competition now becomes WAICA Re’s goodwill ambassador for a year, even as the reinsurance firm would support. the winning project with $100,000, while such ambassador will have a cash reward of $5000.
There will also be 1st and 2nd runners-up with cash awards of $3000 and $2000 respectively, she stressed.
Similarly, the immediate past Secretary General, AIO, Prisca Soares, said, the devastating effects of natural disasters, which might also be linked to climate change in most countries on the continent is better imagined, adding that, the untold and undocumented hardship on the communities and worsening poverty situations, are gaps insurance policies do not cover.
“So, beyond insurance policies, we must find practical solutions to some of these natural disasters as responsible citizens and corporate organizations. We may not have the power to stop natural disasters. Still, we can pull resources to alleviate their impact and reduce their frequency when we remove the human contributory factors,” she pointed out.
While applauding WAICA Re for spearheading such an initiative in West Africa by focusing its attention on finding practical solutions to natural disasters in the region, she added that, WAICA Re’s maiden edition of the CSR Competition and Ambassador for 2021 has been able to push discussions on the Environment to the forefront of burning issues.
This competition, he reiterated, will continue as an annual event to be extended to the rest of Africa and beyond, supporting WAICA Re’s vision, mission, and global outlook.
To her, “the three winners that emerged from this maiden edition of the competition are here this evening to receive their awards for finding practical solutions to natural disasters in West Africa. The top winner will be crowned as the WAICA Re Ambassador for 2021. WAICA Re will also be committing $100,000 (one hundred thousand dollars) as funding for the winning project. The criteria for the winning project have been designed such that the project’s sustainability outlives the initial execution.”