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How Global Warming is hampering humanitarian work in Nigeria

How Global Warming is hampering humanitarian work in Nigeria

Ms Ummu Kalthum Muhammad

Nigeria has been passing through the greatest insurgency the country has ever witnessed in its over sixty years of independence as a nation. The only major crises the country witnessed was the Biafran Civil War that lasted for only three years. The insurgency the country is witnessing today has lasted for more than decade and three different leaders tried to defeat it but the story is still not yet uhuru.

The Boko Haram insurgency that Nigeria is being confronted has turned the northeast region especially the city of Maiduguri to become the hot bed and nucleus of humanitarian actors. Local and international non-governmental organizations are everywhere, trying to provide relief and assistance to the victims of the insurgency because the government of Nigeria seemed to be overwhelmed by the challenge. These humanitarian organizations are providing food, medicine, livelihood support and educational support to the people of the northeast.

However, the population of the region has made it impossible for humanitarian organizations to make the kind of impact and change they want to make. This is because real impact and change can only return when the displaced people of the region take back control and ownership of their lives. Most of the people of the region are farmers and a few are pastoralists and fishermen. There are traders too. This is where the humanitarians encounter difficulty: the land that the people need to go back and farm and the waters they need to do fishing are all no longer available and accessible. Neither the government nor the humanitarian can provide these natural resources for the people to exploit. The land is no longer accessible and where it is accessible, it is not fertile. Desertification because of continuous deforestation had rendered the land useless.

Jim Skea, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III said, “West Africa has been identified as a climate-change hotspot, with climate change likely to lessen crop yields and production, with resultant impacts on food security. Southern Africa will also be affected. The western part of Southern Africa is set to become drier, with increasing drought frequency and number of heat waves toward the end of the 21st century.”

He gave a stern warning that , “If the global mean temperature reaches 2° C of global warming, it will cause significant changes in the occurrence and intensity of temperature extremes in all sub-Saharan regions. West and Central Africa will see particularly large increases in the number of hot days at both 1.5° C and 2° C. Over Southern Africa, temperatures are expected to rise faster at 2° C, and areas of the southwestern region, especially in South Africa and parts of Namibia and Botswana, are expected to experience the greatest increases in temperature.”

The ecosystem in Sub-Saharan Africa is severely compromised by issues like deforestation, soil erosion, desertification, wetland degradation, and insect infestation. However, attempts to address these issues have been hampered by a genuine ignorance of their causes and potential solutions. According to conventional thinking, the people in this region are very reckless when it comes to the environment, and they need to be saved from themselves by the rest of the world. It frequently attributes all of the environmental issues in the area to poverty and rapid population growth. However, there is no concrete evidence that Africans have been particularly ignorant of environmental quality, and the world community has not until lately demonstrated any sincere care for it. There is no doubt that Sub-Saharan Africa’s environment needs to be protected.

The negative impact of global warming and climate change will be felt by the humanitarian actors because it will affect the livelihoods of the people the humanitarian actors are trying to help in the northeast. The few people that are trying their best to cultivate the accessible fertile land in the northeast are complaining about the way climate change is affecting their farming through unsteady rainfall that is affecting their crop yield. This medium found out that some of the humanitarian actors are trying to introduce new innovative ways of using cooking through the use of corn stalk and the likes instead of charcoal so that the locals can desist from the use of charcoal but this is not really yielding the kind of result that was anticipated.

How Global Warming is hampering humanitarian work in Nigeria

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