Threatened by Climate Change, Food Scarcity, Flooding Endanger Communities

Khadijah Ishaq Bawas

Nigeria and the rest of the world face a huge existential challenge occasioned by the effect of climate change, bringing about desertification, gully erosion, health challenges and draught with an attended food shortage that brings about forced migration, a major breeding condition for insecurity.

Climate Change experts have warned that if urgent mitigation steps are not taken to reduce the volume of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere, the world as we know it will be completely destroyed in a matter of decades due to its catastrophic impact.

During the preparatory meeting of the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021, Vice President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, mentioned that Transforming Africa’s food system is an obvious task that requires active mobilization and prioritization of both public and private investments.

This explains the resolve of the Federal Government to complement existing development plans, sectoral strategies, and prioritizing investments in specific innovations and technologies to transform food systems in the country.

Sharing insights on Nigeria’s efforts, the Vice President noted that “the Nigerian Government is committed to addressing the drivers of food insecurity such as food inflation, changing consumption patterns and climate change, amongst other things.

“At the same time and as an outcome of 40 different food systems dialogues in which up to 5,000 people participated, Nigeria is prioritizing investments in specific innovations and technologies to scale up and transform food systems.

“These actions complement existing development plans and sectoral strategies such as our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the National Policy on Food and Nutrition and the National Policy on Food Safety.”

Flooding, a recurring decimal in Nigeria:

The impact of flooding no doubt has significant multidimensional effects on both individuals and communities across the globe.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report on climate change states that floods cause more than $40 billion in annual damage across the globe, with an increase in death rate in recent years pegged at more than 100 people per year.

In Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State, for example, entire farmlands were submerged in flood leading to huge losses in rice, sugarcane and maize plantations among other crops.

Even roads were cut off.

A resident of the affected community, Mal Nuhu Danjuma Shehu Kanam lamented the situation:
“Yesterday, in the morning our attention was drawn to the sad news that the road linking the above five electoral wards (Munbutbo, Kantana, Dugub, Gagdi and Kanam) to Dengi was cut off around Dal Marke and Mun Kano, following heavy rainfall on Thursday night of 8th July 2021.

No vehicles from this axis moved to the Dengi market yesterday. Only motorcycles were the means of transportation of persons and few goods. The situation was quite disturbing and frustrating”

Mal Shehu further called on Plateau State Government to come to their aid. ” To our government at various levels, LGA, State and the Federal, please we are requesting for your magnanimity to please come over and help these communities. Our specific appeal to the Governor of Plateau State, who awarded a contract for the construction of the road some four years ago.”

He berated the activities of the contractors on the road whom he said are responsible for exposing the road to excessive and negative effects of rainfall.

“In the case of Dal Marke, there was a bridge which was destroyed by the contractor for the purpose of constructing a new one which has not been done, hence the calamity befalling the immediate communities. We are appealing that the contractor be mobilized to go back to the site and continue with the project”

Similar situations abound in various communities across the country and it has therefore become imperative for citizens to put their hands on deck in order to mitigate the threats of climate change.

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