Nigeria: Floods, Droughts, and a Lack of a Plan

Nigeria: Floods, Droughts, and a Lack of a Plan

These past few months have proven to be deeply challenging for the world as it reckons with the impacts of both COVID-19 and Climate Change. Nigeria, specifically, is struggling to cope with significant flooding and economic issues relating to the pandemic.

Over the past two months, Northern Nigeria and the states of Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, and Sokoto have been ravaged by floods. The region has seen people lose their homes and, tragically, 30 people lose their life. The state of Kebbi has been tremendously impacted with 5 bridges and 500,000 hectares of crops being destroyed. The timing of these consequential floods coincides with significant food shortages as a result of economic struggles exacerbated by COVID-19 and crop destruction. All of these natural disasters, not just in Nigeria, are reminders that something needs to be done in order to change the trajectory of our planet.

On top of flooding, Nigeria is expected to face issues related to droughts in the coming years. Mohammed Sanusi Shiru, an environmental engineering professor at the Federal University Dutse, published This article in Scientific Reports. The study, “Projection of meteorological droughts in Nigeria during growing seasons under climate change scenarios”, looks into the impacts droughts will have on communities in Nigeria. The study finds that temperature in Nigeria will rise about 0.5-5.5 degrees Celsius depending on the area. It also mentions that although there will be an increase in erratic precipitation, consequently leading to more droughts. Rainfall will come, but only to some parts of the country, and will be extremely unpredictable. This will make it extremely difficult to produce agriculture, which, like most developing countries, constitutes a large part of Nigeria’s GDP. To mitigate this, Shiru argues that there needs to be more effective management of water resources and agricultural management.

In June, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment published Nigeria’s National Adaptation Plan Framework aiming to transition the country’s medium- and long-term adaptation needs towards a more environmentally sustainable model. The ideas in the Plan have the potential to be effective but ultimately it is lacking in its goals. The Plan’s goals section is a mere two-paragraphs long with no hard-set achievable goals. If the Plan’s goal is “facilitating institutional coordination”, then its outcome and success is subjective. As a result, the Ministry does not incentivize any tangible work nor do they accept responsibility for any shortcomings.

The situation in Nigeria is not unique; countries around the world are having difficulty managing the consequences of COVID-19 and Climate Change. Northern Nigeria has been struggling with mass flooding throughout the region, and according to Professor Shiru, the country’s problems don’t stop there. In the coming years, droughts will become more of a problem and the federal government’s current mitigation plans lack substance.

Activity Rating: *Falling Behind

In the vacuum of these past months, Nigeria has not been heading in the right direction to combat climate change.

Contact: Ashraf Dewan, a co-author of the study mentioned in the article above. Fill out the following form:

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Peter Hansen

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