Northern Nigeria more vulnerable to climate impact – Minister
Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziak Salako, has said northern Nigeria is vulnerable to climate change impacts more than any other region in the country due to the low precipitation it experiences and the resultant desertification. Salako, who spoke at the weekend during the launch of Report on Mapping Climate Change Impact, Policy and […]
Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziak Salako, has said northern Nigeria is vulnerable to climate change impacts more than any other region in the country due to the low precipitation it experiences and the resultant desertification.
Salako, who spoke at the weekend during the launch of Report on Mapping Climate Change Impact, Policy and Action in Nigeria’s 36 States including FCT, said challenges associated with climate change are not the same across the country.
The event was organised by the ministry’s department of Climate Change in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and in partnership with the Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP).
He said the low rainfall in the north exposes the region to aridity, drought and desertification, which impacts negatively on the large rural populace, who are mainly peasant farmers.
He added that the southern Nigeria, which experiences high rainfall is vulnerable to flooding and erosion.
The minister said, “Vulnerability analysis demonstrates that states in the North experience higher degrees of vulnerability to climate change than those in the South.
“The pattern of vulnerability to climate change also corresponds to the dominance of climate-sensitive agricultural activities. The northern regions of Nigeria, which have higher degrees of rurality, are more vulnerable to climate change. The north-central region has the lowest sensitivity, likely associated with its relatively stable seasonal rains and the presence of a large distribution of lakes that allow for year-round irrigation.
“The most exposed region is the northeast, as exposure factors vary across the country. Declining precipitation that affects water supply in rain-fed agriculture is an exposure issue of priority in the north, while water loss due to high soil porosity is a key concern in the southeast, which also experiences high exposure.”
However, Salako said the Federal Ministry of Environment has undertaken policy, legal, institutional, programme and projects initiatives to address challenges of climate change in the context of its development efforts.
The President Society for Planet and Prosperity, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, said the report would assist states to generate income, access carbon finance and build climate resilience.
He regretted that the level of awareness of climate change in the 36 states across the country is very poor.
However, Prof Okereke said the society has been working with the Federal Minister of Environment, specifically, the department of climate change, and the Nigerian Governors Forum, to do a mapping to understand the level of climate awareness in the 36 states of the country including the FCT.
He said, “We also know that the federal government has put in place a number of major institutions and policies for climate action, but you don’t take climate change action at the federal level whether you’re planting forests, whether you’re doing erosion control, it has to happen in a state owned level, etc but everybody knows we do not know the state of climate action in the sub national level this is a major gap that has been present for the past 12 years since action on climate change in Nigeria.”