Desert encroachment in Nigeria (Nigerian Pilot)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

The disaster of desertification in northern Nigeria

Submitted by peterakpochafo

Yearly, the issue of desertification and its associated dangers, especially as it affects the northern part of Nigeria, is being discussed without concrete evidence at tackling the crisis. Painting a more graphic picture of the danger, a recent report states that, not less than 200 villages have been wiped out by the natural disaster writes YANGE IKYAA.

About 200 villages have disappeared from northern Nigeria on account of desert encroachment. This discovery was recently made by the Developmental Association for Renewable Energies, DARE, and made public by their chairman, Yahaya Ahmed. The association was working on its conservancy project called Clean Development Mechanism or CDM.

DARE’s report is among many others with claims of exceedingly adverse ecological conditions in Nigeria’s arid north on account of climate change. According to the Journal of Geography and Regional Planning, Nigeria’s average temperature has risen by 1.7 degrees celsius in the period between 1901 and 2005, with higher increases in semi-arid regions than in coastal zones. The consequence of this climatic anomaly for the Nigerian people is the combined threat from desertification in the north and coastal erosion in the south.

In fact, the Sahara Desert is currently advancing southward at an estimated rate of 600 metres per annum.
The severity of this trend is being enforced by a multiplicity of factors spanning from overgrasing to woodland abuse and increasingly unreliable rainfall, thereby putting the livelihood of ‘over 55 million people in 10 northern states at serious risk.’



Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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