A full blown humanitarian emergency in Nigeria

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Children waiting to be fed – dailyindependentnig.com

Nigeria –  The Face of Hunger



This is the face of hunger in Northeastern Nigeria: a three year old girl on the ground gathering single grains of rice and maize from the floor where they had dropped out of bags of food.

We had just finished a food distribution by the American University of Nigeria-Adamawa Peace Initiative this morning.

It did not go as we had planned.

Hungry children - http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tCHudkZWCsc/UW2unQ0p3BI/AAAAAAAAAJI/v0psU5WcQ-I/s1600/Hausa+Girl.JPG
Hungry children – http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tCHudkZWCsc/UW2unQ0p3BI/AAAAAAAAAJI/v0psU5WcQ-I/s1600/Hausa+Girl.JPG


This crisis has been building for at least a year. Now, it is a full blown humanitarian emergency. The University’s active involvement began last March when the Emir of Mubi to our north invited members of our Peace Initiative for a visit. We were asked to bring food and clothing. After meeting with him, he took us to a large room next to his palace. There were over 500 women and girls waiting for us. When we asked them what had happened to all the men, we were told: “They were killed-they were burned.” From that day until we now we have been trying to tell this story-to whoever would listen.

We have walked the halls of government from Yola to Abuja to Washington DC. The US government provided resources at the beginning of the crisis. A few individuals have contributed to our foundation, which is raising funds for this effort. Little else has been forthcoming from anyone. It has been the Founder of AUN, Atiku Abubakar , who has kept our feeding program alive with his own funds.

Where are the international aid agencies?

They are all here-the alphabet soup of agencies from the United Nations and the international aid community. They are taking care of a few thousand mainly in the local refugee camps which hold about 15,000 people. We, on the other hand, are now feeding over 250,000, the vast majority. They are dependent upon our small resources for food, for survival itself.

Read the full article: allAfrica

Desertification in Zamfara State (Nigeria)

Photo credit: Google

15, 000 Zamfara farmers benefit from e-wallet programme

Desertification: Zamfara herders lament scarcity of water

Written by Terkula Igidi


Children with coarse skin and parched lips, not helped by the January harmattain, gather at the shallow well on the dry bed of the Korama stream to fetch the coloured water. There are just two of such wells in the whole of Gidan Shaho, a quiet but penurious village on the fringe of Zurmi, headquarters of Zurmi local government of Zamfara State.

Both humans and animals share the same source of water at Gidan Shaho - http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/sunday/images/herderss.jpg
Both humans and animals share the same source of water at Gidan Shaho – http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/sunday/images/herderss.jpg

The two shallow wells, excavated from the sandy bed of the Korama stream, which takes a north -south course west of Gidan Shaho, serves both humans and animals. With Nigeria said to be currently losing about 350,000 square metres of its land mass to the encroaching Sahara desert, which is advancing southwardly at an estimated rate of 0.6 kilometres a year, the impact on both humans and animals can be anything but harsh.

Increased population and livestock pressure on land seems to have accelerated desertification. In some areas, herders’ tendency to move to less arid areas in search of greener pastures unsettle the local ecosystem and increase the rate of erosion of the land. Incidentally, pastoralists try to get away from the desert, but with their land use practices, obliviously set off another process of desertification in their new communities. They would move on soon after, taking with them their land use practices and leaving a trail of desert behind, and the chain goes on.

Desert encroachment has disrupted ecological balance of most communities in the northern region of Nigeria, having negative impact on the daily lives of people living there.

Read the full article: Sunday Trust

Desertification affecting yield and survival

Photo credit: Google

Kilele, Samari Photo taken in Kebbi State, Nigeria by Irene Becker

Desertification: Kebbi farmers decry poor yields

Written by Terkula Igidi

The encroaching Sahara Desert is impoverishing hundreds of thousands of local people who live on the increasingly arid and barren land and other scarce natural resources in the northern Nigerian state of Kebbi. Sunday Trust spoke to farmers in Chibiki Baba and Wawangu villages in Kangiwa local government of the state and they revealed that desertification is affecting their crops yield and making survival difficult.

Desert encroachment, wind erosion and floods are some of the environmental challenges the Kebbi State faces - http://www.dailytimes.com.ng/sites/default/files/imagecache/400xY/erosion%20in%20Naija.jpg
Desert encroachment, wind erosion and floods are some of the environmental challenges the Kebbi State faces – http://www.dailytimes.com.ng/sites/default/files/imagecache/400xY/erosion%20in%20Naija.jpg

The sleepy and deprived village of Chibiki Baba looked gloomy as the January wind howled and rustled withered stalks of guinea corn and millet well stacked under denuded trees and on low-roofed mud houses. Harvest season is over but there is little to show for the back-breaking toil all year long. Yields for cereal crops grown in the area are becoming poorer and poorer and the locals said they are being threatened by hunger and starvation if measures are not taken to control the challenges thrown up by desertification.

Isa Sabo, who said the desert is encroaching at a very fast pace and is making life hard for rural dwellers who eke their living from farming, decried that sand usually cover their crops resulting in outright death of the plants or stunted growth and then poor yields.

Read the full article: Sunday Trust

See also: Daily Times NG

Chronic food and malnutrition crisis in the Sahel

Photo credit: UN NEWS Centre

Drought has affected residents of the Mbera refugee camp, Mauritania, in the Sahel region of Africa.

Photo: WFP/Justin Smith

UN, partners seek $2 billion to help millions of people across Africa’s Sahel region


The United Nations and its partners today launched an appeal for nearly $2 billion to provide vital humanitarian assistance to millions of people in nine countries across Africa’s Sahel region.

Some 145 million people in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal live in a region that is constantly challenged by chronic food and malnutrition crises, and is vulnerable to climate change, droughts and unpredictable rainfall.

The Sahel humanitarian appeal for 2015, launched today in New York and totalling $1.96 billion, is part of a regional multi-year strategy to respond better to the chronic challenges in the region by emphasizing early intervention and forging closer partnerships with governments and development actors.

Over 20 million people in the region are short of food, 2.6 million of whom need life-saving food assistance now; and nearly six million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2015.

Violent conflict and insecurity have worsened over the last 12 months in many of the countries. As a result, 2.8 million people have been uprooted from their homes, over one million more than this time last year.

Read the full article: UN NEWS Centre

Great Green Wall in Nigeria

Photo credit: Google

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) announced on June 17 at a Summit in Chad that they would fund the Great Green Wall, which is expected to cost $119 million. Photo: Flickr/http2007

Nigeria: Govt to Spend N16 Billion On Great Green Wall Project

Katsina — About N16 billion is to be expended by the Federal Government on the Great Green Wall (GGW) project, aimed at addressing desertification along the 11 northern frontline states.

Flagging-off activities in Gurbin Baure Village in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Malam, noted that vast areas of the North are prone to effects of desertification.

She said the project is expected to cover 1,500km and that it would be extended from Kebbi to Borno State.

Read the full article: allAfrica

See also: StarAfrica

See also: Earth911

Nigerian farmers and desertification

Photo credit: Come to Nigeria

Sokoto State, located in the north-west of Nigeria

Desertification: Water scarcity hits Sokoto farmers

Written by Terkula Igidi


Desertification is a growing menace in most states of the north, which lie south of the Sahara desert, considered as the hottest and longest desert in the world. Desertification is ocassioned by land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, resulting from various factors including climatic variations and human activities.

Desertification in Sokoto: http://gdb.voanews.com/32CD281F-A498-4C13-9FBA-2F960B96408D_mw1024_n_s.jpg
Desertification in Sokoto: http://gdb.voanews.com/32CD281F-A498-4C13-9FBA-2F960B96408D_mw1024_n_s.jpg

It has been estimated that one-third of the earth’s land areas and as many as 850 million of the world’s poorest people are potentially at risk. It is a global phenomenon, affecting both developed and developing nations. About 350 million hectares of land is affected by desertification world wide.

Experts have said the main causes of desertification arepoor land management and environmental pressure. Dry land soils, because of their inherently low fertility, are particularly susceptible to erosion, especially when the  vegetation covering them has been removed or degraded.

Farmland in Sokoto : http://www.sweetcrudereports.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Rural-electrification.jpg
Farmland in Sokoto : http://www.sweetcrudereports.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Rural-electrification.jpg

Nigeria is said to be currently losing about 350,000 square metres of its land mass to the enchroaching Sahara desert, which is advancing southwardly at an estimated rate of 0.6 kilometres a year. With increased population and livestock pressure on lands, desertification tends to be accelerating. In some areas, Pastoralists moving to less arid areas disrupt the local ecosystem and increase the rate of erosion of the land. Incidentally, pastoralists try to get away from the desert, but with their land use practices, obliviously set off another process of desertification in their new communities. They would move on soon after, taking with them their land use practices and leaving a trail of desert behind, and the chain goes on.

Environmentalists believe trees have stabilizing effect on the environment, stressing that when upland watersheds are left bare, heavy rains wash the soil with any crop planted on it into the valleys below. In the dry areas, trees are said to provide fertility to the soil and protect it from water and wind erosions.  With wood a main source of fuel in rural areas, when the populace exhausts the supply of firewood, the use of crop residues then comes handy. These residues, scientists say are relevant in  protecting the soil because they reduce water runoff thereby encouraging percolation. Where the water runs off quickly, soil erosion is accelerated and water levels drop underground causing wells to dry.

Arikwings in Sokoto : http://www.arikwings.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/wingtips_sokoto.jpg
Arikwings in Sokoto : http://www.arikwings.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/wingtips_sokoto.jpg

Desertification and land degradation have been identified as the major causes of poverty, hunger, social ills, and loss of bio-diversity as well as natural resources in the affected regions in Nigeria. And as recent reports on poverty in Nigeria have shown that there is more poverty in the North, desert encroachment may just be one of the causes.

Desertification also leads to conflicts amongst communities competing for farmlands. These conflicts can sometimes lead to clashes and eventual loss of lives and properties. The problem also leads to migration from the rural areas to the urban centres.

Read the full article: Sunday Trust

GGW (Great Green Wall) in Nigeria

Photo credit: Murtala Adogi Mohammed

Tree planting in Northern Nigeria

NEWS ANALYSIS: Tackling desertification via Great Green Wall programme

A News Analysis by Sani Adamu – Posted by OLADAYO.KOMOLAFE

in NAN (News Agency of Nigeria): NANFeatures/Vol. 9/No. 4/2015 (Jan. 8)

By all accounts, President Goodluck Jonathan appears to have taken the bull by the horns in mustering the political will to formally launch the Nigerian component of the Great Green Wall (GGW) Programme in Bachaka village, Kebbi State.

Although Senegal, Chad and Niger had earlier launched their regional components of the programme, the Nigerian component of the programme has remained on the drawing board for years.

Developed by the African Union (AU), through its New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), GGW is conceived as a 15-km wide strip of greenery (trees and bushes) of some 7,775 km long, from Senegal, in the west, to Djibouti, the Horn of Africa, in the east.

The belt is expected to pass through 11 countries, including Nigeria.

Under the programme, more than 1.5 million new trees are expected to be planted from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to Birnin-Kebbi in Kebbi, a distance of about 1,500 km.

Environmentalists describe the initiative as a panacea to menacing movement of the Sahara desert southward, saying that the GGW programme will also protect water sources and restore habitats for biodiversity, energy resources and agricultural production.

Studies indicate that Nigeria is losing more than 350,000 square kilometres of its forest landmass each year to desert encroachment.

The studies also reveal that the effect of desert encroachment is mostly noticeable in 11 frontline states of Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.

Available records show that the menace has already started taking its toll on humans, animals and plants in virtually all the frontline states.


Read the full article: NAN


Fighting desertification

Photo credit: Pixabay

Ostrich farm

The Danger of Desertification

Desertification is a process. It changes productive land into useless land. One example of desertification is when a desert spreads into nearby cropland. In time, the cropland becomes an extension of the desert.

But that is not the only way farmers lose fertile soil.

Long dry periods, warmer temperatures and the removal of trees can all lead to the loss of good cropland. Floods can remove fertile topsoil and begin a process resulting in the loss of planting areas.

Another danger to good land is poor farming methods. Farmers should avoid continually planting crops in the same places, or letting animals feed year after year on the same lands.

Countries from Guatemala to Greece to Vietnam are working against the loss of cropland. Africa especially faces the risk of desertification.

Nigeria, for example, says it loses three hundred fifty thousand hectares of usable land each year. Hills of sand now cover places where people once lived.

When cropland turns to desert, people move to other places for better land and better jobs. This migration can cause political and social tensions.

A nonprofit organization in Nigeria is working to bring public attention to the problem. The group is called Fighting Against Desert Encroachment, or FADE.

Read the full article: Max

It will happen in Nigeria

 Photo credit: Google

Nigeria – Minjibir – Kano State: red waters – erosion

Kano Govt To Produce 1m Seedlings To Check Desertification

See also : “FG Mulls 40m Tree Seedlings to Check Desertification, Erosion Menace” – https://desertification.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/if-you-must-cut-down-a-tree-plant-back-a-tree-in-nigeria/



The Kano State Government plans to produce one million assorted seedlings this year, as part of renewed efforts to check desert encroachment in some parts of the state. The state Afforestation Project Coordinator, Alhaji Ali Dauda, said this in an interview with newsmen in Kano. Dauda said the seedlings would be produced in designated nursery centres located across the state. He said the inputs would be distributed free of charge to farmers and other interested individuals to plant in their respective farms and places of abode.

In addition, the project coordinator said, the state government would establish an eight kilometer shelter-belt at Sabuwar Kasuwa and Danbatta a long Kano-Katsina and Kano-Babura roads, respectively. He disclosed that a total of 460 women would be trained on efficient stove usage, also to check desertification.
He said the training would soon be conducted and was aimed at discouraging the use of trees as firewood for cooking, particularly by rural dwellers. Dauda said after the training each woman would receive a stove and pot in addition to N4,000 as training allowance.
“The whole idea behind the training is to stop rampant felling of trees for use as firewood,’’ he said. “In addition, government plans to train 300 women on modern bee keeping techniques as part of an empowerment programme under the project,” he said.

Read the full article: The Tide

Chronic food shortages, lack of access to water and climate variability

Photo credit: Pixabay

Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria

Nigeria | Vulnerabilities | Irrigation | Coping Strategies | Drought

Kwall, Nigeria
Talitha Tukura (Nigeria), Orleans Mfune (Zambia) and Conrad Otterness (US) spent eight months in 2011 working with 200 families in Kwall, Nigeria who are suffering from chronic food shortages caused by a lack of access to water and climate variability.

These challenges exacerbate the already complex problem of poverty due to a lack of agricultural income. Combine these challenges lead to chronically malnourished and frequently ill children– and an inability to purchase food and pay for children’s education and health.

Read the full article: CSD-I

The Great Green Wall in Northern Nigeria

Photo credit: WVC 2007-11

Tree nursery in Tindouf (S.W. Algeria)

Seedlings grown in plastic bottles to get a 100% survival rate

Entrenching a Sustainable Green Economy


Given the commitment by the federal government to expedite action in implementing the Great Green Wall Project (GGWP) agreement, Paul Obi writes on the importance of the project and its potential in promoting the new drive for a sustainable green economy

Experts believe that with the devastation in the ecosystem in the northern part of the country, afforestation and tree planting remain the most strategic approaches to shield the environment from degradation.
And after several waits for a practical solution to desert encroachment, the federal government appears to have found the answer to the problem.
Thus, the Great Green Wall Project (GGWP), an initiative of the African Union (AU) has come to the rescue. With Nigeria at the forefront of the project, states in Sahel and Savanna stand to benefit also.

Tree saplings grown in plastic bottles in the Tindouf nursery (S.W. Algeria) - Photo WVC 2007-11
Tree saplings grown in plastic bottles in the Tindouf nursery (S.W. Algeria) – Photo WVC 2007-11

The Green Wall

Championed by the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Great Green Wall Project (GGWP) provides a template that re-fixes Nigeria’s push for a sustainable green economy.

Beside the planting of trees, 11 states in the North-east and North-west would benefit from provision of infrastructure, job opportunities, empowerment of rural farmers and assistance to communities to improve their farming and agricultural activities. The states to benefit are Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Katsina, Adamawa and Zamfara.

While the project seems to focus on protection of the environment, the multiplier effects are beyond mitigation of the ecosystem. According to officials, the Great Green Wall Project aims to tackle not just environmental degradation, but also confront the challenges that often encourage citizens to engage in activities that degrade the environment. The core component of the project is also to cater for the wellbeing of Nigerians deeply affected in the region by desertification.

Attached Benefits

Speaking on the potentials of the project, Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam stressed that the project will provide shelter for the communities and also create an ozone-friendly environment in the selected states.

To that effect, the GGWP is expected to create 5,000 jobs in each of the 11 states; with such jobs ranging from tree planting, forest guards and citizens selling vegetables.

Read the full article: THIS DAY LIVE

If you must cut down a tree, plant back a tree in Nigeria

Photo credit: Pixabay

Coconut trees in St. Lucia

FG Mulls 40m Tree Seedlings to Check Desertification, Erosion Menace

By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja


The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Environment is planning to raise about 40 million tree seedlings annually to curtail the effect of desert encroachment and the erosion menace plaguing the nation.

This was disclosed by the Director, Federal Department of Forestry, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Adedoyin Simon, at a recent tree planting campaign in Abuja.

The event with the theme ‘My Environment, My Pride’, was organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation called Sure Smiles Women and Children Advocacy Initiative, in collaboration with the Ministry.

According to Adedoyin, represented by the Assistant Director, Federal Department of Forestry, Mr. Timothy John, “The ministry is set to raise 40 million plant-seeds to curb these problems. As we aware, if the environment is not safe, human beings are also not safe. So, a lot of campaigns are ongoing to ensure that people begin to know the importance attributed to tree planting.”

“We really commend this bold step of tree planting as we all know that no tree, no oxygen. I appeal to Nigerians to stop the cutting down of trees for firewood as this constitutes a huge problem to our environment which effect brings about erosion and desertification. If you must cut down a tree for one reason or another, ensure you plant back a tree.

Read the full article: THIS DAY LIVE

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