By Nusaiba Ibrahim Na’abba
Regretfully, the calamities unfolding these days are unceasingly proving that our climate is indeed shifting in ways we’ve at no time conceived. Whether climate change will remain a hoax or not is something that can only be proven over time. But, the world isn’t at peace knowing that we are living in desperate times, courtesy of weather conditions our environments haven’t experienced before, even worsening our disorderly states. The experiences of these calamities have massively multiplied and are painting a dusky time ahead.
Poverty levels are increasing as people are forced to flee their homes and farms in search of safety, not because of only insecurity but as a result of deadly climate-related catastrophes. Many of these climate problems are associated with human and natural causes. However, they are also primarily associated with how public development initiatives have, over time, been neglected, grossly squandered and unaccounted for. Now, we are all paying the price. Unlike health, economy and education issues, the environment barely segregates the poor and rich, illiterates and literate, among other unfounded claims used, to create divisions within developing societies like ours.
Climate change is mainly explained within the purview of science. However, not all scientific evidence sits well with religion and culture, core pillars held in high esteem in developing societies worldwide. This is quite understandable as scientific outcomes often contradict cultural and religious perceptions, hence the disagreement. However, communities are now mindful that everyday living is enveloped by gigantic piles of plastic wastes, massive refuse-clotted drainages, insufficient foods, low agricultural turnout, excessive heat and flooding.
On the premise of religion and culture, disagreeing with and disproving new concepts happens to everything alien. It had occurred to diseases like HIV/AIDs, Sickle Cell Anemia, Tuberculosis and, recently, Covid-19 before they were finally accepted as problems in places like Nigeria. Similar to older rejections, climate change has also faced backlash. There are underlying elements of political and economic contestations fueling quests for advanced economies in the world alongside cultural and religious underpinnings. However, that does not erase the authenticity of such events as the current realities are proving them.
The detrimental consequences of climate change have transcended boundaries and excessively destroyed societies. Calamities like flooding, which we spot from afar, are now occupying top spots on our disaster checklists, which is quite frightening. The recent downpour witnessed in Nigeria degenerated into floods that consumed lives and displaced many communities in some parts of Jigawa, Kano and Yobe among the 24 states listed by NEMA through its director of Relief and Humanitarian assistance, Alhassan Nuhu. And with existing IDP camps around the northern part of the country, more devastation has hit the nation.
Until it became a global discourse, the spontaneous activities happening in developing countries like Nigeria were never seen as causatives of climate change. However, the corrupt nature of our systems enables substandard building structures. It fuels illegal dumping of refuse, deforestation, desert encroachment, and various climate problems. Now, these challenges have united to unleash colossal damage to our environment.
Recurrent flooding forcing people out of their homes signals a huge alarm as Nigeria remains in economic chaos and a messy political scene. Unfortunately, no particular problem was attributed as the sole reason for the unusual persistent floods we face in Kano and other neighbouring states. And the reason is mainly that multiple mismanaged natural and human causes have piled up over the years.
With dynamics intrinsic to climate change, the communities in the Northern part of Nigeria, like Kano, Yobe, and Bauchi, among others, have been selected to be part of the Great Green Wall Initiative to combat these environmental changes. Essentially, the project focused on battling climate crises, including desertification, erosion, and other problems related to shifting climate conditions in the Sahel region of the World, including Nigeria.
Whatever the more robust economies are set to achieve, these times are not the best for the independence of thoughts and decisions. We have a collective responsibility to save our environment to save humanity at large. And it is only through collaborative and calculative efforts of communities and the government that the consequences of climate change can be averted to halt its rapid advance. Our duty as humans is to consistently avoid harming the environment and adopt sustainable ways of creating energy, practising agriculture, waste management and other viable solutions offered by experts.
Utilizing these available sustainable methods is highly strategic to align Nigeria with global best practices in the fight against climate change. But on the other hand, our governments at all levels must provide robust and all-inclusive policies that align with citizens’ goals to propel development and support sustainable-driven initiatives to achieve massive, unprecedented mutual successes for humanity and the environment.
Nusaiba Ibrahim Na’abba is a master’s student from the Department of Mass Communication, BUK. She is a freelance writer and researcher. She can be reached via email@example.com.
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