Godwin Susan and Isah Arah Zainab are thousands of miles apart − the former is in Nasarawa State, Northcentral Nigeria, while the latter resides in Zamfara, a state in the Northwest − but they are both victims of the impacts of climate change.
The loss in 2020 that left Susan, Zainab and indeed many smallholder women farmers in Nigeria lamenting is seen as alarming and a sign of what to come as climate change continues to hit harder across the country.
Nigerian rural women farmers play vital roles in agricultural production and are key to Africa’s most populous country’s food security. They account for 70 per cent of agricultural workers and 80 per cent of food producers but are at the receiving ends of the negative impacts of climate change.
There are pieces of evidence of climate change all over the country, says, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), the government agency that documents weather and climate data.
“These pieces of evidence are in the form of rising temperatures, more frequent and persistent heat and cold waves, severe coastal and inland floods and the ravaging wind storms,” the agency said in one of its climate review bulletins.
According to Michael Mann, one of the world’s most influential climate scientists, the world has “finally reached the point where it is not credible to deny climate change because people can see it playing out in real-time in front of their eyes”.