By ibrahima pima
Kaduna (Nigeria)- Local farmers in Kaduna State, Northwest of the country have decried the loss of large hectares of agricultural land annually to desertification and river bank erosion.
According to the local farmers in Kaduna, zaria ,Hayin Kogi kaduna and those behind Kangimi Dam who were visited during a tour by African climate reporters explained that every year, large hectares of their agricultural land are washed away by river bank erosion and desertification.
One of the farmers Residing across kaduna River(Unguwar Kudu) Mallam sa’adu Ibrahim ,says half of our farmland has gone already and the problem is getting worse day by day. We don’t have any idea on how to stop this problem and that is why we are calling on all necessary organizations to come to our rescue because we are loosing our farmland every year during raining season.
He explained that initially they didn’t know anything like desertification ,Guilly erosion, and River bank erosion due to lack of support and technical advices from experts or specialist .
“our agricultural land is about going to exist and we don’t know what to do.
River Bank erosion is perhaps the most common problem facing many streams in today’s waterway systems. Streams are very dynamic ecosystems that move, grow and change naturally or when human activities impact them.”
This year annual rain fall also came with many challenges as flood and other natural disaster wash away our farm crops product,
River banks erosion is the major problems most Nigerian farmers along river banks are facing
African Climate reporters visited some streams and Rivers in some States of Northern Nigeria to see the impact of these problems on agricultural land and see how the issues could be handled with those farming along the river banks.
States like Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi,and Zamfara states, desertification has remained a major problem hence the need to sensitize the local farmers on various methods of Trees planting and other plant to protect their farmlands.
The demand of firewood,Timber for housing estate is becoming a threat to our forestry,hence the need for every stake holder to be involved in the daily battle to immensely halt the spread of desertification affecting farmland,houses alone river banks.
“As you can see, half of our farmland has gone already and the problem is getting worse day by day. We don’t have any idea on how to stop this problem and that is why we are calling on all necessary organizations to come to our rescue,” he lamented.
“Large hectares of agricultural land in this area is going simply because of desertification, and it keep on expanding thereby making us losing hope in the place of future farming in the area.
“River Bank erosion is perhaps the most common problem facing many streams in today’s waterway systems. Streams are very dynamic ecosystems that move, grow and change naturally or when human activities impact them.”
Mallam sa’adu Ibrahim appealed to state and federal government to support local farmers with iniciative that could help them saving their farmland against going extinction.
Adding that many hectares has already gone, and many are on their way,
He called on ministry of agriculture and rural development to as a matter of urgency do the needful to end the suffering most farmers alone River banks faces
Another farmer, Sani Musa residing at one of the 6 villages behind Kangimi Dam, Kaduna, also lamented how their farmlands in the area are being threatened as the water that passes always, wash away half of the crops they planted ..
Musa expressed dismay over the increase loss of his farm land due to these problems.
“We don’t know what to plant along the river to stop losing our farmland, as you can see, the seizes annually do expand and to us this is a setback because we are losing agricultural land.“
Most farm owners along the river banks expressed their displeasure with the current situation that they found themselves as their agricultural land is fast diminishing without finding any solution to halt it.
A research carried out by African climate reporters, shows that in Kaduna, 1 out of every 538 farmers lose farmlands, while In Africa, large hectares of agricultural land always affected by erosion, making the owners losing farmlands and crops.
.African climate reporters told the local farmers that, River bank erosion occurs both naturally and through human impact, as Rivers and streams were dynamic systems as they are constantly changing.
River bank erosion has social, economic, health, education and sometimes, political impacts including homelessness after compelling people to migrate.
After forced migration, the people would suffer from economic crisis, loss of occupation, and sometimes involvement in criminal activities.
Comrade Nurudden Bello ,the regional Director of African climate reporters urged African farmers to find means of planting more trees in their farmlands so as to protect the lands against all forms of threats.
While calling on more experts in the country to always visit such farmers, Bello stressed the need to sensitize the people on how to contribute to protecting their land before getting into worse situation.
Meanwhile science climatologist dr piman Hoffman,says another problems that is affecting our farmland is the lost of forestry due to continuous irrational activities of human being and the demand of Timberwood and charcoal business in the region,
The loss of forest coverage is characterized by illegal logging of forests wood and bad government policies.,while stressing on the need to educate and sentitizes more farmers on ways of protecting their farmland against all forms of environmental challenges.
This requires adequate attention. Unfortunately, people do not regard natural forest as an adequate use of land, and it is this feeling of waste, as well as economic necessity, that induces them to enter forest reserves for the farm. Also, whatever legal situation, they may regard themselves as natural owners of land to do with as they like.
Adding that it is obvious that Nigeria environment has suffered greatly from degradation sandwiched by rising population deforestation and climate change in everypart of the country.
The negative impacts of the degradation are apparent in the form of pollution, desertification, having adverse effects on the livelihood of Nigerians.
Forestry in Nigeria is in transition, as such a working system needs to be employed by the ministry of the environment so as to promote forest investment, considering the economic and ecological advantages and benefits in the forest.
Therefore,government should encourage individuals and private organisations to invest in forestry and also ban the export of forest product, in that case, the demand for forest products will not influence the attitude to investin the forest industry and government shouldintroduce Forest Policing in support of functioning forest legislation.
He ended by saying, The root causes of gully erosion are complex but climate change is a major culprit. In Nigeria, the impact is clear: loss of farmland and vegetation, isolation of villages and loss of life. Now locals are calling for government aid to tackle the problem.
Drought and desertification impact directly or indirectly on all aspects of human life and the environment including the ecological, health, geo-chemical, hydrological and socio-economic facets. Despite several efforts by the government to end desertification, the problem still persist due to the gap between the formation of policy and strategies of combating drought and desertification.
Drought and desertification can be remedied throughintegrated approaches such asawareness programmes, protection of marginal lands, tree planting, sustainable agricultural practices and use of alternative energy source.
Nigeria is a country faced with desertification problem with 15 states accounting for about 68.38% of the country’s total land area, challenged with varying degrees of desertification. Impacts of drought and desertification are felt in all aspects of the environment and human livelihood.
Remedies to these problems involves awareness, protection of marginal lands, planting of indigenous tree and shrub species, sustainable agricultural practices and use of alternative energy source.There is need to bridge the gap between the formation of policy and strategies of combating drought and desertification so that government efforts to combating desertification can beproductive.
Farmers along River bans most emback on planting trees to save their farmland,while calling on other stake holders to always organize workshops which is aims at building more capacities to local farmers
Trees contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife
He says, one thing to know is that, Trees control climate by moderating the effects of the sun, rain and wind. Leaves absorb and filter the sun’s radiant energy, keeping things cool in summer.
Trees also preserve warmth by providing a screen from harsh wind. In addition to influencing wind speed and direction, they shield us from the downfall of rain, sleet and hail.
Trees also lower the air temperature and reduce the heat intensity of the greenhouse effect by maintaining low levels of carbon dioxide