As the world negotiates a solution to climate change in Paris at the COP21, three journalists, from the Philippines, America and Nigeria discuss the effects of climate change in their countries on BBC World Service program, Local Warming. TVC News Ugochi Oluigbo tells the Nigerian story.
“Okwudor Secondary school was built in 1977. Yet, less than four decades later, the original buildings have been abandoned and the whole complex has relocated several hundred metres, close to the busy
Owerri-to-Orlu road. And as we walk further we can see why… a gulley, deep enough and wide enough to swallow a six-storey building. When the school was built, this huge ravine wasn’t here at all. Solid ground has just melted away. The community in Amucha, Njaba in Imo State, do understand how their actions have contributed to the erosion problem, but it hasn’t stopped them weaving their own stories and folklore around it. The python is sacred in this area. It’s the symbol of the river. You don’t kill it and you don’t eat it. But apparently, back in the seventies, one man in Amucha had other ideas. So, just like a python, the erosion began to snake away from the river up towards the village to seek out and punish the wrongdoer.”
” For centuries Fulani cattle herders have migrated from their homelands in northern Nigeria and travelled south along traditional grazing routes, returning when the rains come. Generally, there’s been
understanding and acceptance between them and the settled farmers whose lands they pass through. But recently, drought and desertification in the north have forced more and more cattle herders – including some from other countries such as Chad and Niger – to travel further and further into Nigeria, away from their traditional routes. As the Fulani have migrated south in search of new grazing areas there have been an increasing number of incidents where their cattle have trampled and eaten farmers crops. This has caused conflict and an escalating cycle of reprisals which have led to many people dying on both sides – both cattle herders and farmers.”