How Climate change fuel food insecurity and crisis in the lake chad region

In recent decades, the occurrence and intensity of climate related hazards such as drought and desertification have increased. It is arguably that the industrial revolution of the 21st century have contributed to increase the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which inevitably is warming the earth faster than before. At the same time, rising temperature and lower rainfalls have resulted in drought and desertification in some latitude, while in other latitudes lower temperature and heavy rainfall have cause cold spell and flooding. The Lake Chad region is no exception. In the past, the lake chad region was a major source of livelihoods for millions of people in sub Saharan Africa, but currently, it is unlikely that the lake can continue as a viable source of livelihoods for millions of people. The lake chad is increasingly shrinking due to desertification, drought, lower rainfall and the rising temperature, which is attributed to climate change. This easy will examine how climate change has affected food security and fuel insecurity in the region and argued that while population has increased in the region, the quality of livelihoods supporting system has decreased.

Climate change has contributed to increase the food insecurity and fuel insecurity around the world in several ways. First, the unreliable rainfall and rising temperature is increasingly affecting the intensity and occurrence of drought than before, which obviously had contributed to the shrinking of the lake chad basin. According to UNDP, from 1960 to present, the Lake had shrunk by 90%. Secondly, the water depth and volume in the lake region is now at its lowest point. Agricultural productivity including fishing that once supported by the lake chad are no longer viable as before due to unreliable rainfall and increased periods of prolong hot spell. At the same time, the population is at its peak in 2019, and this is projected to add more by 2050. Clearly, there is a rising problems of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition and loss of income, especially means of livelihoods. The impact is most severe for women folks, youths which makes more than half of the population. While it could be argued that insecurity and crime is as a result of failure of government, it seems that climate change have exacerbated the food insecurity and fuel insecurity in the region. Increased population without adequate means of livelihoods as a result of climate change seems to have contributed to exacerbate the food insecurity and the crisis in the region.This is the climatic related landmine that have triggered the insecurity explosion, which of course people will always blame the devils workshop. So, long people don’t have what to eat, and don’t have hope of the next meal, crime will be inevitable.

Image result for picture of lake chad

In conclusion, climate change is a major contributing factor to food insecurity and insurgence in the Lake chad region. This has a negative impact on the agriculture and the livelihoods of the people. As far as the lake chad region is concerned, climate change has made it difficult to continue to support the livelihoods of the expanding population in the region. This has increased the vulnerability of millions of households more than before, reduced agricultural productivity and income. However, climate change is a phenomenon that is expected not to reverse soon but could be expected to be worst in the future. Obviously, climate change has affected the food security and the fuel insecurity in the lake chad region. Thus, there is need to developed adaptation technologies that are suitable to the people in the region.

Transportation shifts and climate change

The transport sector, which include water, road, and air transport, has played a critical role in contributing to climate change. Emissions from the transport sector are some of the major contributor to climate change. However, this is expected to double , as the world population is project to peak over 9 billion by 2050This will double the emission from the transport sector geometrically. Majority of the emission will come from developing countries where everybody want to own a car because of the weak mas-transport system. But, should every body own a car.

Image result for picture of emissions from transportation

Increased use of mass transport can reduced the emission from the transport sector, especially in developing countries, where the transport system is weak. This increase individuals having their own cars, but this is expected top double with population. Apart from the improving the fuel quality or switch to clean energy, the use of mass transport is critical to mitigating the climate. This is expected to shift the transport system to a more mass transport system. In context to climate change, the transport sector is going to be a major culprit.However, the use of mass transport can reduce this increasing of greenhouse gases from the transport sector. For example, a flight from Europe could save as at least 1,347.08 kg/person CO2 CAO, equivalent to    1,149,059.24 CO2 per flight for 853 capacity Airbus A380-800 . This can be applied to the use of big buses, and train transport system. The use of mass transport can reveres this trend of increasing emission from the transport sector.


Visit to Vietnam

Visit to Vietnam

I recently traveled to Vietnam as an international student from the National University of Ireland for my internship at the International Rice Research Institute. I had an opportunity to work with the best smart minds in research, agriculture and food security and climate change.

IRRI is an excellent organization and baiting the sun to work was an amazing blood warming experience. This was exactly the opposite in Ireland, where you hunt for the sun daily. There were many good tourist sites to visit as well, especially the famous Hanoi Botanical Garden. It was astounding to see the countryside and the quality of work IRRI is doing to improve the lots of people in adapting to climate change. It was like a family, and the natives where like brothers. They have a family-like environment. This helps me to heal acclimatize faster and stay happy.

The visit to the community was like going home, because it mirrors the exact landscape of my home. The rivers, lakes, forest and the community sitting were so interesting that we to spend 2 nights working with the native’s farmers, trying to understand their side of the story on rice production and adaptation to climate change. Discussions with the natives experiencing the impact of climate change, revealed a new dimension of information, that climate change is real, and not just a fictional fairy tale. To the skeptics, who believe it is hoax, I hope you could see that people are in critical danger, and if something is not done, it could be worst. The risk of do nothing and hoping that climate will repair itself will be too risky, and it is not too late.

The climate is intricately intertwined with the livelihoods of the natives, and the increasing changes in the temperature, and rainfall, as well as the occurrence of drought, flooding in intensity and frequency is affecting the lives of people seriously.

The things that support the livelihoods of many of the natives are no longer available in the right quantity and quality or too extreme. The temperature and rainfall, are increasingly becoming uncertain in intensity and frequency. The agriculture which is the main source of livelihoods is being threatened by climate change.

The climate smart villages are galvanizing stakeholders to support farmers to adapt to climate change. Support the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change to not only adapt their production system to climate change, but also contribute in solving the problem of climate change is a wining solution that needs that support of all. This is a farmers first problem, and farmers can take the lead in solving this problem. They really need our support, to help them feed the expanding population and at the same time stem down the tide of the climate change. I think farmer are ready, but we need to support them now before it is too late. The danger is that it can destroy the agricultural system which is the main source of our food. However, this can be prevented with our support. Farmer are very experience and knowledgeable, but they need all the support to improve on what they are doing to preserve the planet. The idea that farmer are ignorant and should be told what to do may not be the best way to support farmers. However, working with farmers could improve not just the process but contribute to what we may not know or assume to know. This is a win win solution.

Understanding Farmers’ needs to adapt to climate change

As part of the collaboration between the National University of Ireland under the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security program, I joined the International Rice Research Institute as Research Intern in South East Asia , Vietnam Hanoi City.This was part of the requirements for completing my MSCCAFS program at the International University of Ireland. I have been carrying our my research project in close collaborations with other key institutions such as the Agric Genetic Institute and the Northern Mountain Agriculture & Forestry Science Institute (NORMAFSI).

My thesis topic is focused on Participatory Stress Tolerant Rice Varietal Selection to adapt to climate change. Part of my work package was to identify climate risk and farmers needs in stress tolerant rice cultivar to adapt to climate change. This study was participatory in nature and participatory rural appraisal methodology and tools were used.

I have been interfacing and learning from different experts in the field of agriculture and plant breeding. This was to gain valuable insight into the operations and the approaches used by formal research institutions in reaching to farmers and scaling out new technologies. The experience, interfacing and learning from different experts was amazing. I believe many experts were more interested in the topic. This led to knowledge sharing on how best to support farmers adapt to climate change using participatory approaches. I have been engaging with key experts in agriculture, and the next stage was to talk to farmers.

Last week, I took a trip to Truong Thon Ma Village (La 21.76, Long 105.04) with some colleagues from the International Rice Research Institute. The purpose of the trip was to learn from the farmers, seeking answers to my research questions. I conducted focus group discussions with farming household heads. I held three focus group discussions with both men and women groups.The information gathered during this active interactive sessions were amazing, and interestingly farmers were happy to receive the team and to share their knowledge and experiences. The farmers were happy to tell their story!.

The experience in communicating with the farmers using games, sign language and the google translate, interpreters and other techniques in understanding and documenting the farmers stories were amazing. This created an interactive atmosphere and quality engaging discussions. The help us to understanding the climate related risk, coping mechanism and adaptation strategies used by farmers.

let me, also mentioned that the Community elected a new Village Chief that day, and we were invited for a dinner to celebrate the Election Victory by the Chief. The Chief of the Village and the NORMAFSI staff on ground were very instrumental in organizing the focus groups discussions, and ensuring things good smoothly.

This community grow rice, and environments, which is mix of different resources such as forest, mountains, valleys, streams and lower lands. Rice production in these areas is mainly rain fed, which makes to highly vulnerable to climate change. This makes farmers vulnerable to the impact of climate change such as drought, flooding and cold spell and hot spell. The occurrence of these climate related hazard could pose a serious threat to the livelihoods of these subsistence families that relies on rice production for their livelihoods.

At this stage, I’m connecting the dots , cleaning and analyzing all the information we received. Please check for the findings in my next update.

Unaccounted Benefits of Nature services

When the day is too hot, people could rely on their heaters and air conditioners to remain comfortable. However, this comfort does not come without a price. These services are not free, they are paid for it, and it is quite expensive. On the other, a variety of services provided by nature could sustain-ably supplement these cost. The importance of nature-based solutions such as tree sheds to provide sheds, and the different sounds and music from the birds and variety flowering colours and scents to give you every great pleasure cannot be overemphasized.

The landscape of Hanoi Botanical Garden is comprised of a mix of different trees and bird that provides a variety of sheds and sounds for every comfort in hot a day. From the music of the different birds to the variety of sheds and patches, this landscape provides a priceless worth of relaxation and comfort. The garden provides different flowering colors and variety of sheds for every comfort. It is an epicenter of relaxation, when the sun is burning, an experience of dining with nature. The beauty and the serenity of this ecosystem provides not just happiness for many people, especially visited but it is a shelter doom in a sunny day.

 The beauty of this ecosystem could be better appreciated when the day is hot and the cost of paying for electricity to get some comfort. As I walk true the streets of Hanoi, my next bus stop was a shed provided by a tree. I can imagine the discomfort and the stress without any sheds or trees. But the question is the cost of electricity sustainable compared to nature, and how can the supply of these goods and services by nature be valued? There is a popular maxim that says, when something is free, abuse is inevitable. Nature provide a variety of services that makes you comfortable in a sunny day, which is less accounted.

Ecosystem-based solutions have been shown to be efficient and effective to provide sustainable solutions. However, how can these services provided by nature be valued. In context to climate change, the days ahead could become hotter, and people could expect to pay more for electricity, and fuel for comfort. The drive for comfort could lead to emission of more greenhouse gases, which in the first place is the cause of the problem. This explain the value of the diversity of nature.

The nature-based solutions could be more sustainable with a good accounting system. This will adequately value the contribution of nature to keep us comfortable.