Interrogating the Nexus between Climate Change and Farmer-Herders Conflicts in Nigeria

Efetobor Stephanie Effevottu, Chinonso Ihuoma



 The Nigerian society has witnessed chains of ferocious communal conflicts arising from the actions of the herdsmen and the farmers in several host communities where they move about with their cattle in their quest for water and greener pastures. The frosty relationship between these two groups of people have become the topic of most contemporary discourse especially due to its implications on peace, security and development and the environment in general especially in light of the era of climate variation. This chapter examines the nexus between climate change and conflict amongst farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria. Adopting the historical research methods, the chapter draws its data largely from secondary sources such as books, journal articles and internet sources. The findings from the study reveal that climate change and its underlying implications are the root cause of conflicts between farmers and herders in Nigeria. It also shows that scarcity of resources has an unequal influence on those susceptible as the struggle for source of living and increasing food insecurity often fuels migration and inter-communal violence, which is further strengthened by the presence of a weak institutional mechanism to avert or resolve these conflicts. The paper concludes that climate change brings to the forefront other factors such as land pressure, poverty, weak governance structure, environmental degradation, ethnic marginalisation, all of which boils up till it escalates into full-blown conflicts. Itrecommends among other things, that government should put in place climate adaptation and mitigation mechanisms especially in northern Nigeria that is most likely to suffer the effects of climate change. Hence, the efforts towards a lasting peace in the region should not be seen solely as the responsibility of the government and civil societies or non-governmental organisations, rather the individuals also need to be involved in a collective peace restoration action.

Key Words: Climate Change, Conflict, Farmers, Herdsmen, Development



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