Nigeria: Conflicts, Hunger, Poverty Plague 40m Nigerians in Wake of Desertification

Environment minister Mohammad Abubakar has said Nigeria is faced with rapid desert encroachment affecting about 15 northern states with over 40million people.

He said in Nigeria, the problem continues to degrade land resources which provide livelihoods to majority of the rural populace with the ugly consequences of resource-use conflicts, hunger, social vices and abject poverty in the affected areas.

Dr Abubakar who stated this on Thursday in an event to mark the 2021 World Desertification and Drought Day (WDDD) with the theme; “Restoration. Land. Recovery.” in Abuja, said the affected states is home to over 95 percent of livestock population in Nigeria and has played a major role in the production of food for domestic consumption and export crops.

World Desertification and Drought Day is marked every 17th of June and dedicated to promote public awareness on the challenges of desertification, land degradation and drought, and also highlight methods to tackle these challenges.

The minister said Nigerian Government is not oblivious of these environmental issues and their impacts but is committed to addressing them to ensure sustainable development and livelihoods of the people in the affected communities.

“Government has developed policies and plans and built institutional and legislative capacities to enhance effective and far-reaching actions to reduce the impacts of desertification and drought on the citizenry,” he said.