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UK minister blames climate change for insecurity in Nigeria, Sahel region

The UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, has blamed the insecurity challenges being faced by some African countries to the effects of climate change.

James Duddridge
James Duddridge (left) with Helen Grant (UK Trade Envoy to Nigeria), Geoffrey Onyeama (Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister) and Catriona Laing (British High Commissioner to Nigeria)

The minister said that the main crux of the insecurity borders more on lack of arable land and water occasioned by the effects of climate change.

Acording to him, these issues which are linked to climate change will be elaborated on during the Glasgow Climate Change Conference 2021, tagged COP26.

Duddridge said that from the herders’ crisis in Nigeria or Sahel to other crisis, a common denominator was lack of arable lands and water.

“The broader point of a lot of these conflicts, whether it is the Fulani in Nigeria or the Sahel, it is about land and it is about resource.

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“That resource is contracting with climate change so the UK government is very keen through COP26 to highlight the problems in Africa.

“Africa is bearing the brunt of climate change, the shrinking of the Lake Chad, the desertification of potentially arable land, to make sure people have sustainable futures.

“If that land is not there, if that water is not there, if those young men do not have jobs, there would be further instability,” he said.

He said that all the factors which he had listed were all connected but stressed that it was not limited to Africa alone as other countries had their own similar issues which may be labeled differently.

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“You question only Sahel and Chad but these things are all connected up, these issues do not constrain themselves by the borders or country names or the labels we choose to put on countries, these are consistent problems across borders.”

By Ifeanyi Nwoko

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