The good people of Nigeria that live on the banks of Rivers Niger, Benue, Imo, Cross River, Gongola, Hadejia, Kaduna, Katsin-Ala, Ogun, Osun, Owena, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara Rivers etc. should not face food scarcity under any climate change scenarios.
The development and execution of a Master Plan that will involve the efficient use of perennial water resources in southern Nigeria is a shortcut to ensuring food security. In the face of increasing population and uncertainties such as climate change, these enormous water resources potential should be fully utilized by the state and federal governments.
All we need to do is take advantage of technological innovations to tap these untapped water resources at our backyards. Think of the capacity (cubic liters) of irrigation water we can easily harness from these untapped resources. The promotion of large-scale water management schemes to provide water resources for agriculture can thus guarantee enough water for year-round farming under present and future climate change scenarios.
The antiquated mindset focused on developing agriculture in a drought-prone region should be modernized. All the states in Nigeria should push for, develop and harness the irrigation potentials of their water resources. They should provide policy guidelines aimed at strengthening institutions for integrated water resources management at the sub-regional and watershed scale.
Policy makers in Nigeria should use the 2017 Earth Day to educate themselves on the need to develop a strategic framework for action on climate change that identifies immediate priorities for climate resilient agro-economy behind which the Nigerian government, the civil societies, and the local farmers can align their actions in a more synergistic manner.
This will be achieved by the delivery of sharpened action points that supports the urgent priorities in climate change adaptation and risk management. It’s only after we have done this, that we can guarantee food security in Nigeria.