Climate Change and its Security Implication in Africa:
Water bodies serve as one of God’s Creations and other living organisms. Since the creation (or evolution) of man, its activities have had negative impact on the well-being of the environment. To every sane being, God created the earth and everything there in but due to increasing neglect of the environment, climate change crisis have increasingly become aggressive. So, water bodies have not been left out in the negative impact of environmental deregulation over time.
Historically, doing the time of Augustus, Lake Chad was still a huge lake and two Roman expeditions were performed in order to reach the lake of hippopotamus (as the lake was called by Claudius Ptolemeous. Both the expeditions passed through the territory of the Garamantes and were able to leave a small garrisom on the “Lake of hippopotamus and rhinoceros after three months of travelling in the desert land. Two centuries ago, the Europeans surveyed it was considered to be one of the largest lake in the world.
Fifty years lake, the nobel award winning Authur Winston Churchill’s book The River War An Account of the Re-conquest of the Sudan, Published in 1899 Specifically mention the increasing shrinking of lake Chad “Altogether framed enough to occupy her in central Africa for sometime to come and even when the long task is finished the conquered regions are not likely to be of great value. They include the desert of the great Sahara and wide expanses of equally profitless scrub or marsh. Only one important river, the Shari flows through them and never reaches the sea, and even lake Chad into which Shari flows appears to be leaking through some subterranean exit and is rapidly changing from lake into an immense swap’’.
Why Lake Chad is Important
Lake Chad represents one of the Africa’s vast and historically largest natural deposits. The depleting Lake Chad is becoming an economic and security problems in Africa or the most security problems facing West Africa. Statically, Lake Chad is economically important, providing water to more than 30 million people in four centuries surrounding it (Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Niger) of the central part of the Sahel.
In West Africa, the multiplying effect on Agricultural Productivity, Health and Security of the region is affecting the continent due to the decrease in expansivities of the Lake, it has led to decrease level of biodiversity and consequently low fishing activities. Increase in poverty due to decreased productivity in Agriculture and other farming activities. This in turns have led to struggle for survival and resources among it inhabitant.
One of the direct consequences of climate change in West Africa is the depletion of natural resources reduced natural resources increases mental disabilities and low purchasing power, this will eventually affect the psychological behavior of it inhabitant. Furthermore, increased psychological disability will result in armed insurrection and economical cause of conflict which is due to imbalance of demand and supply of resources will set in. The multiplying effect of shrinking of the lake Chad can be seen as; the armed insurrection in West Africa be it farmers-herdsmen clashes, Boko-haram, Niger delta crisis are all linked to climate crises as a result of increasing depletion of natural resources like large water bodies, resource control and economic exploitation due to climate crises. Unfortunately this crisis leads armed youth into areas of natural environment like Greeks, forest as they become hiding out for armed insurrections. When climate becomes changed, the environment becomes hiding out for insurrectionist and armed banditry. Hence, a negative feedback mechanism on the environment by facilitating it further destruction.
Building a peaceful world free of armed insurrection begins with a fight against climate change; occurring due to decreasing natural resources. African continent will not be free of armed conflicts if the primary causes of climate change is not addressed be it Nigeria, Chad, Mali or South Sudan.
Adenike Oladosu is a freelance journalist and Climate Justice Activist — email@example.com