By Hamisu Gumel
A United Nations focal person on climate change, Nura Jibo, has advised authorities to relocate the ancient town of Hajedia in Jigawa State in order to avoid impending massive flood that will submerge the town.
Speaking to DAILY NIGERIAN on the sideline of International Climate Change Conference organised by African Climate Change Research Center in Dutse, Mr Jibo warned that earth observation satellite data has already shown that disaster is looming.
“Climate change is the major cause of the massive flooding we are witnessing today globally. If you just take a look at what happened in the year 2020 between 13 and 19 September, heavy downpour that ravaged global communities, especially in Al Tayeb in Saudi Arabia, in Valencia, in Magarya, Auyo, Kafin Hausa, Ringim is quite alarming.
“All these places were ravaged by climate change. Human actions and inaction have also contributed to warming the atmosphere.
“The case of Hadejia is peculiar, because Hadejia has fallen squarely under Hadejia Jama’are River Basin and Komadugu Wetland. Since it is directly on the water tributary that channels itself into Lake Chad, it has no choice whatsoever than to start thinking of relocation plan. Why because if you see the volume of flood rains in Hadejia, it went to an extent that an oil tank that was buried underground had to be flushed out by underground water. That is to show you the level of the water table that has risen due to climate change. And there is already sea-level rise by 0.05 percent. So that is why you can’t avoid this climatic disaster.
“Based on the research we have carried under and Group on Earth Observation (GEO) in Geneva and under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, earth observation satellite data has already shown that in the next two years, there is tendency of landslide in Hadejia, Auyo and Birniwa. This is a current satellite data. But based on the in-situ data, out of 27 local governments in Jigawa State, 18 were submerged by floodwaters. What are we talking about? All the indicators are there. We have already passed a red alert. Also we have already passed early warning signs. We are now under red alert. And there is a town in Niger Republic that had fallen squarely in the same position with Hadejia. The water runoff started from there, traverses and channels itself into Hadejia. Even the Niger Republic waters came and channelled itself into Hadejia River Basin. That is the reason for massive flooding in 2020,” Mr Jibo said.
On the solution to the impending disaster, the expert advocated for massive tree planting across the affected areas.
“It is highly inevitable, unless you embark on the solutions. And parts of the solution to the problem is what we call 3G under the African Climate Change Research Center. Thus, going green at the grassroots, where we engage primary and secondary school students in tree planting.
“We have been planting trees for over 10 years. If you plant a tree, it will reduce flooding because if you have a heavy downpour, all the branches will reduce the pressure of the rainfall before it touches ground. That is why the branches and the leaves are very critical to the protection of the environment from flooding,” Mr Jibo added.