Climate Change and Forced Migration from Ngala and Kala-Balge LGAs, N.E. Borno State, Nigeria

Adam M. Abbas
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North-Eastern Borno State, Nigeria, due to its location, size, and population is very vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Even though sufficient understanding and propagation are made on the impact of climate change and its associated problems, little effort is however made to address most of the problems emanating from it. More especially forced migration, one of the resultant effects of drought, a component of climate change is given less attention in this part of the country. Specifically, the paper explores how the expected high intensity of droughts in the study area might worsen crop production situation and lead to the only adaptation strategy, a widespread forced migration. This paper focuses on the climate change impact and one of the effects, migration, and its associated problems. Purposive sampling technique was adopted in sampling 250 respondents who were mainly family members of out-migrants from Ngala and Kala-Balge LGAs, Borno State, Nigeria. Available literature was also consulted for the types of climate change impacts. The results revealed that climate change leads to climatic variation over the space with numerous effects on the environment such as intermittentdroughts, desertification/deforestation, low water table, and the establishment of dams upstream across the courses of the main sources of water supply to the Lake Chad hence, low agricultural production especially rain-fed. Many people in the study area either migrated to Cameroon’s Darrak, Bullaram, Lake Doi, Lake Chad, and Mayo-Mbund for fishing and petty trading or South-Western Nigeria especially Lagos, Oyo states, etc., to serve as security guards and other low-skilled workers, leaving all or some members of their families at home. More than half of respondents (58%) indicated that the head of the households migrated as a result of poor harvest due to diminishing or fluctuating rains/drought and/or drying of river Surbewel. It is recommended that interbasin water transfers should be embarked upon.