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Climate Featured Headline News Nigeria Special Report

Vanishing Nigerian communities

Flooding in Lagos. Photo: EnviroNewsNigeria

Countries all across the world are currently contending with the reality that climate change is a fact of life.

Sea levels are rising as a result of climate change, which also contributes to the overall expansion of the ocean.

This, in turn, has some negative consequences on many coastal communities, with some already submerged and others perhaps being washed away in the near future if precautions are not taken.

Rising sea levels, linked to climate change, are said to be the cause of tidal waves, which have caused thousands of people to helplessly watch as their homes are destroyed by waves.

According to scientists, human activity is a primary factor in the occurrence of this phenomena. In particular, the extraction of fossil fuels is a significant contributor to the production of greenhouse gases.

Atlantic ocean flooding

The most populous country in Africa, Nigeria, which stretches from the southern edge of the Sahara to the Gulf of Guinea, is at risk of a triple assault from climate change as a result of the desert moving into its northern pastures, rainfall eroding farmland in its eastern Niger Delta region, and the Atlantic Ocean flooding its southern coast.

Odioma, Akassa, Twon-Brass, and Sanganga Islands and Koluama in Bayelsa State; Ogulagha, Ogidigben, and Forcados in Delta State; Bonny, the Oceania Islands, and Joinkrama in Rivers State; and Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State are some of the communities that sit on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Unless something is done, Madam Tari Alabo, a resident of Odioma, an island in the Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State near the Atlantic Ocean, believes her hometown will be eliminated in a few years.

According to Philemon Kelly-Dickson, an Environment Lawyer from Odioma, practices such as gas flaring and crude oil drilling in the area have also added to sea level rise in the area.

According to local resident Fozbiri Iniagha, the newer communities of Koluama 1 and Koluama 2 are just as at risk as the ancient Koluama town in Southern Ijaw LGA, which has been completely submerged.

A journalist named Samuel Ese from Anibeze in Sagbama LGA claims that his hometown is also threatened by the rising tides.

As the youth and women leaders, John Okon Hezekiah and Rhoda Peters, said, the Ibeno communities that are located in the state of Akwa Ibom are not spared either.

Progress to be Made

In 2018, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), world leaders committed on a plan of action to safeguard the world’s seas from the effects of climate change and other hazards.

Four years after, like many communities still at risk, those along the Niger Delta coast, have appealed to the federal government, the World Bank, and other international organisations for immediate aid.

Writing by Alambo Datonye, editing by Daniel Adejo and Saadatu Albashir