Climatic Factors in Nigeria's Farmer-Herder Conflict
Although skirmishes between land-owning farmers and Fulani herders in Nigeria are not uncommon, the dynamics of recent outbreaks, with both cross-border and environmental connotations, call for in-depth scrutiny. Among other factors, the increasing deforestation and steady drop in water levels in the Guinea and Sudan-Sahel savannah of West Africa contribute to Fulani herders’ southward migration and, by implication, the perennial violent conflicts between Fulani herders and landowning communities, especially in the North-Central region. As a short-term measure, the Nigerian government should devise a participatory approach, which should provide the necessary platform for an effective peacebuilding process between the herders and land-owning communities. For a more sustainable intervention, however, the proven Gansu-modelled water conservation project in Kano, Nigeria, should be replicated in the increasingly arid Guinea and Sudan-Sahel savannah.