Four Dimensions of Climate Change in Africa
Climate Change affects Africa’s three most populated countries, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Egypt in all four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food systems stability.
Four Dimensions of Climate Change in Africa's three most populated countries of Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Egypt.
Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture
Climate Change in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Egypt.
|Accessing the soil for growing crops in Africa|
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, climate change will affect all four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food systems stability.
It will have an impact on human health, livelihood assets, food production and distribution channels, as well as changing purchasing power and market flows. Its impacts will be both short term, resulting from more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, and long term, caused by changing temperatures and precipitation patterns.
Change in climate may affect the availability of certain food products, which may influence their price. High prices may make certain foods unaffordable and can have an impact on individuals’ nutrition and health.
Many crops have annual cycles, and yields fluctuate with climate variability, particularly rainfall and temperature. Droughts and floods are a particular threat to food stability and could bring about both chronic and temporary food uncertainty. Both are expected to become more frequent, more intense and less predictable because of climate change.
What's the big deal?
Nigeria agriculture and desertification
|Oko planting seeds on his family's farm|
Nigeria is the continent’s leading consumer of rice, one of the largest producers of rice in Africa and at the same time one of the largest rice importers in the world. Rice and wheat crops use more water than all other crops put together. When it is dry, the crop water needs are higher than when it is humid.
In windy climates, the crops will use more water than in calm climates. Many rice varieties are grown in Nigeria, some with a short growing cycle of 90 days and others with a long growing cycle 150 days. This has a strong influence on the seasonal rice water needs.
Nigeria is also the largest producer of cassava in the world, with about 50 million metric tons annually from a cultivated area of about 3.7 million ha. Nigeria accounts for cassava production of up to 20 percent of the world, about 34 percent of Africa’s and about 46 percent of West Africa.
|Carrying water home|
Desertification is the process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture.
The region north of Nigeria is generally regarded as the most desertification prone area of the country and states within the region have often been described as desertification frontline states. They include Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara States.
Some villages and major access roads have been buried under sand dunes in the extreme northern parts of Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Borno and Yobe states. In addition, many rivers and lakes have silted, leading to rapid drying up of water bodies after the rains.
EthiopiaEl Niño-induced drought
In Ethiopia, where about 4 out of 5 people depend on agriculture for their livelihood, the effects of the El Niño-induced drought in 2015 and 2016 were devastating. Between 50 percent and 90 percent of crop production was failed.
Particularly in 2016, rains failed in southern and southeastern Ethiopia were households are entirely dependent on livestock for their food and income. Ethiopia is also host to one of the largest refugee populations in Africa.
Most affected regions in Ethiopia
1. Oromia: Borena and Guji Zones and lowlands of Bale Zone
2. SNNP: South Omo and Segen Zones, lowlands of Gamogofa Zone
|Drought in Ethiopia|
3. Somali: Southern zones, including parts of Fafan, Dollo, Jarar, Korahe, Nogob and Shebele
March and April, gu and genna rains spring rains represent the main source of rainfall in the most affected regions in Ethiopia by the current drought however, in 2017, the rains are below normal in amount and temperatures above-average.
This would mean a third year of poor rainfall and the rains are unlikely to sufficiently regenerate pasture and water points critically needed for affected pastoral and agro pastoral households to recover.
Egypt Climate Change and conflicting water rights
|Egyptian agriculture is almost entirely dependent on irrigation.|
Egypt has little effective rainfall, it is predominantly desert, arid, and semi-arid rangelands divided into 4 major physical regions; The Nile Valley and Delta, Western Desert, Eastern Desert and Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is one of the oldest agricultural civilizations; the River Nile allowed a sedentary agricultural society to develop thousands of years ago.
More than 90 percent of Egypt is desert; it has only one main source of water supply, the Nile River. Egyptian agriculture is almost entirely dependent on irrigation.
The shortage of Nile waters is a major factor due to Egypt’s agriculture uses around 85 percent of the freshwater resources. Growing water demand, driven by population growth and foreign land and water acquisitions, are straining the Nile’s natural limits.
|Egyptian mother and son|
Seasonal summer monsoonal rains in the Ethiopian Highlands are the source of much of the Nile waters, through the Blue Nile. The Nile is the world's longest river flowing 4,613 miles or 6,700 kilometers through 10 countries in northeastern Africa; Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.
In 1929, The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty granted Egypt veto power over construction projects on the Nile River or any of its tributaries.The 1959 Nile Waters Agreement, which Egypt and Sudan signed, gave Egypt 75 percent of the river’s flow, 25 percent to Sudan and none to the other countries.
|Collecting food for animals in Egypt|
On March 23, 2015, leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan met and signed the Khartoum declaration or the “Nile Agreement,” which helps to resolve conflicts over the sharing of the waters of the Nile River between the three African countries. However, Ethiopia began construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam in 2015 and set to open in 2017, the dam will be the largest dam in Africa.
Expected temperature increases in Egypt range from 1.5°C to 4°C by 2050 moreover, the Ethiopian highlands and the equatorial lakes region are important for Egypt’s water supply due to their influence on the flow of the Nile it will become very difficult for Egypt to maintain its share in water consumption.
1. Nigeria 2015 population estimated 181.5 million
2. Ethiopia 2015 population estimated at 99.3 million
3. Egypt 2015 population estimated at 89.1 million
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