Does Climate Change Hinders the Sustainable Development Goals?

 By Abdullateef Bala Usman

Nigeria is a diverse landmass with highly compatible agricultural activities. However, the unavoidable touch of climate change has been casting a long shadow over the years, thus elevating the scarcity of food, water, and other financial resources. In fact, it was estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that there will be an increase in the global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by the year 2025 and 3°C before the end of the next century (IPCC, 2002). Currently, there have been amplifications of substantial challenges where water scarcity is taking the lead.

Water is a complete necessity of life, but unfortunately, with the highly increased temperature currently being experienced in 2024, the demand for water has exceeded the supply, and this is evident that in the next year 2025, it can't help but escalate, leading to an even more unbearable situation extending to high costs of commodities. In some community today, a sachet of water that was once sold for just twenty naira is now sold for the rate of 50 naira per sachet. 

The scarcity of water has begun to push the majority of people to use water from available rivers around them despite the potential health effects it poses on their lives. Imagining this as a microbiology student is even scarier. Changes in precipitation patterns and increased evaporation rates due to higher temperatures exacerbate water scarcity, making it more difficult to irrigate crops and support livestock. Competition for limited water resources has escalated tensions between agricultural, industrial, and domestic users, potentially leading to conflicts and social unrest.

Climate change has transformed some community into opportunistic economic exploiters where people leverage the effects of climate change to exploit money from fellow community members out of selfish interest and profit maximization. Sadly, the effects of climate change in some community like Gbako, Edati and Lavun local government of Niger state keep increasing and did not only stop at the scarcity of resources but also lead to extreme conditions and events that often result in the loss of life and property. An example of this is the flood and massive wind that occurred in the year 2023. On August 11, 2023, The Punch newspaper reported that five communities had been displaced, and houses and farmland submerged by flood and some by heavy winds in Niger State. The local governments which included Gbako, Chanchaga, Lavun, Mokwa, and Edati.

Education and health are currently poor in Many communities today due to destroyed educational infrastructure as a result of extreme climatic conditions such as heavy winds and floods extending to insufficient electricity to properly manage health care facilities. Heavy winds have led to felling of electric poles and disconnection of electricity from sources. There are young talented children and youths with incredible skills that can be enhanced when quality education is addressed, but because of climate change, all these vibrant promising talents cannot be brought to fruition.

I partly believe that the current hikes in food in our community today were given birth to as a result of climate change. Fluctuations in food production and availability due to climate change have led to price spikes and volatility in food markets, affecting the purchasing power and food security of vulnerable populations, particularly those living in poverty or in regions prone to environmental hazards .

As an SDG advocate, I believe the sustainable development goals can be met when climatic issues are addressed.

Adekunle Famuyiwa

An avid writer, campus Journalist, researcher and budding Lawyer. Currently a 500-level student of Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state, and the Editor-In-Chief of Observers Mag

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