By Dr. B. A. Usman
“The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition, in Africa, between the Sahara desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the southernmost extent of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The Sahel covers parts of (from west to east) The Gambia, Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Algeria and Niger, northern Nigeria and Cameroon, central Chad, southern Sudan, northern South Sudan and Eritrea”. – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sahel
Figure 1; Showing Sahel Region
The Sahel Food Crisis covered by theguardian.com, Monday 19 November 2012 15.12 GMT via http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/interactive/2012/jul/19/sahel-food-crisis-guardian-interactive may by now probably include the Northern Nigeria, especially the Crisis stricken states bordering Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republics. This zone (black circle in Figure 2 below), incidentally serve as what many called as the ‘BUFFER ZONE’ This zone serve as the food basket of the nation.
Figure 2: Showing Northern Nigeria bordering the Sahel region
Evidences of food crisis in the region has been expressed by Various dailies;
The above assertion is confirm by the FAO/WFP joint report as;
“Food production is expected to be lower than usual in parts of western Niger, Chad’s Sahelian zone, southern Mauritania, western Mali, eastern Burkina Faso, northern Senegal and Nigeria, according to a report by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and a separate assessment by USAID’s food security monitor FEWS NET. via link; http://www.irinnews.org/report/94081/west-africa-sahel-the-danger-zone-for-food-insecurity”
From the above therefore, my attention goes to the article titled “Sahel hunger crisis risks being another example of too little, too late | Mark Tran | Global development | theguardian.com via Sahel hunger crisis risks being another example of too little, too late | Mark Tran | Global development | theguardian.com.”
I don’t want to believe that Nigeria may risk being example of “little, too late to allow the depletion of the very crucial zone” in all respects!
Just as call to action with to Sahel Crisis has been made, a call to action in respect of addressing the depletion/food crisis of the zone and the Nation is a matter of urgency