Let's Up The Game For Kosi!

Let's Up The Game For Kosi!

Up until this moment, I am being haunted by the experience I had with a young girl of about 15, Kosidichimma (Kosi)*, whom I met in year 2009, during my research visit to Nanka, a community in Anambra State that has become synonymous to gully erosion (because it hosts the highest number of very terrific gully erosion sites in Nigeria).

My visit was in a calm morning, around the period of September when the rains were on a slight break, and Kosi was around to help me find my way through one of the gully sites in Amakor, Nanka.

When I inquired as to the reason she was at home during school hours, I got to understand that Kosi had dropped out of school, because her dad –a palm wine tapper and subsistence farmer– lost his farmland and palm crops to expanding gullies, and could no longer afford to pay her school fees.
The loss of livelihood also affected other siblings, but some of her elder brothers had migrated in search of greener pastures, to destinations I wasn’t privileged to know.

To cut the story short, I finally left Nanka, but not without Kosi’s question; a question that keeps recurring in my brain, and is still as clear as it was six years ago; “what will you do with all the things you find out?”

Due to climate change, there has been a twenty percent increase in rainfall over southern states of Nigeria in the last four decades.
A direct result of this is thriving gully erosion activities, which come about as the rise in rainfall overwhelms the loose and vulnerable soil formations that characterize the landscape of south-eastern Nigeria.

Propagated by surface and sub-surface flooding, and usually accompanied by landslides, gully erosion has continuously taken its toll on agriculture, which is the mainstay of rural livelihood and economy.
Countless number of houses cave in; farmlands and livelihoods are devastated; water table continues to lower and stream channels are obstructed; public infrastructure like electric, communication and pipe lines, as well as access roads get damaged (see side picture); the lush ecosystem biodiversity that characterize the region is diminishing; and the destinies and dreams of millions of people on that side of the planet are increasingly put at risk.

Let us stand up for Nanka and other communities like it.
With every resource at our disposal – physical strength and loud voice, intellect, connections, finances and media (print, visual and social) – let us stand up for Kosi and thousands of other innocent children whose educational dreams have been badly jeopardized.

Let us up the game for Kosi!

Ezenekwe Elochukwu (2015). Climate Change and its Implications for Anambra State; A Policy Briefing Presented to the Management of the Anambra State Ministry of Environment on August 4, 2015. Awka, Anambra State


Related Content

  • Young Nigerians Discuss Climate Change

    As world leaders are debating global solutions to climate change, ordinary Nigerians await concrete measures that would cushion the effects of climate change on their environment. The Heinrich Böll Foundation asked Nigerians to tell their own, local stories about how climate change affects them. From the 38 entries submitted to the competition in November 2015, two winners emerged: Doreen Nlekwa from Port Harcourt and Daniel Akinjise from Lagos.

    By Doreen Nlekwa, Daniel Akinjise
  • Plant for Planet

    Abdulfatai Usman sent in this short story of a young boy who loses his friend, a tree, and comes to the realization that the more trees were cut down, the more harmful the effects on the environment. The young boy then goes ahead to organize his friends and classmates to take tree planting more seriously.

    By Abdulfatai Oludare Usman
  • Bad Weather

    This entry by Polycarp Ehidiamen is a story of a conversation between two sisters who are lamenting about how harsh the harmattan has become. The conversation grows into a short explanation by the older sister on how this was an effect of climate change, ending with their personal resolves on how to fight it.

    By Ehidiamhen Polycarp Onosedeba
  • A Flooded Waterway

    This picture was taken by Dr. Obinna Ebirim in Agwara Local Government in Niger State. Obinna is a research associate who traveled to Agwara for a training for rural health workers on immunization. To get to his destination, he had to travel to Zamari in Kebbi State and use a canoe to cross into Agwara because what was originally a small waterway had become flooded and impassable.

    By Dr. Obinna Ebirim


Add new comment

Add new comment