Farmers in some volatile Borno communities are caught up in grief and loss amid a climate crisis and incessant insurgency.
In an interactive comic produced by HumAngle, the farmers narrated their experiences and the endless struggle to survive.
Many farmers like Abubakar Haruna struggle between a rock and hard place, especially those suffering from displacement, climate variability, and insecurity amid difficulty accessing agricultural resources and livelihood opportunities, the platform narrated.
“In July, a food crisis assessment brief estimated that 4.1 million people would face hunger and severe food insecurity this lean season in the northeast,” it narrated.
According to the farmers, every day, they are compelled to juggle between fleeing from Boko Haram terrorists or dealing with the challenges of unfavourable weather conditions.
In Dala Malari community, the farmers confirmed that farming used to be safe before the insurgency. But now, the farmers are having a tough time.
“Severe erosion in the areas is also visible around the path of the seasonal Ngada river and a site that was used for sand mining. But despite this, a farm adjacent to the water body has adopted nature-based safeguards,” the comic read further. “Texan afforestation initiative, which seems to be the best escape from the unforgiving bright sunlight, is helping to restore and conserve the land in the farm. Unlike most of the exposed farmlands in the area without vegetation, this farm has an orchard consisting of shrubs planted in rows.”
WikkiTimes learnt that the farmers endure several unfavourable trends beyond their control. This includes environmental degradation and walking long distances as a result of trenches plaguing the area.
According to Haruna, who fled from Kirenowa, a community near Lake Chad to Dala Malari, the problem of mobility has worsened insecurity for the farmers.
“Another big problem we have is mobility challenges caused by the trench. Sometimes, a farmer can produce 10 to 15 bags, and you can’t expect him to carry it on his head. He would require a means of transporting it,” he said. “There is always an urgent need to evacuate at the end of the harvest before the insurgents move in to steal. You must work fast so that you don’t lose everything.”
“There is also a general restriction on movement for farmers between 9 am and 12 pm to work. People who stay longer risk being chased by the military or, worse, Boko Haram insurgents,” Haruna added.