SPECIAL REPORT: Victims of 2022 Flood in Jigawa Still Nurse Their Wounds — They Now Resort to Alternate Farming System

About 5,000 locals in Majiyawar Kaya, a riverine farming settlement [in Ringim Local Government Area of Jigawa State] with a mix of sandy and swampy soil, are trying to stay afloat amid unfriendly climate crises.

Primarily, the locals live by farming and rearing livestock. But their 2022 flooding experience could not be let out of memory easily.

The settlement was ravaged by an unprecedented flood that destroyed over 150 houses, killed many livestock and washed away farmlands worth billions of naira.

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One of the locals,  Aminu Maikomi, 65, relived his experience when WikkiTimes visited the village earlier this month.

“I have never witnessed this kind of flood in my over 60 years of existence,” says Maikomi who lost both his house and farms to the disastrous flood. 


Aminu Maikomi

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According to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), climate change is “having a growing impact on the African continent, hitting the most vulnerable hardest, and contributing to food insecurity, population displacement and stress on water resources.”

Majiyawar Kaya, WikkiTimes gathered is one of the communities in Africa hardly hit by the rippling effect of climate change.

According to Abdullahi Maiunguwa, the ward head of Majiyawar Kaya, the village suffered a great loss that all households have at least suffered a minimum of one loss in the house, farm or livestock which left them vulnerable to hunger and starvation, an acute one since their existence.

“People have suffered great loss in the last rainy season,” he recalled. “At least 150 houses have been touched by the excess rain and flood and a conservative estimate of 1 million bags of cereals such as rice, sorghum, maize, millet, beans etc. have been lost.”

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Federal Government had reported that Jigawa State was the worst hit by flood in 2022 among the 32 affected states in the federation. It was reported that about 150 people have been killed; 176, 822 displaced; while properties worth 1.5 trillion were lost in the state.

Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency disclosed that 257 health facilities and schools have been damaged by torrential rainfall and the attendant flood. It noted further that 370,000 hectares out of the state’s cultivatable 650,000 hectares of farmland had been submerged by water, leading to the loss of crops such as sesame, rice, and wheat.

Experts have argued that such issues as excess flood, famine, drought, and extreme weather among others are the manifestations of climate change impacts in Africa which are negatively affecting agricultural activities and food security in the continent that is already suffering from multiple challenges. 


Responding to the existential threat occasioned by the flood and unstable rainfall, communities in Jigawa have embraced dry-season farming as their robust response to the looming food crisis and insecurity staring at their villages.

In Majiyawar Kaya, residents have resorted to river-enabled dry season farming to reclaim what they had lost to flood in the rainy season.

Abdullahi Maiunguwa, the community leader told WikkiTimes that “people resort to dry season farming to make up what was lost in the wet season. And because there wasn’t money with people, they usually borrow from friends and family and good Samaritans payable after the harvest.”

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Maikomi who was one of the victims of the flood said having lost his entire farm during the rainy season where he makes average of 40 bags of rice, maize and corn annually, he resorted to dry season planting along the bank of river Ringim.

“In three farms that I own, I used to harvest at least 40 bags of rice, maize and guinea corn but I lost everything to the flood,” he said. “Of recent, this kind of flood has become a recurrent issue in this part. We witnessed floods in the past but not of this magnitude. I planted wheat and rice which we leveraged on our river before the rainy season due to its uncertainty.

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Maikomi planted for a rainy season where he did dry season farming in Majiyawar Kaya Community

Other farmers like Abdullahi Adamu Majiyawa who does not know anything called climate change, said he can’t estimate the value of what he lost in rice and millet farms during the flood. Faithfully, Majiyawa believes it was a “trial from Almighty Allah.” 

He opted for irrigation to recover his loss. “I planted wheat, tomato and maize during dry season farming. When I harvested them, I planted maize even before the rainfall so that it will be done before the peak period of rain that causes flooding. Our prayer is that authorities should pay attention to agriculture because many people are engaged in it.”  


Abdullahi at his maize farm that he planted earlier before rainfall to harvest at the early rainy season

A father of three, Abdullahi, said their major challenge is the high cost of agricultural inputs and they are in need of support especially on fertiliser and improved seeds. 

In neighbouring Yakasawa village where residents suffered less residential devastation than Majiyawa, but greatly lost agricultural produce to the flood, farmers like Ya’u Ibrahim said they are more determined to continue with dry season farming to cushion the effects of their loss.

“I resorted to dry season farming due to the flood catastrophe. In the rainy season last year, I lost well over 1.5 million naira. The flood destroyed everything,” he told WikkiTimes.

Like his counterpart, Majiyawa, in the other village, Ibrahim belives God afflicted the loss on him. He is hopeful the same God will replenish him.

“I take it as a test from Allah and if I put effort, Allah will compensate me that is why I return to irrigation whenever rain ceases,” he said.


In Yakasawa community, farmers like Malam Kabiru revealed that having lost his farm rice to the flood which left him at the mercy of relatives to survive, he actively searches for early varieties of seeds.

“I prefer now to sow seeds that take a few months to be due for harvest because sometimes the flood comes toward the end of the rainy season,” said Kabiru.

Although Ibrahim Ali, another farmer was not touched directly by the flood, he said, he planted maize and rice that take a few months to harvest.

“I can’t afford to sow any seed that takes a long time now because we are usually caught in two difficult situations of flood and drought,” Ali explained. “So, I just sowed varieties that do take a longer period to avoid the experience I had last year. You can’t tell what will happen next.” 

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In another village called Auramo [not far from the two villages visited], farmers are taking advantage of an early variety of rice in the riverine swamp to cultivate their lands that the flood rendered almost useless last year.  

“You see things have changed. Rains are becoming increasingly infrequent. So it is less risky when one plants crops that are taking less time to mature. I had a neighbour last year that was able to harvest his rice farm before ours. I asked for seeds from him,” a farmer in the village, Khalid Adamu, told WikkiTimes.

He added: “I had a great harvest last year because I used an early variety of rice seed. So I decided to expand the farm during this wet season. I am confident that I will make more gains because from rice to maize and sorghum I will plant, I will make sure it yields quickly. Though the increase in fertiliser price is the major challenge I am now facing. It costs N27000 – N30000 per bag.”


Sulaiman Ibrahim Auramo making ridges on his farm 


The experiences across the communities are similar especially in understanding the trend of drought and flooding while seeking seeds that go with infrequent and lesser rainfall. In Jangwano, another village visited by WikkiTimes, farmers are resolute in having agricultural extension workers or any professional that will guide them through their farming activities.  

Muhammadu Badamasi, 58, explains that farming is no longer the way it used to be because of so many happenings.

“When I was growing up, we used hoes to weed but today we use chemicals on the farm,” he said. “He argued that all his life, Jangwano “community did not experience this kind of flooding.” With his three rooms and farm gone, “I resorted to listening to the radio to know about changes and how we can address them. In fact, if the government can bring extension workers to be advising us about new farming, that will be great.  

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“As you can see the children are working, we won’t relent. I am cultivating five hectares this year. This is our means of livelihood, we can’t abandon it because we need to eat. We want to plant early this year. We accept the trial, the test from Allah and we are back to the land to till it, to search for food, and I believe He will give us.”


Muhammadu Badamasi’s children tilling the land preparatory to this year’s farming

Due to the information gap on sources of funding such as cooperatives, insurance and banks, farmers in the communities depend on personal affinities to finance their farming activities as Ya’u Ibrahim narrated: “Because of the heavy loss I had, I had to borrow money from friends and family to invest here. We are yet to obtain support from any government institution. It is individuals that provide us with loans based on relationship and trust.”

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World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had reported that the impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security is already manifesting in Africa affecting crops, livestock, soil and water.

Although FAO makes a case for climate-smart agriculture (CSA), the farmers here are oblivious to that strategy in tackling the challenge as they only rely on the tested ancient tradition of farming.

However, with their first-hand experiences on their farms occasioned by the changes brought about by climate change, farmers in the communities are gradually adapting to the unstable rainy season in their farming activities through employing early variety or augmenting with dry season farming.


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