The last few decades have witnessed overwhelming burdens of strife, conflict, and natural and socio-economic disasters. One of such challenges is the predominant conflict between farmers and herders in the Sahelian regions of Sub-Saharan Africa especially in Northern Nigeria, gasping for their share of the limited land and water resources, and grazing pastures for their herds. This has led to numerous socio-economic disasters ranging from loss of farmlands, water pollution, community attacks, and population displacement among others. Understanding the impact of this on the population, Ikore is stepping in through the deployment of various innovative strategies focused on building the resilience of victims and providing access to valuable resources for agropastoralists to thrive.
A primary and important contributor and multiplier to the threat of pastoral conflicts and strife for limited water resources in Northern Nigeria is climate change. This is evidenced by the theory of relative deprivation leading to worsened living conditions and a dearth in the efficient distribution of water resources. Progressive desertification and erratic patterns of rainfall have exacerbated the effect of climate change, putting pastoralists at the risk of losing their livelihoods and displacing affected communities. In search of water and pasture, some pastoralists migrate along established mobility routes due to seasonal changes and the process of migration may trigger conflicts as the livestock encounter farmlands, national borders and vulnerable communities. As a result of violence related to pastoralism in the Sahelian region which includes Northeast Nigeria, over 15,000 deaths have been recorded in the past decade. Millions of actors including herders, farmers, and businesses are involved in the pastoral livestock value chain and a disruption to this value chain by violence, forced displacement, or failure in environmental resources management creates a ripple effect that threatens food security and economic stability.
Apart from the conventional reliance on government intervention on agropastoral issues, development organizations are working to provide succor to vulnerable groups and communities affected by these issues. Our work at Ikore focuses on various nodes of intervention to address root causes of conflicts and community clashes as well as build resilience of conflict-torn groups and communities. There are areas in the savanna with enough pasture areas but very few water points. Ikore is employing systems thinking approach to provide support and engage with agropastoral communities.