Climate change-induced conflicts in Southeast Nigeria and urban food security

Implication to urban sustainability and sustainable development

Keywords: Climate change, Food security, Environmental conflict


Climate change is multifaceted and complex in its impacts on the human population across the globe. The areas of impacts include food insecurity and urban sustainability issues, which are currently ravaging the developing nations where sustainability policy frameworks are lacking or in passivity. The complex impacts of climate change on the urban population have been explored by some researchers in other regions of the world however, the nexus between climate change-induced conflicts and urban food insecurity and sustainability crises is yet to be empirically explored especially in the developing nations such as in sub-Saharan Africa. The aforementioned research and policy problem was the drive to the present study. The study which was guided by sustainability and climate change models, involved 1,658 respondents among the farming communities in southeast Nigeria using survey design and questionnaire as data gathering instrument. The study concludes that there is a cycle of anthropogenic activities among the urban population contributing to climate change, and climate change crises returning to urban population in form of food security and urban sustainability crises due to weak and passive environmental sustainability policy framework in Nigeria.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Samuel O. Okafor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

PhD student in Environment and Demography in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is a promising Scholar with multi methodological research skills in the areas of social sciences and humanities. His research interests include Political Sociology, Policy studies, Colonial and post-colonial studies, Indigenous people, Demography, Medical Sociology, Gender Studies and Environmental Studies.

Sebastian Okechukwu Onah, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

He is a Catholic Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, Nigeria. He has a Doctorate degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Nigeria Nsukka, with Social Psychology; Political Anthropology; and Environmental Sociology and Anthropology as stress areas of academic interest. He has published extensively in these areas of study.

George O. Abah, Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

He obtained his B/Phil and B/TH respectively at the Pontifical Urban University, Rome; his Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) at The College of Education, Nsukka, Nigeria; his M.A and Ph.D respectively in Moral Philosophy at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is currently a lecturer in the Philosophy Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and Institute of Public Health, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC). His research interests are: environmental ethics, bioethics, virtue ethics, and African philosophy.

Chizoba O. Oranu, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

She is a PhD Student in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi and a lecturer in the Department of Agric Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.


Abraham, T. W. & Fonta, W. M. (2018). Climate change and financing adaptation by farmers in northern Nigeria. Financial Innovation, 4:11

Adekunle, C.P. Akinbode, S.O. Shittu, A.M. & Momoh, S. (2020). Food price changes and farm households’ welfare in Nigeria: direct and indirect approach. Journal of Applied Economics, 23 (1), 409-425.

Adeniran, A. I. (2020). Climatic Factors in Nigeria’s Farmer–Herder Conflict. Policy Briefing Climate Change and Migration: Centre for International Governance and Innovation. Retrieved from:

Adigun, O. W. (2019). A Critical Analysis of the Relationship between Climate Change, Land Disputes, and the Patterns of Farmers/Herdsmen’s Conflicts in Nigeria. Canadian Social Science, 15(3), 76-89.

Ajala, T. (2017). Gender discrimination in land ownership and the alleviation of women’s poverty in Nigeria: A call for new equities. International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, 17(1), 51–66.

Akabuiro, D. O. (2022). Herders and Farmers Competition over Natural Resources and Its Impacts on Human Rights in Nigeria. Journal of Energy and Natural Resources, 11 (4),

Akukwe, T. I. (2020). Household Food Security and Its Determinants in Agrarian Communities of Southeastern Nigeria. Agro-Science Journal of Tropical Agriculture, Food, Environment and Extension 19 (1), 54 – 60.

Apuke, O.D., & Omar, B. (2020). Nigeria: Conflict Victims’ Assessment and Narratives on the Reportage of Herdsmen-Farmers Conflict.

Balaban, O. & Şenol B. M. (2015). Adaptation to Climate Change: Barriers in the Turkish Local Context. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 7-22.

Bjornlund, V., Bjornlund, H. & van Rooyen, A. (2022). Why food insecurity persists in sub- Saharan Africa: A review of existing evidence. Food Sec. 14, 845–864 (2022).

Childers, D. L., Pickett, S. T. A., Grove, J. M., Ogden, L. & Whitmer, A. (2014). Advancing urban sustainability theory and action: Challenges and opportunities. Landscape and Urban Planning 125 (2014) 320–328.

Cohen, M. J., & Garrett, J. L. (2010). The food price crisis and urban food (in)security. Environment and Urbanization, 22(2), 467-482.

Connolly-Boutin, L. & Smit, B. (2016). Climate change, food security, and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. Reg Environ Change 16, 385–399 (2016).

Dodman, D., Archer, D. & Satterthwaite, D. (2019). Editorial: Responding to climate change in contexts of urban poverty and informality. Environment & Urbanization, 31 (1), 3-12.

Echendu, A. J. (2020). The impact of flooding on Nigeria’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, 6:1.

Eeswaran, R.; Nejadhashemi, A.P.; Faye, A.; Min, D.; Prasad, P.V.V.; Ciampitti, I.A. (2022). Current and Future Challenges and Opportunities for Livestock Farming in West Africa: Perspectives from the Case of Senegal. Agronomy 2022, 12, 1818. agronomy12081818

Enete, A. A., & Achike, A. I. (2008). Urban Agriculture and Urban Food Insecurity/Poverty in Nigeria. Outlook on Agriculture.

Ezemenaka, K. E. Ekumaoko, C. E. (2018). Contextualising Fulani-Herdsmen Conflict in Nigeria. Central European Journal of International and Security Studies 12 (2), 30–55. Retrieved from:

Farauta, B.K., Egbule, C.L., Idrisa, Y.L., & Agu, V.C. (2011). Climate Change and Adaptation Measures in Northern Nigeria: Empirical Situation and Policy Implications. Retrieved from:

Galderisi, A. & Ferrara, F. (2012). Enhancing urban resilience in face of climate change: a methodological approach. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 5(2), 69-88.

Ghebru, H. & Okumo, A. (2016). Land Administration Service Delivery and Its Challenges in Nigeria A case study of eight states. International Food Policy Research Institute. Working paper 39. Retrieved from:

Giller, K. E. (2020). The Food Security Conundrum of sub-Saharan Africa. Global Food Security, 26.

Halliru, S. L. (2015). Security Implication of Climate Change Between Farmers and Cattle Rearers in Northern Nigeria: A Case Study of Three Communities in Kura Local Government of Kano State. In: Leal Filho, W. (eds) Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. Berlin: Springer.

Heidi, S. & Somaya, A. (2017). Climate Change Impacts on Urban Planning in the Cities. 1st International Conference on Towards a Better Quality of Life, 2017, Retrieved from SSRN:

Hoste, J. & Vlassenroot (2009). Climate Change and Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Mother of all Problems? International Symposium Developing Countries facing Global Warming: a Post-Kyoto Assessment Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences United Nations Brussels, 12-13 June, 2009 pp. 139-149. Retrieved from:

Ifejirika, C. A., Chukwuemeka, J. A. & Mkpado, M. (2013). Price Transmission and Integration of Rural and Urban Rice Markets in Nigeria. Journal of Agriculture and Sustainability 2 (1), 66-85. Retrieved from:

Ikezue, C. E. & Ezeah, P. (2017). Recurrent Conflicts among Migrant Fulani Herdsmen and Indigenous Communities of Southern Nigeria: A Review of Literature. International Journal of Health and Social Inquiry, 3(1), 152-169.

Issifu, A. K., Darko, F. D., Paalo, S. A. (2022). Climate change, migration and farmer–herder conflict in Ghana. Conflict Resolution Quarterly 39:421–439.

Jenkins, Willis. (2008). Global ethics, Christian theology, and sustainability. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, 12, 197–217.

Kazzah, S. (2018) Herdsmen-Farmer Conflicts: It's Implication on Food Insecurity and Economic Development in Southern Kaduna 1999-2017. International Journal of Strategic Research in Education, Technology and Humanities, 5,1,126-138. Retrieved from:

Khalili, N.R. (2011). Theory and Concept of Sustainability and Sustainable Development. In: Practical Sustainability. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Leal Filho, W., Taddese, H., Balehegn, M., … & Wolf, F. (2020). Introducing experiences from African pastoralist communities to cope with climate change risks, hazards and extremes: Fostering poverty reduction. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 50, 101738.

McGuirk, E.F. & Nunn N. (2021). Transhumant Pastoralism, Climate Change, and Conflict in Africa. Working Paper,

Musau, B. M. (2021). Effects of Climate Change on Pastoralist Women in the Horn of Africa Journal of cmsd 6(3) 60-76.

Nnaji, A., Ma, W., Ratna, N., & Renwick, A. (2022). Farmer-herder conflicts and food insecurity: Evidence from rural Nigeria. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 51(2), 391-421.

Odoh, S.I., & Chilaka, F. C. (2012). Climate Change and Conflict in Nigeria: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination of the Worsening Incidence of Conflict between Fulani Herdsmen and Farmers in Northern Nigeria. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 2(1), 110-124. Retrieved from:

Ogbeide, O. A. (2017). Fulani Herdsmen and Communal Clashes in Nigeria: Issues and Solutions. Mayfair Journal of Agribusiness Management 1(2), 50-61. Retrieved from:

Oghuvbu, E. A. & Oghuvbu, O. B. (2020). Farmers-Herdsmen Conflict in Africa: The Case of Nigeria. Вестник Российского университета дружбы народов. Серия: Международные отношения, 20 (4),

Olagunju, T. E., Adewoye, S. O., Adewoye, A. O. & Opasola, O. A. (2021). Climate Change Impacts on Environment: Human Displacement and Social Conflicts in Nigeria, Earth Environ. Sci.

Olaniyan, A., Francis, M. & Uzodike, U. O. (2015). Farmers Herders Conflicts, Expulsion Policy, and Pastoralist Question in Agogo, Ghana. African studies quarterly, 11(2), 53-67.

Oli, N. P., Ibekwe, C. C. & Nwankwo, I. U. (2018). Prevalence of Herdsmen and Farmers Conflict in Nigeria. International Journal of Innovative Studies in Sociology and Humanities, 3 (1) 30-39.

Olumba, C.C., Olumba, C.N. & Alimba, J.O. (2021). Constraints to urban agriculture in southeast Nigeria. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 8, 329.

Okafor, S. O., Izueke, E. M. C., Onah, S. O., Ugwu, C. E., Chuke, N. U., Nkwede, J. O., Udenze, C. & Okoye, O. E. (2023). Social ecology, climate change and environmental sustainability among urban/semi-urban settlements in Southeast Nigeria: probing environmentally responsible behaviour and community – sustainable development. Applied Ecology And Environmental Research 21(3):1869-1889.

Opitz-Stapleton, S., Cramer, L., Kaba, F., Gichuki, L., Borodyna, O., Crane, T., Diabang, S., Bahadur, S., Diouf, A. & Seck, E. (2021). Transboundary Climate and Adaptation Risks in Africa: Perceptions From 2021 Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises (SPARC))

Owoo, N.S. (2021). Demographic considerations and food security in Nigeria. J. Soc. Econ. Dev. 23, 128–167.

Pierce, S. (2013). Pointing To Property: Colonialism and Knowledge about Land Tenure in Northern Nigeria. Africa, 83(1), 142-163.

Pona, H. T., Xiaoli, D., Ayantobo, O. O., & Tetteh, N. D. (2021). Environmental health situation in Nigeria: Current status and future needs. Heliyon, 7(3).

Serdeczny, O., Adams, S., Baarsch, F., Coumou, D., Robinson, A., Hare, W., Schaeffer, M. Perrette, M. & Reinhardt, J. (2017). Climate change impacts in Sub-Saharan Africa: from physical changes to their social repercussions. Reg Environ Change 17, 1585–1600

SWAC/OECD (2020), Food and Nutrition Crisis 2020, Analyses & Responses, Maps & Facts, No. 3, November 2020

Teka, K. A., Rompaey, V., Poesen, J., Welday, Y. & Deckers, J. (2012). Impact of Climate Change on Small-Holder Farming: A Case of Eastern Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. African Crop Science Journal, 20, (s2), 337 – 347.

Turner, M. D. & Schlecht, E. (2019). Livestock mobility in sub-Saharan Africa: A critical review Pastoralism. Research, Policy and Practice (2019) 9:13

Udoekanem, D. B., Adoga, D. O. & Onwumere, V. O. (2014). Land Ownership in Nigeria: Historical Development, Current Issues and Future Expectations. Journal of Environment and Earth Science. 4(21), 182-188.

Ugbem, C. E. (2019). Climate Change and Insecurity in Northern Nigeria. International Journal of Innovative Social Sciences & Humanities Research 7(2):10-20.

Wudil, A.H.; Usman, M.; Rosak-Szyrocka, J.; Pilaˇr, L.; Boye, M. (2022). Reversing Years for Global Food Security: A Review of the Food Security Situation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 14836.

Zucaro, F., & Morosini, R. (2018). Sustainable land use and climate adaptation: a review of European local plans. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 11(1), 7-26.

How to Cite
OkaforS., OnahS., AbahG., & OranuC. (2023). Climate change-induced conflicts in Southeast Nigeria and urban food security. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 16(2), 353-366.