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Kano Rainfall Anomaly: An indicator of climate change

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By Umar Musa Umar

Rainfall is an important climatic element that determines the potentiality of a location to excel in food production and economic growth.

Crop production, animal husbandry, aquaculture, forestry, and plantation agriculture can never be successful where there is a capricious supply of water.

 

Geographically, all waters on land surfaces are stored primarily in the atmosphere and are released to the ground surfaces through rainfall which is utilized by all living organisms.

 

Part of rainwater that falls on the surface is stored by the underground natural storage media known as “aquifers”. Thus, rainfall is the pillar of human existence on the planet earth.

NIHSA warns on impending flood in some states

It provides valuable ingredients for plant growth therefore, indispensable for agricultural production. Where rainfall is sufficient for crop production, people pleat from all over the world to benefit from such a favorable farming-enabling environment.

 

The early human civilization was directly connected with either humid tropical climate (where rainfall is abundantly available) or along floodplains (where underground water aquifers are rich)

Kano is the largest city in northern Nigeria and one of the business hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

It is famous for its favorable climate, fertile soil, and relatively plain topography that supports the large production of both cash and food crops.

 

Historically, the second set of migrants that formed the present-day kano in the 9th century “Madatai community” were farmers that invade Kano in their quest for fertile land and favorable climate suitable for agriculture.

 

Kano is blessed with a moderate rainfall of about 884.4mm (Olofin, 1987) which is steadily distributed within six months of every year (i.e. May to October). The steady nature of rainfall in the region favored the profitable form of agriculture known as rained cultivation to dominate the occupation of the area.

The total annual rainfall in Kano for the past 60 years has an irregular pattern and if the irregularity persists, the region may undergo severe catastrophe.

 

Many pieces of research investigate the variability of rainfall in the state and other northern states of the country. Apart from the 1972 Kano drought, the rainfall records of 45 years (1950- 1995) maintain a steady pattern of a moderate amount (700mm – 1000mm) with an insignificant variation.

 

That is to say, the rainfall is distributed among the six months of every year (May – October) August being the month with the peak downpour. But from 1996 to date, Kano has been experiencing rainfall variability and fluctuation both in amount and duration.

It has been established that the active rainfall in the state for the last two and a half decades did not only increase in amount but decline in the duration from six months to less than four months.

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Many people assume that climate change can only result to decrease in rainfall and consequently cause drought and desiccation in the area. Of course, climate change causes rainfall shortage, drought, and desertification, however, it can also cause an increase in rainfall which may eventually upshot flooding.

 

Taking kano as a case, the rainfall increases in amount but reduces in duration which means more rainfall would be concentrated in a small period of time.

 

This will produce intricating problems ranging from recurrent drought and flooding as well as a threat to food resources which leads to famine and starvation and poverty.

Draught is the first disaster that gradually impedes the success of commercial farming not only in Kano but in many northern states of the country.

 

People are unaware of the silent draught taking place in the states. In Kano state, the rainy season starts usually in May of every year but recently, even if the rain starts in Mid-May it seizes for a month or two before an active rain continues to drop.

 

 

Within this drought period, crops may wilt and die for insufficient moisture in the soils. Rainfall offset in Kano also deviates from its normal as sometimes the rain stops much earlier such as early September as in 2007, than the normal (i.e. October).

 

However, the rain may also set-off longer the normal as evident from 2010 and 2019 where rainfall extended to mid-November.

The flood occurred in kano due to the aforementioned changes in the onset, offset, and frequency of rainfall. The rainfall that is distributed within six to seven months is now concentrated within three to four months.

 

Kano has also been experiencing an increase in its amount from a mean of 884.4mm to over 1000mm per year, the rainfall usually causes flooding in the state.

 

The reduction in the rainfall regime when coinciding with the increase in the rainfall amount causes widespread flooding not only in Kano state but in most northern states.

 

Recently, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) predicted about 102 local governments that would be affected by flooding this year, out of which 20 are from Kano state.

 

In addition to the changes in frequency and duration of rainfall, flooding in kano may also be attributed to other factors. Kano is among the fast-growing cities in Nigeria, the urbanization rate is very high resulting to increase in Percent Impervious Surface Area (%ISA) such as concrete and cemented surface, tarred roads, etc.

 

 

This couple with improper and blocked drainage channels results in urban flooding in the metropolitan areas of kano state.

 

While overflow of the nearby streams,  dams, and ponds due to high rainfall causes flooding in the outskirt of the metropolis.

The above impact of rainfall anomaly can result to a serious threat to food resources as they are directly connected with the availability of water.

 

In Kano state crops such as millet need to be grown at the beginning of the wet season. Thus, if there’s minor draught after the sowing millet, there would be serious damage.

 

Some other crops have specific water requirements (e.g. rice and wheat) and need to be submerged in water all the time. Due to unreliability and unsteady rainfall in Kano State, rice farmer for over 10 years used the watering machines to water their crops in the midst of rainy season to avoid wilting and damages of their crops.

It is quite sure that issues related to climate change could not be tackled or eradicated completely but certain measures could be adopted to lessen its ramification.

 

Tree planting (afforestation/reforestation) to restore the already destroyed vegetal cover should be of utmost importance.

 

City orchard and gardens that have become vanished should be restored across the city landscape. Other green city practices such as grass/green roofing etc. must also be put in place.

 

This would restore the climate of the area. For the urban flood, all drainages must be cleared regularly, bare surfaces should be left greener with grasses while concrete/cemented surfaces should be replaced with interlocking.

Finally, dredging major streams and rivers as well as demolition of all structures constructed on river courses.

 

Umar Musa Umar  wrote this from Kano and his (Area of interest: Geography, Climatology, GIS, Remote Sensing, Environmental issues)

Dept. of Geography,

Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano.

Phone No: 08035594946

Email: umarsurely@gmail.com

Features

Rano Celebrates New Emir with Grand Procession and Festivities

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The historic town of Rano was abuzz with jubilation today as residents welcomed their newly appointed emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Isah Umaru (Autan Bawo), recently appointed by Kano state Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf.

The new emir entered the palace in Rano town accompanied by hundreds of people who came out to celebrate the occasion.

The procession displayed cultural heritage with traditional drummers, dancers, and horse riders showcasing the history of the Rano emirate. The streets near the emir’s palace were adorned with colorful decorations as the people of Rano expressed their joy and support for their new leader.

One resident, Malam Sani Rano, shared his excitement, saying, “We are very happy with the appointment of Alhaji Muhammadu Isah Umaru as our new emir. He is a man of integrity and wisdom, and we believe he will lead us towards greater prosperity and unity.”

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Hajiya Fatima Sani, another resident, echoed similar sentiments. “Today is a special day for us in Rano. The new emir has always been close to the people, understanding our needs and aspirations. We have high hopes for his reign.”

The new Emir on the throne,Muhammad Isah Umaru

The new Emir on the throne,Muhammad Isah Umaru

The appointment of Alhaji Muhammadu Isah Umaru has been met with widespread approval, with many residents expressing optimism about the future of the emirate under his leadership.

The procession at Rano Emirate

The procession at Rano Emirate

Bashir Ibrahim, a local trader, remarked, “Muhammadu Isah Umaru has a deep connection with our traditions and values. His leadership will surely bring about positive changes and strengthen our cultural heritage.”

As the celebrations continued into the evening, the atmosphere in Rano remained festive and hopeful. The people of Rano are looking forward to a prosperous era under the guidance of their new emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Isah Umaru.

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Features

A tale from the north: the untold story of Hassan

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Hassan Auwalu Muhammad

In the central part of Northern Nigeria, there lives a man called Hassan Auwalu Muhammad who was born in the ancient city of Kano from the popular Hausa tribal clan.

At the age of 10, Hassan loss his beloved Dad, Late Sharu Muhammad (Memakoko) whose personality has been described by many, as an exemplary figure of humility, moral eminence, humbleness, and greatness.  To Hassan, his father is the most amazing person he has ever known.

Hassan grew up on a  lifestyle which premised on the quest for knowledge. To seek for knowledge, he was sent to Unguru village in Yobe state to acquire islamic knowledge and learn the tenets and fundamentals of his religion- Islam.

Surprisingly, Hassan’s inquisitiveness and curiosity began to developed which as a result, he eventually became a fan of media. Meanwhile, he developed interest in the Journalism profession. Thanks to BBC Hausa, VOA Hausa and DW Hausa programes which  remained the sources of inspiration and motivation for him to be passionate about journalism and even understood  the basic styles and standards of these prominent international media organizations.

From that moment, Hassan who was at his teenage age have already realized how the media could be used in a way to promote unity, peace and progress of his country. Hence, the media became his most preferred choice and the struggle to join the train just began.

After the completion of his secondary school, Hassan made several attempts to secure admission into a degree program at Bayero University, Kano but all attempts prove abortive because his scores were below the required average marks of the post-UTME . For that reason, Hassan had to apply for admission into Diploma programe in Mass Communication. Fortunately for him, he was admitted and years after, he obtained a professional and Advanced Diploma in Mass Communication from the pretigious Bayero University, Kano..

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Having obtained diploma certificates, Hassan decided to further his education and sat for UTME Exams  which took him 7years before he eventually scored the required marks that gave him the chance to be admitted into a Degree programe in 2015, at Bayero University Kano. Hassan graduated in 2021 with second class in Mass Communication.

In 2008, Hassan started his early career in Journalism Profession as a Freelancer with Freedom Radio Kano 99.5 FM. In 2010, he was an artiste reporter  for years until 2013 when he was offered a full time appointment as a staff member of Freedom Radio.

Hassan dive into the Profession as a preseter of Kano Music Expres – a programe which the idea was conceived and developed by him in order to promote Kano based Hausa rappers.

Hassan was there for a while and has achieved so much with that programe before he was  deployed to the station’s on- air studio to serve as a DCA- Duty Continuity Announcer. Being one of the best On-Air Personal , Hassan’s talents could not be left unused, as such he canvases news from different sources and translate it from English to Hausa for “Inda Ranka” programe.

What other passion for Hasssan ?

Initially, Hassan had always wanted to be a pilot, but his dream was shattered by the huge financial responsibility and expectations attached to joining the aviation sector.

But having joined the Media industry, Hassan understood the virtues attached to journalism profession and since then he has been a catalyst for development which through his media content he produces reports that help in changing the lives and mindsets of the teeming youths in a positive way.

However, Hassan believes that working in media has its challenges and requires dedication and sacrifices as well as being honest and true to people. Journalism is all about honesty and truthfulness to present facts that will bring about positive and progressive social transformation in the society.

Besides being a DCA, Hassan is currently presenting three different programes: “Allah Daya…”, “Mai Nema…” and also a co-presenter of “Barka da Hantsi” all from the famous Radio Station, Freedom Radio Group.

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A Decade of Mentorship Culminates in Celebration-Ismail Mudashir

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Ismail Mudashir

On Sunday, I was accompanied by Ibrahim (my brother), Mudashir, and Ismail (my sons) to the wedding fatiah of Zahraddeen Yakubu Shuaibu and Mabarukah Abbas Salihu. The wedding took place at the Kurna Tundun Fulani area of Ungogo LGA, Kano State.

I first met Zahraddeen in 2013 when I was the regional editor of the Daily Trust Newspapers in Kano. Zaharaddeen, pursuing a diploma program, visited my office behind the Kano International Trade Fair Complex to seek placement for a four-month industrial attachment. He came with two other students, Khadija and Ismail, who were also seeking placements.

As we only had two slots left for interns, I decided to subject them to a 30-minute test. Zaharaddeen scored 65 marks, while the other two trailed behind. He and the person who came second were selected, marking the beginning of an enduring relationship.

Zaharaddeen, a curious and eager learner, maintained the relationship after completing the four-month attachment by keeping in touch with me through phone calls and text messages. After finishing his diploma, he enrolled in a degree program at the Bayero University Kano (BUK).

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In 2018, he reached out to me when he was to be mobilised for the NYSC, seeking to serve at the headquarters of Daily Trust Newspapers in Abuja and under my supervision. I told him of the possibility of him serving in Daily Trust but not under my supervision as I was attached to the State House, a restricted place that one can only access with accreditation or tag.

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However, when the posting was released, he was deployed to Kebbi State. After the three-week orientation program at the NYSC camp he requested redeployment to Abuja. In Abuja, he was deployed to Daily Trust under the supervision of Malam Hamza Idris, the then Group Politics Editor.

Coincidentally, barely a month later, Malam Hamza was promoted to the General Editor, and I was redeployed from the State House to succeed him. Thus, Zahraddeen completed his one-year service under my supervision.

During his time at Daily Trust, Zahraddeen endeared himself to everyone in the newsroom through his dedication, commitment, and curiosity. Upon completing his service, he was retained. Because he was always in possession of my ATM cards, he was nicknamed SA spending by colleagues in Daily Trust’s newsroom. He is an honest and truthful young man.

On July 23, 2023, I left Daily Trust Newspapers to take the position of Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator (Dr) Barau I Jibrin, CON. Courtesy of His Excellency’s benevolence, Zahraddeen joined me in August.

Just as in Daily Trust, Zahraddeen has earned the respect of colleagues in the Deputy President of the Senate’s office and beyond due to his very respectful and calm personality.

Please join me in wishing him a blissful married life. May Allah SWT bless their union with all the good things in life. May Allah bless you all. Amin Ya Allah.

Ismail Mudashir is special adviser to Deputy Senate President on Media and publicity Barau I Jibrin

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