Students of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, North-west Nigeria in different accounts, narrated how hot weather conditions triggered by climate change are impacting them. Some of the students link their poor academic performance to hot weather, which they say makes it difficult for them to attend classes and learn in a conducive environment.
Jibrin Mutar, a student of political science, who spoke to MAWA-Foundation, narrated how he is finding it difficult living and schooling in Sokoto as a result of excess weather conditions, having lived in the Ankpa area of Kogi state all his life. According to Mutar, he regrets commuting over 15 hours from his hometown to Sokoto for a University education.
Mutar added that he is finding it very difficult to sleep at night as a result of excess heat that makes it difficult for many students to sleep. A situation he said forces many students both male and female to sleep outside in search of fresh air.
In a disturbing narrative, Mutar recounted how he had missed classes and arrived late to lectures, a development he blamed on the hotness of the weather that made it difficult for him to sleep at night, and also walk under the scorching sun to attend classes.
“My greatest regret is leaving my hometown in Kogi for Sokoto, the hot weather conditions arising from climate change are terrible and I am finding it very difficult to cope”, Mutar said.
Joy, a female student who prefers only her first name mentioned, recounts how hot weather conditions are affecting students in Sokoto. According to her, attending classes during the day is difficult because the weather is too hot.
Joy’s story is pathetic, she explained how she sleeps inside the hostel no matter how hot the weather is because she falls sick easily as a result of mosquito bites. She recounted how she visited the school clinic seven times in a semester to treat malaria.
“I am the most affected student, I stay inside the room no matter how hot it is, I cannot come out like other students, if I do, I will fall sick”, Joy told MAWA.
Worst still, despite the hot weather conditions in Sokoto, the electricity supply is very poor. Some of the students who spoke to MAWA -Foundation disclosed that in some instances, the students’ hostels will not have a power supply for over seven days. A situation they say makes the weather conditing more terrible as there will be no light to power fans which serves as an alternative to reducing the excess heat.
A senior lecturer from the Biological Science Department, confirming the development, said the school management is aware of how hot weather conditions arising from climate change are impacting students. He, however, advised the students to bear the hardship as part of the sacrifice they would make for a university degree.
Climate change impact is likely to worsen in Sokoto in years to come. The state is the hottest in Nigeria with a temperature of 28.3°C (82.9°F).
Climate change is hitting Nigeria, with its impacts prominent in increased temperatures, intense heatwaves, extreme rainfall, and floods leading to diseases, food insecurity, and poverty.
Although Nigeria’s Ministry of Health in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) working to address Climate Change, it appears the partnership is yet to show a national roadmap with community involvement at the centre how to mitigate Climate Change.