Located in West Africa, Nigeria is the petroleum exporter in the world, especially to India. Apart from oil, Nigeria depends on agricultural as the country has lots of major crops such as cocoa beans, cashew nuts, palm oil, etc. along with other natural resources like natural gas and iron ore. These come at a cost at economically and naturally. It depends on money-marketing exports, the whole economy is tied to market-place, so if the price drops, then the entire nation is under the recession. Despite the petroleum being the natural resource as Nigeria is the developing country in Africa, the oil spills would be an issue, especially in Niger Delta. To see how the human interaction and the local geography combine we need to check out the four spheres; lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.
Since Nigeria is about twice the size of California, this country has some distinctive landforms. The country itself is divided up into separate areas like mountains and plains. According to World Atlas, ” The ‘Y’ symmetry is formed by the merging of the Niger and Benue River Valleys to build Nigeria’s most developed region “.
The mountain with the highest elevation in Nigeria is the Chappal Waddi in the southeast, which borders the country of Cameroon to the east. Not only, Chappal Waddi Mountains is the highest elevated mountains near the border of Cameroon, but also the Mambilla Plateau is also the highest elevated plateau. Plains and plateaus are in northern Nigeria. Shaw (2018) mentions that:
Upland plains and hilly tablelands represent the western, northern, and eastern sections of Nigeria, soaring from the valleys of Niger and Benue rivers and coastal plain, which include the vast Niger Delta. The Jos Plateau is a deserted highland close to the center of Nigeria and consists of a platform of Precambrian rock set with younger igneous layers, including basalt flows. In the northeastern part of Nigeria, the Mandaras in the semiarid environment is along the volcanic buttes and peaks.
The long paraphrase by Shaw is trying to show that there are many landforms in Nigeria, widespread in every region.
Human activities vary from place to place. Nigeria has at least a few natural reserves to preserve its natural beauty as well as its flora and fauna. Not only that, Nigeria also offers tourism opportunities. Kennedy (2018) from USA Today, states that there is a vast tourism, especially in Chappal Waddi Mountains. In Chappal Waddi Mountains, there is a longest cable car system that connects the Obudu Mountains Resort, which attracts people to see the mountains through the cable car. Apart from tourism activity, there is also troubles happening due to human activities. “Deforestation in Nigeria: 7 Causes, 5 Effects, and 6 Ways to Stop It.” (2017), shows that the deforestation happening in Nigeria has gotten worse. The cause of deforestation to occur is due to the logging industry, rapid urbanization, etc. leading to loss of plant and animal species along with erosion.
Nigeria is located in West Africa near the equator and along the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf of Guinea, bordered by Niger to the north, Benin to the west, and Cameroon to the east. The climate of Nigeria is Aw (Tropical savannah with dry winters) according to the Koppen classification of climate. The areas in the very bottom of Nigeria is Am (Tropical monsoon), for example, Port Harcourt, because it’s right near the Gulf of Guinea while northern Nigeria has a dry climate. (Nigeria map of Koppen climate classification)
In the southern part of Nigeria, where the Chappal Waddi Mountains is located, the climate is Aw. Aw means that this region has the tropical savannah climate due to a heavy amount of rainfall it receives than the north. LaRock (2018) study on precipitation and weather shows that:
Nigeria has the two distinct seasons: the wet season and dry season with the annual constant temperature. The dry season in Nigeria runs from November through March with the mean temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 54 degrees at night. The wet season runs from April through October. During the wet season, the southern coast of Nigeria receives greater than 150 inches of rainfall than the northern region of the Sahel, which receives only 20 inches.
This long paraphrase informs that the southern coast receives more rain as to the northern section due to droughts.
Climates did change Nigeria a lot. In fact, according to qz.com, shows that the amount of rainfall Nigeria received, caused a lot of flooding in 2017 leading to more than 360 people killed, houses destroyed, etc. If the flooding or drought happens in Nigeria as a result of climate change, the whole nation would have a harmful environment effect, which is not good. As of right now, Nigeria is not focusing on climate change but on other areas.
Nigeria’s main river is the Niger River. Niger River serves as the main source of water for people to get an access from having clean drinking water to irrigation of crops. Not only that, Niger River is one of the longest rivers in Nigeria and West Africa. According to Kennedy (2018), “The Niger River enters the country in the northwest and flows in a southeastern direction where it meets Benue River in central Nigeria before draining 817,000 miles southward to the coast “. The Niger River combines with Benue River to make up a ‘Y’ shaped valley. Mentioned by World Atlas.com, the main activities human use Niger River for is fishing, especially freshwater fishing (catfish, carp, and Nile perch species). Not only for fishing but also to produce hydroelectric power from Kainji Dam.
Apart from the geographic location and human use of Niger River, there is a bad side to Niger River. Since Nigeria is an oil exporting country, the Niger Delta (Niger River ‘s exit to the coast) is mostly affected by oil spill. Krause (2015) reports that “The effect of an oil spill on the Niger Delta is a catastrophe: Mangrove forests are being obliterated, fish and mollusk are dying, and the entire ecosystem is being disrupted “. It shows that the oil spill occurred was due to the corruption and weak government as Nigeria is an oil-rich country. This paraphrase is also reminding us that the oil-soaked Niger Delta proved to be harmful to animals and humans due to neglect.
Nigeria is home to numerous plants and animal species. In the southern portion of Nigeria, a vast number of animals and plants are there due to more rainfall and temperature for them to survive unlike the dry climate in the northern.
(Kennedy, 2018) shows that there is a variety of plants and animals in Nigeria depending on the region such as in the mountains and plains. The Yankari National Park reserves animals like elephants, antelopes, giraffes, hyenas, and baboons as a part of savannah wildlife. Meanwhile, in the southern, mountainous part of Nigeria, fruit bats and hippos exist due to a better climate. There are native species of plants and animals exist like diverse population of primates found in the Cameroon Highlands with the species of Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee and the Cross River gorilla. Lions are rare in West Africa, but however, there is an enriched bird life along with gorillas at the Cross River National Park (Shaw, 2018).
There are a number of exotic, invasive species in Nigeria causing changes to biodiversity. According to Borokini (2011), the bar graph shows that the herb, an invasive plant, has the higher number to invade the land to cause changes in biodiversity.
Environmental Sustainability Challenge
Nigeria is having trouble to sustain an environment due to the oil industry. There are national parks to preserve flora and fauna to attract more people to tour and view its natural beauty. However, the oil industry in Nigeria is causing a problem due to the recent oil spill as well as the corruption.
Nigeria has a vast amount of flora and fauna species spread everywhere due to its different climates and regions ranging from highlands to Chappal Waddi Mountains. Despite the oil drilling, Nigeria has natural parks to keep its habitats in order to attract tourists to view and protect animals and plants alive. The main issue is the threat of oil spills that might harm animal species due to exporting in waterways, especially near the coast.
Geography of Nigeria, Landforms – World Atlas. (2017, April 7). Retrieved from https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/africa/nigeria/ngland.htmShaw, E. (2018, March 21). Mountains in Nigeria. USA Today. Retrieved from http://traveltips.usatoday.com/mountains-nigeria-103986.htmlKennedy, R. (2018, March 21). Major Land & Water Features of Nigeria. USA Today. Retrieved from http://traveltips.usatoday.com/major-land-water-features-nigeria-63375.htmlDeforestation in Nigeria: 7 Causes, 5 Effects, and 6 Ways to Stop It. (2017, July 15). Retrieved from https://infoguidenigeria.com/deforestation-nigeria-7-causes-5-effects-6-ways-stop/Nigeria map of Koppen climate classification map. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://allinnigeria.com/about-nigeria/climate/LaRock, H. (2018, April 20). The Weather & Climate of Nigeria. USA Today. Retrieved from http://traveltips.usatoday.com/weather-climate-nigeria-35435.htmlSlaughter, A., & Odume, N. (2017, August 17). It’s only just started, flooding is going to get a lot worse in Nigeria. Retrieved from https://qz.com/1054825/climate-change-in-nigeria-floods-in-lagos-abuja-niger-delta-are-going-to-get-a-lot-worse/Longest Rivers In Nigeria. (2017, April 25). Retrieved from https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/longest-rivers-in-nigeria.htmlNiger River Map of Africa map. (2017, November 14). Retrieved from http://www.pinkballoon.nl/niger-river-map-of-africa.htmlKrause, R. (2015, March 20). Oil spills keep devastating Niger Delta. DW – Environment. Retrieved from http://www.dw.com/en/oil-spills-keep-devastating-niger-delta/a-18327732Shaw, E. (2018, March 13). Native Plants & Animals in Nigeria. USA Today. Retrieved from http://traveltips.usatoday.com/native-plants-animals-nigeria-62347.htmlBorokini, T. I. (2011). Invasive alien plant species in Nigeria and their effects on biodiversity conservation. Tropical Conservation Science, 4(1). Retrieved from https://tropicalconservationscience.mongabay.com/content/v4/11-03-28_103-110_Borokini.pdf