I grew up in a small rural neighbourhood, from a little below average income household.

It was the choice of my parents not allow the
environmental circumstance, decide their socioeconomic fate.

They drew that courage, built resilience, and fashioned a sustainable livelihood pattern for the family.

Over 70 per cent of the family's earnings came from the natural ecosystem. This paid our bills, including my school fees, provided us with foods, water, increased the family's purchasing power and a little more savings.

Though there was this climatic and physiographic inconsistency; with little rain or too much rain, prolonged dry season with severe heat, outbreaks of diseases such as chickenpox or smallpox, high cost of commodities, poor agricultural production and many more. All these features were there, growing up, but we didn't realise it was climate change!

 No one taught my mom that it was time to re-strategize and prioritize her economic goals to move along with the perceived system change.

You see, several humans economic and technological inventions came as a result of one crisis or another. Many of such advancements were designed to meet the humans social and economic needs

Apart from the trade, my mom was engaged in, she needed something more to cushion the impact of the emerging climate crisis.

She realized how imperative it became, not to depend solely on rain-fed agriculture to feed the family and sustain an income.   Perhaps, something off the regular farming season could add up. She subsequently engaged in a mini irrigation farming, using her piece of land, beside the local river.

Many times we'd had to wake early in the morning, to visit the river and made sure the garden was watered properly.

 The first harvest was unprecedented! We had more food and additional income. This continued in the subsequent years as the farm grew in size, with the increased production in vegetables and the "Indian cocoa yam" species, she mixed cropped.

 This was rare, as it happened in a community and a region, not synonymous with the irrigation method of farming.
They mainly rely on the supply of certain vegetables, especially during the dry season, which came from the northern region of  Nigeria where irrigation was commonly practised.

I am sure some friends and those I grew up with in the same community, who are reading this piece can relate to this account.

 I grew up seeing the very ingenious and efficient means by which our most valued resource - the natural ecosystem can be replicated to meet the human needs, without altering its capacity and propensity to meet the needs of the oncoming generations.

When I was offered an admission to study Environmental Resources Management, I knew it was an opportunity to listen to what science is saying, and balance it up with what the tradition taught me at home. What a great experience!

Coming from a landlocked zone, I realised many homes didn't have land enough for agricultural use. Many also have but could not manage it in such a productive manner.

During each farming season, people would literally queue to ask my grandmom to lease out some portions of the "Ikpa"  land, to enable them to cultivate foods for their family. The "Ikpa" land area up to date, is a little bit nearer to the river and a bit far from where the villagers live. Due to tradition and history, not all indigenous are opportune to own a piece of land within the area, and not many with enough to do the 4/5 years rotational system.

The unique thing was because we were practising rotational farming and agroforestry, even without knowing what it was called!
This made our land became richer and our harvests, three times better than what many homes got.  So all through seasons, we were either harvesting vegetables, cash crops, fruits or palm fruits and the livestock products. We had enough to send to our relatives living in cities.

 The climate change and it's related impacts hadn't disappeared, but the impact was no longer felt,  as our adaptive capacity thrived, which made livelihood a lot better.

A lot of things being taught today are not new, but because many jettisoned what they knew and followed the unknown; the unknown that presented us the quickest way to achieve self- sufficiency, but failed to let us understand that the consequence will have a trans-generational influence on the environment and human health.
A rural awareness and needs assessment  

In order to curb the climate change and its associated negative impacts, especially on the vulnerable communities, we must educate, help them, build their capacity, strengthen their resilience to adapt and increase their livelihood support base.
Helping poor vulnerable communities to build nature resilience for self-sustaining systems and climate change.

Climate change is here and will not live us; rather we should strive to instil that creativity confidence, particularly on the vulnerable groups, to sustainably utilize their natural environment.

Through our initiative, we are helping many homes and communities in a very inclusive way that represents our sustainability ideology.

Rural Watch Africa Initiative ( RUWAI), recognized that the impoverished and underserved communities need urgent help, to recover from the pervasive shock occasion by climate change, and the overall social, economic and ecological degradation.
Photo section with the Dapa community Chief and subjects.

They need to be educated, and better equipped with the right skills and tools to firmly stand, and given the ability to build a replicable system for improved livelihood and productive growth.
Inspiring young community leaders/volunteers to grow their own food, for self-sufficiency and some income for the orphanages.

Building resilience to efficiently manage nature, and create alternative income opportunities to help cushion the lingering socioeconomic and ecological deficits, will be a rewarding way for a dignified lifestyle and sustainable livelihood for the marginalized communities.


 Uche Isieke is an advocate for rural resilience, livelihood systems and inclusion. He is quite passionate about the rural people, their environment, social and economic well-being. He is a young development professional with over 5years experience and has impacted over 20,000 rural populace in over 10 communities through his various initiatives targeted at the poor and marginalised groups.
  Uche is the Executive Director of Rural Watch  African Initiative (RUWAI), a nonprofit committed to strengthening the production and protective resilience of the vulnerable rural communities whose livelihoods are threatened due to the ecological degradation, worsened by the human errors and climate change. Uche's core interest is on building agroecological systems, sustainable land management and land restoration, livelihoods strategy for self-sufficiency, as well as inspiring young ones to lead in climate action and community development. His initiative is partnering with 2020 campaign to support rural poor youths with alternative income livelihood and production skills through beekeeping, as a sustainable way of creating job, income,  and cushion the impact of Covid19 and climate change on rural poor. 

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