By Dare Akogun
Kpura, is one of the numerous communities along the Ilehsa –Baruba – Gwanara Road in Baruten Local Government Area, LGA, of Kwara State, and whenever it rains the residents of the agrarian communities are cut off from both sides.
This is because whenever it rains, the road is cut off Road is cut off by over flowing water from the Nune River, which is impassable until the current subsides.
A resident of the community Memunat Mohammed, told newsmen that the situation has not always been like this, but since the road was approved for construction in 2013 by the Kwara state government, the situation has become worse.
“During rainy season, life has been hard for people in the communities along the road, as they find it extremely difficult to get their farm produce to the market for sale, “she said.
Despite the volume of crops like tomatoes, pepper and other perishable items, most don’t make it to the market due to the lack of good motorable roads for vehicles to get the produce to the markets for sale.
The road construction should have been a blessing, but the project is now a curse for residents who are mostly farmers along the road in Baruten LGA.
Climate change occurring either as slow or rapid onset events has been identified as a threat to global economic development affecting various sectors of the economy like the Agric and food production.
Current climate changes pose challenges to the sector as climate change risk on infrastructure, a vital pillar supporting the agricultural sector, is an added threat to the already risk on agricultural production.
Transport infrastructure particularly road systems are unfortunately in deficit in agrarian communities, host to agricultural production and often located in rural areas, and the few available are in poor conditions. These conditions make them vulnerable to existing climate risk, future uncertainties and much more.
Climate change, a global environmental challenge driving natural hazards is a threat to sustainable agricultural development. Changes in average weather conditions, alongside extreme weather events are altering the climate system resulting in not only unpredictable rainfall and temperature patterns but also increasing occurrences of climate related events such as extreme flooding’s and droughts in some cases
Transport infrastructure which plays critical roles in agricultural production and trade by facilitating food availability and accessibility is progressively affected by climate change and its impacts. Future climate change may pose higher infrastructure risk.
Heavy rainfall and floods have a higher correlation with road damages and bridge collapse. Secondly, infrastructure disruption/ failure has significant impacts on accessibility, food waste and market demand and supply.
In tackling these issues, the government at all level should has a matter of priority initiate policies to manage climate change impacts on transport infrastructure especially in the rural areas for sustainable agricultural production and trade as well as food security.
Government should also consider the need for the inclusion of current and future climate change into infrastructure planning, design construction and maintenance.