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Geography in the News: Nigerian Boko Haram crisis

Vicki Woolven

26th September 2022

Nigeria is a country of contrasts - largest and fastest growing economy in Africa, but most of the wealth is concentrated in the South - in the north of the country economic growth is far less noticeable. The climate of the Sahel means that people here are living with the effects of desertification. But extremism is also playing a huge part in inequality here.

Boko Haram are an Islamist extremist group - they don't want Nigeria to thrive, instead they want to create a pure Islamic state. And they want to do this through a campaign of devastation and fear. Watch this brilliant video clip that explains who they are and what they want in 60 seconds -

Currently there are several million people caught up in a huge humanitarian crisis caused by an in insurgency by Boko Haram - food and medical care are becoming harder and harder to access. Outside help from aid agencies and the UN are scarce as crises like the Ukraine conflict is taking priority, and government funding is being spent on fighting Boko Haram, not helping those left in desperate need due to this extremism. Many of these people are living in displacement camps, after having to feel their homes, without their belongings.

Current estimates are that 1.74 million children under the age of five could suffer from acute malnutrition in north-east Nigeria this year, and 5,000 could die in the next two months. The spike in malnutrition has been worsened by outbreaks of disease including cholera, and disruption to farming because of attacks by militants.

Some families are travelling more than 100km to access medical care for their sick and starving children - and these medical facilities are completely overwhelmed.

This article is not an easy read but it is a very good update for those of you who teach the Nigeria case study for Changing Economic Worls (GCSE, AQA) -

Vicki Woolven

Vicki Woolven is Subject Lead for Key Stage 4 Humanities at tutor2u. Vicki previously worked as a Head of Geography and Sociology for many years, leading her department to be one of the GA's first Centres of Excellent, and has been a content writer, senior examiner and local authority Key Practitioner for Humanities.

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