Climate Change and Resurgence In Draft Animal Transportation In The Sokoto Region
Nigeria’s colonial history reveals that the British practised mercantilism and therefore saw motorized vehicles as more profitable than the prevailing indigenous draft animal transportation. Motorizing the transportation sector was deemed the best option for quickly exploiting natural resources and boosting trade. Successive colonial administrators thus built railways and introduced motorized vehicles to replace indigenous animal transportation. In deed laws were made to discourage it. Literature however, alludes to the resurgence in traction by animals in rural northern Nigeria in recent times despite its virtual obliteration in the early 20th Century by the colonial state. This study appraised this resurgence in the Sokoto area and also assessed whether Climate Change is also a determinant factor. Sixty eight respondents (48 draft animal transporters and 20 rural commercial drivers) were randomly and interviewed in 15 sites. The data generated were subjected to the Chi Square method of estimation, the Phi (ϕ) and Binary Logistic Regression. The results indicate that droughts have forced draft animal transporters in the Sahel to migrate permanently into the Sokoto area to seek sustainable rural livelihoods. The alien draft animal transporters charge lower fares unlike resident motor vehicle drivers who cannot due to their higher operational costs. Concomitantly, impacts of Climate Change have impoverished villagers inducing them to patronize the relatively cheaper animal transportation. This study concludes that Climate Change might significantly alter rural peoples’ choice of alternatives as regards their livelihood strategies.