Conflicts between farmers and herders caused by climate change—and possible solutions

| September 19, 2022

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This week’s Farmer story from Uganda discusses conflicts between farmers and herders. Our Script of the week covers the same theme. 

In 2012, jihadist-backed armed groups took control of parts of northern Mali and instituted sharia law. At the request of the Malian State, the French army intervened to halt the progression of the jihadists towards southern Mali. Since then, insecurity has taken hold in some parts of northern Mali, there are clashes between communities, and a huge number of people are internally displaced.

As a result of this violence, for the past few years, there have been increased conflicts between herders and farmers. These conflicts are often caused or exacerbated by climate change, which has caused significant damage to the environment.

Deforestation, floods, and drought are among the damages caused by climate change, which is now one of the most important factors contributing to conflicts between farmers and herders. For more than 20 years, this has contributed to the destabilization of the Sahel region by triggering conflicts that have affected the relationships between farmers and herders.

Clashes between farmers and herders have occurred throughout Mali, especially in the central regions of Mopti and Gao. Several non-governmental organizations and the Malian government have organized awareness-raising activities to calm the situation and find a solution to the problems.

In this radio script, we speak with five people: a farmer, a herder, the Regional Director of Agriculture for the Gao region, a member of civil society, and a project management specialist. They discuss the continuing conflict between farmers and herders.

If you want to create programs about conflict between herders and farmers, talk to members of both groups. You might want to ask them the following questions:

  • What are the causes of the conflict between herders and farmers?
  • How have the changing circumstances for farmers and herders contributed to the conflict?
  • What are the consequences of the conflict on herders and farmers?
  • What are the possible solutions?
  • What concrete actions have been taken to reconcile herders and farmers?
  • Is climate change a cause of conflict between farmers and herders? If so, how?