Nowhere To Run Documentary

The environment is not an inheritance from our forefathers, it is a loan from our children

When people talk about climate change, I always get the sense that they think we are only just seeing the signs of things to come. But Nowhere to Run brings this home, and shows us that climate change is here…and is being experienced in all of Nigeria. But right now, it's hitting people living at the front lines, in the rural areas, the most. To these people, climate change has already become personal.

The Nowhere to Run documentary breaks down people's tragic experiences with climate change and shows the deep impact it is having on individuals, communities and in fact, Nigeria as a whole. It tells people's stories about how these impacts have personally touched them…and it's all so moving!

These impacts are happening all together and crashing down on us from all areas in a vicious cycle of cause and effect (e.g. desertification causes climate change, which causes more desertification), the triggers being tragically man-made! See what's happening:

We've got the desert approaching from the North, moving as fast as 5km - 10kmevery year, and we aren't doing much to stop it! We've got fatal clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the middle belt, fighting for land. We've got national insecurity in the North due to loss of farmlands and loss of water from Lake Chad. We've got gas flaring and oil pollution in the South, wasting money, killing vegetation, fisheries and wildlife, causing diseases and creating toxic wastes. We've got mangroves in the South disappearing and seas level rising (did you know that only one meter rise in sea level can cause 75% of the Niger Delta to be lost?!). We've got 4% of our forests and their accompanying ecosystems disappearing every year because of legal and illegal logging and increasing need for firewood. We’ve got soil erosion and flooding in the East and West respectively, with land slides destroying people's farms and houses.

With all these problems, affected people literally have nowhere to run!

The documentary leaves us with some hope though as it shows people who are already acting to help reverse this course of action. We see case studies of the 10MW Katsina wind farm that's promoting the use of renewable energy; Creed Energy that's providing cook stoves (for homes and businesses) that need only 1/10th of firewood previously used; the Songhai Katsina Initiative that’s a farm based on a 'nothing wasted' principle; and finally, we've got the Ekuri Initiative that shows that communities can achieve much by partnering amongst themselves instead of simply waiting for the government to act.

All in all, Nowhere to Run, whether by mistake or design, invoked an emotional response within me and made me wonder how anyone in their right mind would not have the environment at the fore of their thoughts.

I hope that this documentary reaches the masses, whether you live in a hut or in a skyscraper apartment, it applies to you. Because once in a while, we need something to remind us, and jar us out of the daily grind of life that inspires our short-term thinking.

This calamity of climate change that has been caused by excessive use of, and pollution of, our natural resources is a direct threat to our way of life. It’s time for all of us to realize this, and start changing the way we live, individually and collectively. We can work together to slow deforestation, replenish our forests and mangroves, and stop gas flaring and oil pollution.

It is human nature to adapt, and I strongly believe that we can adapt to climate change and even arise as a people the better for it.

He who burns down his fathers house inherits the ashes
— Igbo proverb


Supported by: The Office of the National Security Adviser, Federal Republic of Nigeria | Executive Producer: Jacqueline Farris | Host: Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr. | Directed & Photographed by: Dan McCain | Writers: Louis Rheeder, Carmen McCain | Research: Chinelo Onwualu | Edited by: Dan McCain, Louis Rheeder | By Yar'adua Foundation