Rainfall variability and drought characteristics in two agro-climatic zones: An assessment of climate change challenges in Africa

This paper examines drought characteristics as an evidence of climate change in two agro-climatic zones of Nigeria and farmers' climate change perceptions of impacts and adaptation strategies. The results show high spatial and temporal rainfall variability for the stations. Consequently, there are several anomalies in rainfall in recent years but much more in the locations around the Guinea savanna. The inter-station and seasonality statistics reveal less variable and wetter early growing seasons and late growing seasons in the Rainforest zone, and more variable and drier growing seasons in other stations. The probability (p) of dry spells exceeding 3, 5 and 10 consecutive days is very high with 0.62 ≤ p ≥ 0.8 in all the stations, though, the p-values for 10 day spells drop below 0.6 in Ibadan and Osogbo. The results further show that rainfall is much more reliable from the month of May until July with the coefficient of variance for rainy days <0.30, but less reliable in the months of March, August and October (CV-RD > 0.30), though CV-RD appears higher in the month of August for all the stations. It is apparent that farmers' perceptions of drought fundamentally mirror climatic patterns from historical weather data. The study concludes that the adaptation facilities and equipment, hybrids of crops and animals are to be provided to farmers, at a subsidized price by the government, for them to cope with the current condition of climate change.