Reuters has created several data visualizations linking persistent violence in Nigeria to the competition between farmers and nomadic herders for land. Maps show that the amount of farmland tripled between 1975 and 2013 in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, an area where the Christian South meets the Islamic North. In that same time period, land available to graze declined by 38 percent. This trend has coincided with violent clashes between farmers and herders, whom compete over the land and scarce resources such as water for their crops and cattle. The competition has lead to crop damage, water pollution, and cattle theft, fueling violent clashes that have killed more than 3,600 people since 2016.
Visualizing The Link Between Violence and Changing Land Use
Michael McLaughlin is a research assistant at the Center for Data Innovation. He researches and writes about a variety of issues related to information technology and Internet policy, including digital platforms, e-government, and artificial intelligence. Michael graduated from Wake Forest University, where he majored in Communication with Minors in Politics and International Affairs and Journalism. He received his Master’s in Communication at Stanford University, specializing in Data Journalism.
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