THE IMPACT OF FLOODING ON THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE DELTA REGION
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THE IMPACT OF FLOODING ON THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE DELTA REGION
The study takes a critical look at the concept of environmental flooding and its impact on the economic development of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria where the bulk of the nation’s wealth is derived. Over the years, the poor economic developments of the region have been linked to environmental challenges prevalent in the region. The objectives of the study are to assess the impact of environmental challenges flooding on the environmental degradation of the Niger Delta region, to establish the relationship between flooding and economic development in the region and to evaluate the role of government n mitigating the consequences of flood in the Niger Delta region. The data for this study was collected mainly through the use of structured questionnaire and personal interviews with key players in the communities studied. Secondary data were also sourced from official documents of the agency saddled with disaster management and prevention. The sample size was determined using the Yaro-Tamen formula. Frequency tables, simple percentage and the chi-square (X2 a non-parametric statistical tool) were employed to analyze the data collected. The findings of the study revealed that the relationship between flooding and economic development in the Niger Delta region is not strong enough as to be responsible for the slow and poor economic development of the region. It also revealed that though flooding contributed to the environmental degradation of the region, it is not solely responsible for the bulk of the environment crisis in the region. The study concluded that the poor implementation of government policy, insensitivity and neglect on the part of oil companies and other multinationals operating in the region. It also concluded that the strategies adopted in the Niger Delta to curb flooding are not efficacious. The study therefore recommends the need for government to see environmental issues in more conventional terms as degradation is the basis of many economics problems besetting the region today.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents v
List of Tables vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the study 1
1.2 Statement of the problem 4
1.3 Objective of the study 6
1.4 Research question 6
1.5 Research hypotheses 7
1.6 Scope and significance of the study 7
1.7 The setting: the Niger Delta region 8
1.8 Organization of the study 11
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Theoretical literature 12
2.2 Empirical literature 26
2.3 Evaluation of the literature reviewed 36
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research design 39
3.2 Population of the study 41
3.3 Sample/sample size determination 42
3.4 Data collection, source and method of data collection 44
3.5 Data analysis techniques 44
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Data presentation 46
4.2 Test of hypotheses 51
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE
5.1 Summary of major findings 60
5.2 Conclusions 62
5.3 Recommendations 62
5.4 Recommendations for further research 63
Appendix 1: introduction 69
LIST OF TABLES
Table 4.1: Summary of response
Table 4.2: What extent does flooding contribute to the environmental degradation of the Niger Delta region?
Table 4.3: To what extent is the relationship between flooding and economic development in the Niger Delta region.
Table 4.4: To what extent have government programs helped to curb flooding in the Niger Delta region?
Table 4.5: Chi-square contingency table for estimating frequency for research question 1
Table 4.6: Chi-square matrix for estimating the value of X2 calculated.
Table 4.7: Chi-square contingency table for estimating frequency for research question 2.
Table 4.8: Chi-square matrix for estimating the value of X2 calculated.
Table 4.9: Breakdown of the economic loss as a result of the floods.
Table 4.10 An analysis of the source of fund for the affected inhabitants.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Development is seen in terms of positive change on the level of poverty, unemployment and inequality among other indicators. According to the United Nations Development report (2001), “the mid 1980. The issue of the environment is increasingly becoming a focus and great concern to world leaders, environmental, economists, stakeholders, and the general public. Such great concern has led to the organization of high profile conferences and summits geared towards addressing the horrifying implication of the unsustainable use of the world natural resources. This change of attitude can be adduced to a number of factors. Firstly, humans are increasingly realizing that treats from environmentally induced problems are as serious as nuclear threats if not more serious. Secondly they are also beginning to realize that the conventional conceptualization of natural disasters which includes flooding and erosion is fast becoming a threat on the economic development of the affected area. Hence there is need to investigate the impact of flooding on economic activities. As a dependent variable, the classical definition of flooding which posits an over flowing of water over land not usually submerged is experiencing demise as greater emphasis is now being placed on the environment and the economic loss associated with flooding.
Environment issues like global warming, climate change, decertification, flooding and trans-boundary pollution affects not just the polluter but also neighborin and associated infrastructures. The complexity of anthropogenic activities of man without adequate attention to geological structure of most developed and developing nations has undoubtedly contributed to reoccurrence of disaster and consequently poses threat to environment sustainability in most the nations (Oludare et al, 2012). These irrefutably have led to unresolved challenges. Among the unresolved challenges being faced are vicious flood incidences experienced in the last decades. The occurrence is stern in third world countries where intensity in land use is, haphazard development are unprecedented.
In Nigeria, reports have shown that devastating flood disaster had occurred in Ibadan (1985,1987, 1990 and 2011), Oshogbo 1992, 1996, 2002 and 2012), Yobe (2000), Akure (1996, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006) and the coastal cities of Lagos, Ogun, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Warrii amongst others (Olaniran 1983). These incidences claimed many lives and properties worth millions of Naira. Flood has been reported as a major and devastating problem in some sectors of the economy (Petak and Atkisson 1982).
Its effect if very severe to virtually all forms of land use. The severity of its impact is also reflected on the rate of development of most nations that experience such. According to Oyebande (1990), water will always find its way if not well channeled. Their choice routes often possess problems to man by tampering with his physical environment, health, agricultural productions, urbanization and industrialization. This has created a lot of social and economic cost on the environment and the citizenry.
Flood problems within the communities of the Niger Delta appear to be increasing. This does not necessarily imply increasing rainfall but changing landscape. Flooding in Niger Delta has local and area wide origin, with occurrences increasingly frequent and affecting human activities and livelihood in many ramifications. Although mainly the poor in high density areas are affected, the spate of disruptions known no social boundary.
In the Niger Delta, a relationship has been found to exist between the facets of man’s environment, sustainable development and flooding. One of the major factors, which, influences the infiltration capacity of the soil is urbanization. Unplanned and haphazard economic, political and social development, which is in conflict with the environment, must be checked because humanity at present is confronting a self-generated environment crisis, where he is the initiator and the oppressed.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Niger Delta region is one of the poorest and most threated regions in the world, though paradoxically it is also one of the richest regions in terms of natural resources. In fact, aside oil the region can boast of other resources like agriculture, steel, tin, rubber, palm produce and many more. However the neglect of these other resources which followed the discovering of crude oil in commercial quantity in the region has witnessed the un-development of these other resources and the emergence of a mono cultural economy anchored on the aggressive exploitation of oil and this, has also created negative externalities on the environment. Consequently, as the region inhabitants find themselves at the mercy of these giant oil companies and their activities which have eroded their means of livelihood as their lands, rivers and air continue to be under attack, more importantly the incident of flooding has generated ill feelings and anomie attitude among the people. Predictably, various violent means of expressing the anger felt has being employed. This in turn has led to instability which has further hampered economic growth and development. This paper therefore takes a critical and systematic look at environmental flooding and its implication on economic growth within the context of sustainable development. In other words, how does the unsustainable natural disaster (flooding) which degraded the environment impact gravely on the economic activities?
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this paper is to assess the impact of environment flooding on economic development in Nigeria and specifically in the Niger Delta region. Specifically, its aim will also include the following.
1. To assess the impact of flooding on the environmental degradation of the Niger Delta.
2. To establish a linkage between environmental flooding and economic development in the Niger Delta region.
3. To examine the role of government and other multinationals activities toward flood control and prevention in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Given the above objectives, the research questions for this study are:
i. To what extent does flooding impact on the environment degradation of the Niger Delta region?
ii. What is the relationship between flooding and economic development of the Niger Delta region?
iii. To what extent has government and other agencies has been able to curb flooding in the Niger Delta region?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The study is guided by the following null hypotheses:
i. Flooding has no impact on the environment degradation of the Niger Delta region.
ii. There is no relationship flooding and economic development in the Niger Delta region.
iii. Governments and other agencies have not played a major role in curbing flooding in the Niger Delta region.
1.6 SCOPE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
With the increasing menace of flooding and its effects on the socio economic life of the Niger Delta people today, the need for a deliberate and concise policy and programs to deal with disaster cannot be over-emphasized. Therefore this study is significant in the following ways;
i. It will provide government, policy makers, donor agencies and the inhabitants in the region necessary information on the impact of flooding.
ii. It serves as a reference material to the academic and those with interest in further research work.
It is purely an academic exercise and is scope is limited to information gathered from the communities visited as well as information obtained from government agencies. Due to a number of constraints involving time and resources, the study will be using data generated from four communities to draw conclusions which will be generalized to the entire region.
Though the study is restricted to rivers state, it is important to note that the generalizations made within the study affects the nation as a whole and much of the literature talks generally of issues affecting the entire country. Effort has been made as much as possible to ensure that all relevant information and data are used for near authentic results.
1.7 THE SETTING; THE NIGER DELTA REGION
The Niger Delta is located in the Atlantic Coast of southern Nigeria comprising the littoral states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Cross Rivers, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers States. Most of the people in the region depend on their natural environment for their source of livelihood. They make their living from the exploitation of the resources as farmers, fishermen and hunters. The region is endowed with massive oil deposits which have been extracted for decades by the government of Nigeria and by other multinational corporations.
Despite this; the majority of the populace in the Niger Delta lives in abject poverty with no access to clean and safe water, good road, health care facilities etc. An analysis of the depth and severity of poverty in Nigeria showed that the Niger Delta rural areas were the most affected despite the huge deposits of natural resources (crude oil) in the region. See Oyegun (2005). This poverty in contrast with the wealth generated by oil has become one of the world’s starkest and most disturbing examples of the world’s “resources course”. Widespread and unchecked human right violations relating to the oil industry have further pushed many rural dwellers in the Niger Delta into poverty and deprivations.
The Niger Delta is highly susceptible to adverse environmental change occasioned by climate change and flooding because it is located in the coastal region of the world. Coastal regions of the world are already experiencing flooding due to rise in seal level. Amid the impact of climate change, the Niger Delta region is faced with myriads of environmental problems resulting from oil exploration and exploitative activities. The rise in seal level has been linked with global warming by the IPCC. According to their report, (IPCC 1990) working with records over the last one hundred years have shown that a strong correlation exists between climate change and flooding in the coastal regions.
However, in the midst of all these challenges in the region, the economic activities and the social life of the people of the Niger Delta were distorted as a result of flooding that sacked some villages and communities in the year 2012. Though flooding has over the years affected most communities in the Niger Delta, the incidence of flood in 2012 took another dimension as the economic activities of the communities are yet to return to normal after the incidence. The devastating effects on their farmlands, crops, creeks, lakes, and rivers was so severe that the people could no longer engage in productive farming, fishing and hunting as they use to do and this has gone a long way in depleting their income base and in general the economic growth and development of the region.
This study shall therefore examine the impact of flooding on the economic development of the Niger Delta region.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The research work is designed or arranged into five chapters, chapter one covers a general introduction to the study, research question, scope of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, the organization of the study, and a brief overview of the Niger Delta region. Chapter two covers the theoretical literature, the empirical literature and the evaluation of the literature reviewed.
Chapter three covers method of study which reflects design, sampling procedures, data collection method, data analysis and techniques. Chapter four covers the presentations and analysis of data while chapter five presents the conclusions, findings and recommendations for future research.