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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5358
Vol. 11, No. 7, 2011
Bioline Code: nd11099
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 11, No. 7, 2011

 en Livelihoods and environmental challenges in coastal communities of Nigeria
Akinwale, AA


Several socio-economic activities such as construction, farming, gas flaring, oil exploration and transportation have affected the physical environment in Nigeria. These activities constitute major sources of revenue for the majority of Nigerians. Yet, there is disconnection between adverse consequences of the above-mentioned socio-economic activities and the need to protect the environment. Though Nigerian governments have established environmental protection agencies, environmental challenges remain high in Nigeria. This situation can be adduced to several years of neglect and poor socio-economic conditions in Nigeria where people largely contravene environmental laws with impunity in their struggle for survival. How do socio-economic activities influence the coastal environment in Nigeria? What are local contributions to environmental protection in Nigeria? These questions were addressed within interpretive theories complemented by 32 Focus Group Discussions among youth and community leaders in eight coastal communities in Lagos State of Nigeria. Respondents were purposively selected from the coastal communities in Lagos State, Nigeria. Results showed a consensus on the dilemma in socio-economic activities of coastal communities with minor variations. Fishing, farming, sand digging and trading were popular occupations in the study areas. Dissenting views were expressed concerning implications of socio-economic activities on the coastal environment. Fishermen claimed that sand digging created hindrances to fishing activities, while sand diggers complained about pollution associated with chemicals found on the water. Farmers confessed that they practised bush burning which could adversely affect the environment. However, awareness of environmental laws was generally low. This finding indicates that law enforcement mechanisms for the implementation of environmental laws are weak in Nigeria. Beyond the activities of the environmental protection agencies established by the Nigerian governments, local measures for environmental protection include temporary withdrawal from aquatic environment and sanction of defaulters. The study concludes that with contamination of natural resources coastal livelihoods have become persistently deplorable. Therefore, combined efforts are essential for controlling environmental challenges in coastal communities.

Biodiversity, coast, degradation, environment, livelihoods

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