ANALYSIS OF POVERTY STATUS OF FOREST DWELLERS IN COASTAL COMMUNITIES IN ONDO STATE
This study analyzed the poverty status of forest dwellers in coastal communities of Ondo State, Nigeria. Ten communities were randomly selected in the coastal region of Ondo State. In the two local government areas that were selected, two sets of structured questionnaires were administered to ten randomly selected respondents in each of the communities visited. The result of the study shows that 60% of the respondent in both communities has no formal education. In Okitipupa, 50% of the respondents earn₦ 80,000-₦100,000 while 44% of the respondents in the Ese-Odo community earn between ₦60,000-₦80,000 per annum. This study also showed that 38% and 36% of the respondents in Ese-Odo and Okitipupa communities respectively have transportation problems. The Lorenz curve in the study shows the cumulative income share against the percentage of forest dwellers indicates that there is inequality in the income of the respondents. Government should help provide good roads and health centers in the rural areas of the study area. This will help to solve the transportation problem faced by many of the forest dwellers of the study area. By providing health centers, many of the respondents that are faced with ill-health problems will have access to better health services.
TABLE OF CONTENT Title page i Certification ii Dedication iii Acknowledgment iv Table of contents v-x List of Tables ix List of figures x Abstract xi CHAPTER ONE 1.0 Introduction 1 1,1 Background of study 1 1.2 Problem statement 3 1.2.1 Research question 4 1.3 Objectives of the study 4 1.4 Justification 5 1.5 Scope of the study 5 CHAPTER TWO 2.0 Literature review 6 2.1 Meaning of poverty 6 2.2 Yardstick of poverty measurement 7 2.3 Standard of living 7 2.4 Characteristics of poor living 7 2.5 Causes of poverty 8 2.5.1 Famine 8 2.5.2 Inadequate education 8 2.5.3 Inadequate resources 9 2.5.4 War 9 2.5.5 National disaster 9 2.5.6 Inflation 9 v 2.5.7 Management and government policy 9 2.6 Conservation of the forest reserves and their environment 10 2.6.1 Effect of rural poverty forest utilization 10 CHAPTER THREE 3.0 Methodology 11 3.1 Description of the study area 11 3.2 Method of data collection 12 3.3 Data Analysis 12 3.4 Hypothesis of study 12 CHAPTER FOUR 4.0 Results and discussion 13 4.1 Results 4.1.1 General Information about the Sampled Communities in the Study Area 13 18.104.22.168 Demographic Features of the Sampled Communities 16 22.214.171.124 Educational Background of the Key Informants 16 126.96.36.199 Distribution of Children, Young and Old People 18 188.8.131.52 Infrastructural Development 20 4.1.2 Analysis of Socio-Economic of Poverty 22 184.108.40.206 Sex Distribution and Age of Respondents 22 220.127.116.11 Marital Status of Respondents 25 vi 18.104.22.168 Household Size Distribution of Respondent 27 22.214.171.124 Educational Level of Respondents 29 126.96.36.199 Occupational Distribution of Respondents 31 188.8.131.52 Income Distribution of Respondents 33 184.108.40.206 Respondents Health Description, Amount Spent on treatment and Facility Use 35 220.127.116.11 Respondents’ Means of Transportation 37 18.104.22.168 Type of House Respondents Occupies 39 22.214.171.124 Type of School Attended by Respondents’ Children in the Study Area 42 4.1.3 Analysis of Determinants of Poverty 44 126.96.36.199 Lorenz Curve 44 188.8.131.52 Interpretation of Gini Coefficient 46 4.2 Discussion 47 4.2.1 Incidence of Poverty of Forest Dwellers in Coastal Communities 47 4.2.2 Factor Influencing the Poverty 48 4.2.3 Income Inequality among Forest Dwellers in Coastal Communities49 CHAPTER FIVE 5.0 Conclusion and Recommendation 50 5.1 Conclusion 50 5.2 Recommendation 50 REFERENCES 51 APPENDICES 56 vii Appendix 1 Household questionnaire 56 Appendix 2 key informant questionnaire 61 CHAPTER ONE1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Most societies have at some times in their development process seen a large number of people living in conditions of poverty, unable to afford the minimum essentials for a decent existence. Poverty has long been a historical fact and continues to be an unfortunate feature of life. Nevertheless, poverty is not a new topic in development economics; its alleviation has mostly been associated with high economic growth rates. (Chaudhry et. al. 2009). Over 70 percent of the world’s poor are in developing countries, majorities of who reside in the rural areas and are engaged in subsistence agriculture (Tadaro 1993; World Bank, 1997). According to World Bank (2000), poverty is a lack of command over commodities or a severe constriction of the choice set over commodities, leading to pronounced deprivation in well being or welfare. This definition is much broader and extends beyond food and non-food items to include key assets and social determinants, which are essential for human development. Englama and Bamidele (1997), Madinagu (1999), and Oladunni (2001) defined poverty as a state of lack of adequate basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter; inability to meet social and economic obligations, lack of gainful employment, skills, assets, and self-esteem, limited access to social and economic infrastructure such as education, health, potable water, and sanitation. Poverty is a situation where a household or an individual is unable to meet the basic necessities of life, which include consumption and non-consumption items, considered as a minimum requirement to sustain livelihood. Ogwumike (2001) and Odusola (2001) referred to poverty as a condition of deprivation which could be in form of social inferiority, isolation, physical weakness, vulnerability, powerlessness, and humiliation. Generally, a person’s perception of poverty is a function of his present experience, condition of his environment, the aim of such definition, his vocation, and his definition of the good life. For instance, the perception of poverty by the poor will be quite different from that of the rich. Moreover, the perception of an economist will be quite different from that of the house wife or an illiterate person. Apart from the increase in the incidence of poverty, the population of the poor has been on the increase. A report from the Federal Office of Statistics (2001) revealed that the percentage of the core poor increased from 62% in 1980 to 93% in 1996 whereas, that of the moderately poor rose from 28.9 to 36.3% within the same period. The depth and severity of poverty can also be seen in the proportion of income spent on consumption. The core and moderately poor spent 75 and 73% of total income for consumption purposes, respectively, while the nonpoor spent only 53% of total income on consumption. This is more or less an indication that the economy is still largely underdeveloped. It cannot be gainsaid that poverty is the bane of rural development in Nigeria considering its limitation on poverty is relative to the country, people and continent. Nevertheless, coastal communities in Ondo State have received little attention, not only at the level of policy issues on poverty but also empirical inquiry. The severity of the problem is the the reason the area is selected for this study. An understanding of the extent, nature, and determinants of rural poverty of the coastal communities in Ondo State will provide information that can stimulate effective action to reduce deprivation in the study area. The objective of this the study is to analyze the poverty status of the rural dwellers in the coastal communities in Ondo State and to examine the impact of households’ socio-economic and demographic characteristics on the poverty level. 1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT The alarming rate of poverty among people of various age groups in Nigeria is at its peak, most especially among forest dwellers and it can be easily accessed through the high rate of illiteracy, poor social health care facilities, bad road networks, low wages for labor and productivity amongst people of different age categories. This level of poverty can easily be identified among rural dwellers. In rural areas, poor natural resource endowment and/or access are among the most important forces sustaining initial poverty and transforming it into long duration and multidimensional poverty (Shah, 2010). The poor in the coastal communities find it more difficult to exit poverty owing to a combination of factors, including poor agronomic potential, limited scope for diversification, weak infrastructure, remoteness, and social or political marginalization. Poverty among rural dwellers in Ondo State is very high (Omisore, 2008). This has led to over-exploitation of forest resources in the state leading to soil exposure, soil erosion, flooding, and decline in food production. At the same time, many of our forest reserves in the state have been under increasing threat of destruction as a result of high incidence of poverty among rural dwellers in the state as observed by Adedoyin(1997). Thus, the comfortable living of the poor becomes severe problems that need to be improved. In order to meet the basic necessities of life, they engage in reckless and the destructive use of forest resources and renewable natural resources. In this view, it is difficult to curb the alarming rate of deforestation, forest misuse, and encroachment into the forest reserves. The situation as of today is such that many livelihoods are now threatened and ability to earn income becomes a great difficulty for people living in the coastal communities in Ondo State. 1.2.1 Research Questions i. What is the pattern of income distribution in the area? ii. What is the extent of the poverty situation in coastal communities in Ondo State? iii. What is the nature of poverty among the people in the study area? iv. Which group (or subgroup) of people in the coastal communities in Ondo State are most vulnerable and not vulnerable to poverty? v. What has been the action to the implementation of welfare package by both the government and non-government organizations in the region? 1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The general objective of the study is to analyze the poverty status of forest dwellers in coastal communities in Ondo State. The specific objectives are; Ø To examine the level of poverty among the coastal communities in Ondo State Ø To identify the factors influencing the poverty level of respondents Ø To examine the level of income inequality among the respondents 1.4 JUSTIFICATION In Nigeria unlike many other developing countries of the world, the issues of poverty have become a great problem and a matter of serious concern. This is because poverty has been identified as the driving force behind the destructive use of nontimber forest products and encroachment into forest reserves in the country. In the past years, there has been a lot of surveys and researches conducted on poverty, its new dimension among the Nigeria population, its causes and how it can be alleviated. However, there is no sustainable information to date in Nigeria on the causes and effects of poverty within and around the rural areas in Ondo State, Nigeria. This study will help to provide information on the status of poverty in coastal communities in Ondo State. The study will even be more appropriate for a state like Ondo State that has many rural communities in it. A mission-oriented inquiry of this nature will help to design policies and strategies that will help to reduce poverty among forest dwellers living in coastal communities in Ondo State. 1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY This study is restricted to coastal communities in Ondo State. Two Local Government Areas (LGAs) is randomly selected from the Mangrove/Freshwater swamp vegetation zone in the State. Five rural coastal communities will be randomly selected from each LGA..