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              Demographic Features of the Sampled Communities 16            Educational Background of the Key Informants  16             Distribution of Children, Young and Old People  18            Infrastructural Development     20             4.1.2 Analysis of Socio-Economic of Poverty    22            Sex Distribution and Age of Respondents   22             Marital Status of Respondents    25                                             vi             Household Size Distribution of Respondent   27            Educational Level of Respondents    29            Occupational Distribution of Respondents   31            Income Distribution of Respondents    33            Respondents  Health  Description,  Amount  Spent  on  treatment  and                             Facility Use       35            Respondents’ Means of Transportation    37             Type of House Respondents Occupies     39            Type of School Attended by Respondents’                                    Children in the Study Area    42             4.1.3 Analysis of Determinants of Poverty     44            Lorenz Curve       44            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.    


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