Perception of Public on Climate Change, Natural Resources, Migration and Conflict in Rivers State, Nigeria

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume IV, Issue XII, December 2020 | ISSN 2454–6186

Perception of Public on Climate Change, Natural Resources, Migration and Conflict in Rivers State, Nigeria

OKODUDU E.E. (PhD)
Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Pott Harcourt, Nigeria

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Abstract
The nexus among climate change, natural resources, conflict and migration cannot be over emphasised due to their effects on one another. However, the ways in which people view their interrelationship are still few in the literature especially in Rivers State, Nigeria. Thus, the present study examined the perception of public on climate change, natural resources, migration and conflict in Rivers State, Nigeria. Data for the study were collected by administering a total of 400 copies of questionnaire to sampled households using systematic sampling technique and convenience sampling technique in the selected communities. The data collected were subjected to descriptive and inferential analyses with the use of the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) version 22. Findings revealed that a significant proportion of the respondents (90.7%) were aware that the climate has changed over time while the major cause was attributed to the human activities (26%) and end time syndrome (25.3%). Perception weather situation revealed that 87.9% agreed that there is change in temperature and the effect of climate change is significantly felt in the output reduction (60%) among farmers. The study revealed that majority (31.1%) believed that environmental degradation is the cause of conflict in the study area while 26.1% agreed that deforestation and destruction of ecosystem led to the depletion of natural resources and majority (25.8%) linked the cause of migration to environmental changes. The study also revealed that controlling deforestation (17.9%), sensitization and awareness creation (21.6%) and good governance (18.9%) would combat the effect of migration, natural resources depletion, conflict and climate change in our society. It is thus concluded that climatic and economic factors are really affecting individuals in Rivers State and these have caused conflict from one area to the other and have also caused people to migrate from one place to the other.

Keywords: Climate change, Conflict, Migration, Natural resources, Perception, Rivers State

Introduction

Climate change leads with certainty to more intense and in some cases more frequent extreme weather events, while becoming more unpredictable in time and space. This does not only mean storms, floods and droughts, but also to longer periods of extreme heat, the latter an increasing¬ly recognized health hazard when combined with high humidity. Extreme events disturb public services and economic activities and cause losses in terms of physical assets and dead and injured people. Most vulnerable are poor households who tend to live in the most hazardous environments (Sida, 2018).