Deforestation, Forest Scarcity And Adaptation Stategy In Sapele, Delta State Nigeria
Volume 2 - Issue 4, April 2018 Edition
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Ikenyei N. Sandra
Affliction, Deforestation, Forest, Post forest related crises and Sustainability
With the onset of large scale deforestation, the forest was considered untenable in performing rituals that sustains lives and social order. Before the onset of deforestation, the forest, related beliefs and practices prescribed the wholesome and sustainable use of its resources. Forest was useful in observing rituals that maintain wellness and social order. As time passes, deforestation altered the forest and dis-approbated its sacredness for the performance of substantive practices. As deforestation increased, forest decreased and observance of ritual practices declined. The forest was no longer adequate for observing rituals which were exclusive in maintaining lives and systemic order. While researchers have documented impacts of deforestation, there have been few studies on deforestation, forest scarcity and adaptation strategy in Sapele, Delta State Nigeria. Thus, this study examined deforestation, forest scarcity related crises and adaptation strategy in Sapele, Delta State Nigeria. The environmental precedence and forest scarcity related crisis theory provided the framework for explanations of core variables. From five major communities that make up Sapele local government area, total of 369 participants were randomly selected: Sapele (91), Elume (85), Amukpe (71), Ozum-Okokporo (61) and Ugborhen (61). The questionnaire collected data on the deforestation, forest scarcity and adaptation strategy. Five focus group discussions comprising eight participants each, 10 key informants among household heads/women 15 in-depth interviews with chiefs/forest custodians were conducted. Quantitative data were analysed using probit regression model at 0.05 level of significance. Qualitative data were content analysed. The mean age of respondents was 52±1.0 years. More than half (55.0%) were male, while 45.0% were females. Majority (90.0%) endorsed forest and related beliefs as important for maintaining personal health and group order. However, 90.2% indicated perceptions of ongoing changes to these beliefs and practices. Deforestation had displaced the significance of the forest which sustained the beliefs and practice of related rituals that enhance wellness and systemic sustainability.
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