Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Is Quality of Life Influenced by Age, Household Size, Education and Gender of Indigenous People in Oil-Polluted Environments?

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Is Quality of Life Influenced by Age, Household Size, Education and Gender of Indigenous People in Oil-Polluted Environments?

Article excerpt

Introduction

Oil exploration and exploitation has been a recurrent event in the Niger Delta of Nigeria over the years. The Niger Delta region comprises the Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and River states. Oil and gas mining has had a disastrous impact on the physical environment of oil-producing communities and has adversely affected people in the region (Ayuba, 2012). Evidence suggests that the Niger Delta has peculiar vulnerabilities due to the fact that it is a water rich environment. There is a high probability of contamination from many sources and this facilitates the easy spreading of contaminants by rainwater and rivers (Inyang, 2017). The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is documented to be richly endowed with natural resources, with crude oil and gas constituting over 85% of Nigeria's Gross Domestic product (GDP) and 80% of the wealth of the nation (Ebegbulem, Ekpe & Adejumo, 2013). Despite this, the region remains one of the poorest due to the environmental impact of the destructive activities involved in oil exploitation. Oil extraction has deprived the indigenous people of the Niger Delta of the rights to their natural resources (Ebegbulem et al., 2013).

In support of this assertion, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2006) provided evidence that inhabitants in the region on average live below the poverty line and only depend on fishing and farming to survive within the environment. Research utilizing deep analysis indicate that it would cost more than 50 billion US Dollars to clean up in excess of 2500 polluted sites in the Niger Delta (Inyang, 2017). In addition, it was estimated that at least a third of the Niger Delta will be lost to the impact of global climate change over the next 20 to 50 years. Some of the oil-polluted areas in the Niger Delta are in this zone (Inyang, 2017). Laws in Nigeria to stop oil pollution in the Niger Delta are rarely enforced. Agencies such as the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), National Oil Spill Detection Agency, Niger Delta Development Commission and Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission in Ondo state were established to reduce pollution and work for the betterment of the people. These intervention agencies' efforts and initiatives have not yielded much success in boosting the quality of life of indigenous people in the oil-producing region. This scenario likely has an influence on the quality of life of indigenous people in the oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta.

Quality of life (QoL) is a construct that is gaining increased attention from policy makers globally and nationally. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2000) defines quality of life as an "individual's perceptions of their position in life in context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns." Campbell (1981) describes the construct as a subjective sense of well-being that is derived from a current experience of life as a whole. QoL has four broad domains, namely health and functioning, socio-economic status, psychological and spiritual functioning and family status (Ferrans, & Powers, 1985). It is very likely that the QoL of indigenous people will be affected in the oil-polluted region because they are vulnerable to the adverse effects of environmental disasters caused by oil-related activities in the area. The local populace are mostly fishermen and farmers who depend on the polluted coastal environments for daily survival.

However, despite a handful of studies (e.g. Ayuba, 2012; Ebegbulem et al.; 2013) on the QoL of inhabitants of the Niger Delta region, there is scant evidence to link demographic antecedents such as age, household size, education and gender to the QoL of indigenous people in Ilaje in the Ondo State of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Identifying the factors that contribute to reported QoL in oil-polluted environments is vital for informing prevention and intervention strategies. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.