EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND COASTAL FLOODING IN BRASS AND NEMBE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS WITHIN BAYELSA STATE. NIGERIA

EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND COASTAL FLOODING IN BRASS AND NEMBE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS WITHIN BAYELSA STATE. NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

1       INTRODUCTION 

1.1    BACKGROUND   

In the past few year, the whether climate is changing and been characterised by the temperature, wind, precipitation, clouds and other weather elements. This phenomenon has caused the migration of human and environmental vulnerability in the world leading to hunger, poverty and malnutrition. (Todd et al. 2010 and IPCC (2007). According to Zewdie (2012), the Sub Saharan Africa regions is most likely to be affected with climate change. Moreover, it is forecasted that coastal communities will be more affected by the earth climate change as a result of increased participation would increase the vulnerability of coastal area to natural disasters (IPCC 2001,   Wu SY, Yarnal and   Fisher 2002). In the recent times, the Niger delta region of Nigeria has consistently experienced recurrent flooding as a result of increased participation and runoff from rivers. (7, 8).  These phenomenon has significantly affected the ecosystem, thus putting the ecosystem under posed a great concern and danger on the ecosystem risk from earth climate change and other element.

The introduction of the delta to the influences of climate variability is now a source worry within the Niger delta region (IPCC 2007). The Niger Delta has an estimated population of over 30 million people. About 70% of this population and infrastructure are located in the low lying coastal regions. The economic activities and development of the Niger Delta region. Is no doubt threaten by climate change

A warming world will no doubt change the earth’s climate system and lead to severe environmental consequences (Globalchange.gov, 2014). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defined climate change as changes observed in weather conditions from statistical observations over extended periods, lasting for decades to centuries. Research has shown that from 1983 to 2012 with a baseline of 1850, temperatures in the earth’s climate system have increased (IPCC, 2014). The impact of climate change is experienced globally, regionally and locally, affecting both human and natural systems (Goldenberg, 2014).  One of the most devastating effect of climate change is Sea Level Rise (SLR) (NASA, 2017). SLR is an increase in water volume on the earth due to basic factors such as thermal expansion and melting ice caps. Anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have increased in recent decades causing a relative increase in land and ocean surface temperatures (Elum and Momodu 2017; IPCC, 2014).     

In Nigeria, the southern coastal region is known to be susceptible to climate change influences like flooding that causes environmental degradation and hazards.  High increase in rainfall and subsequent flooding within the coastal region have been observed in recent years (Tawari-Fufeyin; Paul and Godleads, 2015; Israel, 2017). An example, is the most recent event of the 2012 flooding which affected over 500,000 people as internally displaced from their homes (Amangabara and Obenade, 2015) and claimed over 51 lives. The most devastating flood for the past 40 years (NASA 2012). Coasts in Nigeria are characterised by high tides that can cause flooding events. Bayelsa State is one of such states within the region in Nigeria that have recorded such rise in tidal waters as a result of climate change. The geographic location and elevation ranges at Longitudes 6º3’ and 6º40’ East and Latitudes 4º23.3’ and 4º38.2’ north and at 50m above sea level respectively (Okiongbo and Ogobiri, 2011) after inland which makes it vulnerable to flooding. The state, especially its coastal communities are heavily populated with the people being closer to land degradation effects. The State has major crude oil and gas reserves which accounts for over 30% flaring in Nigeria. 

This project seeks to investigate the effect of the consequences of climate change in Nembe and Brass local government areas and the effective policies for coping with these changes to reduce the vulnerability of the environment to extreme weather conditions.

1.2      RESEARCH PROBLEM 

 Oil and gas exploration and production in the Niger Delta has enhanced the economy (Ite et al., 2013), but also led to several environmental and health hazards. According to Odubo (2014), Bayelsa State was reported to be one of the worst affected state in the 2012 flooding. Climate change and sea level rise will have a negative impact on Nembe and Brass local government areas, disrupting business, farms and river systems. I intend to investigate the direct and indirect effects of coastal flooding in Nembe and Brass local government areas of Bayelsa State and the working policies for adaptation and mitigation of flooding in these areas.

1.3      RESEARCH RATIONALE    

The issue of climate change induced sea level rise is crucial. From history deadly floods have been recorded with death tolls of over 100,000 people. For example the 1931 china flood with a record of  above 2500000 death, the 1938 yellow river flood in china with about 5000000-700000 deaths, the 2004 Indian ocean tsunami with about 230000 (USEPA 2002). The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disaster (CRED) reported that over a period of 1995-2015 about 606000 deaths was recorded owing to weather related disasters (CRED 2015). In Nigeria over a period of 1985-2014 about 11 million lives have been affected, 1100 deaths recorded and asserts worth 17 billion dollars have been damaged (Nkwunonwo, Malcom and Brian 2015).   

Bayelsa State is of high economic importance to Nigeria because of the abundant oil deposits. With projected sea level rise from 0.5 – 1m by 2100 (IPCC 2014), people will be forced to leave their homes. Thus, the government will be faced with several challenges (Sayne 2011, Odubo 2014). About 3. 8 million people in the Niger Delta are at risk of flooding. This can be avoided and/or the impact reduced if, the Nigerian government will implement the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) commitment, made in the Paris agreement and make effective policies relevant to coastal flooding, to drastically reduce Nigeria’s emissions from business as usual (BAU) to conditional levels (INDC 2015). Nations like the UK amongst others who have implemented the INDCs have made significant progress with tackling exasperated flood issues (Haigh and Nicholls 2017)

1.4      RESEARCH QUESTIONS 

This study is intended to find means to a lasting solution to the issues below:

1.    Are Bayelsans aware of climate change and the impact?

2.    Is the effect of sea level rise induced flooding felt in Nembe and Brass local government areas in Bayelsa State? 

3.    Has the government made policies to mitigate for climate change and flooding in the state?

4.      What policies have been implemented and what infrastructures have been built for adaptation and mitigation?

1.5      AIM   

The project aims to evaluate the effect of coastal flood in Nembe and Brass regions and how effective the government policies are in Bayelsa state.

1.6       OBJECTIVES  

1.    To assess the effect of climate change in Nembe and Brass local government areas of Bayelsa State.

2.    To evaluate individual orientation levels on climate change and its causative effects.

3.    To evaluate government’s policies and implementation levels on climate change in Nembe and Brass Local Government Area.

4.    To carry out a comparative analysis of climate change mitigation policy implementation in Nigerian using a case study of the United Kingdom.

1.7      SCOPE AND LIMITATION  

This study focuses on two local government areas namely Nembe and Brass in Bayelsa state, Nigeria. This is because of their proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, which increases the susceptibility of these communities to coastal flooding. The study, was not without some limitations, they are;  

·         Availability of research materials: The research material available for the study was insufficient, thereby limiting the research.         

·         Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the research, has to be combined with other academic activities and examinations with the study.

·         Unwilling responses: Responses to structured questionnaires from natives and residents of both local government areas was limited due to their unwillingness to corporate. It was found out that individuals with previous experiences with multinational corporations, have a prevailing perception of forceful entry and degradation of farm lands due to crude oil exploration exercises. 

1.8      PROJECT STRUCTURE

This project paper consists of five chapters as listed below: 

·         CHAPTER ONE: Introduction-This chapter consist of the background of study, Problem statement, research justification, research questions, and aim of study, objective of study, scope and limitations.

·         CHAPTER TWO: Literature review-The chapter contains reviewed literatures on sub stops relevant to the topic both new and very important earlier research.

·         CHAPTER THREE: Methodology- This chapter outlines the method and approach used in this research to achieve the needed result using the Saunders research onion technique.

·         CHAPTER FOUR: Result and discussion- In this chapter, the outcomes of the survey is presented and interpreted in discussion in comparison with relevant literatures and case study.

·         CHAPTER FIVE: Recommendation and conclusion- This chapter contains suggested practices and policies to adapt and mitigate the effect of climate change on coastal flooding in the focus areas and a summary of the finds of the research and further research of the subject of study in the areas researched.


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