Socio-Economic Characteristics and Livelihood Assets of Wetlands Users at Ede Region, Southwestern Nigeria
The study examines the socio-economic characteristics of the users of wetlands, the relationship between their status and their resources with a view to land reform in the region. The study employed primary and secondary data. Primary data explored 566 structured questionnaires administered on wetland users using the snow-ball method soliciting information on: respondents’ indicators of livelihood assets, resources, human capital, socio-economic characteristics, quality of dwelling, sanitation and ownership of land. Secondary data was sourced from conventional sources. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results show that over 70% of respondents were above 41 years of age and were predominantly small scale food-farmers. Furthermore, 59.4% of respondents lived in Brazilian type of houses “face me I face you” with 49.0% of the houses in faire state that need maintenance, 60.3% had bare ground floors while 44.3% were personal houses and 31.7% family houses. Similarly, it was established that the depth of poverty in relation to landed assets showed that 58.6% of the rich compared to 20.7% of the moderate poor and 20.7% of the poorest ranked households owned more than 10 ha of land. The implications of this is that a greater proportion of productive assets (Land) in Ede region were in the hands of the non-poor ranked households which has continued to widen the gap between the rich and the poor and if poverty has to be tackled, then there must be a way forward through “land reform” to make this very important livelihood asset available to the extreme poor.
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