EFFECT OF LAND DISPUTE ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES IN OGBE-IJAW COMMUNITY, WARRI SOUTH-WEST L.G.A OF DELTA STATE
The study was done in villages Warri south west LGA, Delta.The study focused on Assessment of land dispute in Nigeria. Taking villages as a case study. The study addressed the following three objectives(i) to access the causes of land dispute in selected villages in the study area.(ii) identify types of land conflicts in selected villages in the study area.(iii) to identify the effects of land dispute in the study area.
The population of the study consisted of village land committee, Land tribunal, and villagers. The study involved a sample of 105 respondents including 90 respondents who were randomly selected and 15 respondents that were selected purposefully. A cross sectional research design was used however qualitative and quantitative approach were used to design research questions. Four methods were used to collect data to address the research objectives. These included a questionnaire, interview, observations, documents review.The data collected were analyzed by using both qualitative and quantitative methods.
The research finding revealed that, the causes of land dispute in was pastoralist keep graze their cattle in the farms, removing of demarcation, and land grabbing by powerful individual, scarcity of grazing land, double leasing of plots ,no title deeds. Types of land dispute clashes between pastoralists and farmers, families and families and other between villagers. However, the effect associated with land dispute include: shortage of food to villagers, killing, and loss of peace among the villages, crop and livestock destruction, lose of originally owned land, development stagnation, decrease of income.
The study therefore recommended that government should raise awareness on land use policy to the villagers through provision of seminars, workshops and leaflets on land use policy and the rights of people. The government should also put clear and permanent boundaries in surveyed land in the villages, The anti corruption institution should make frequent follow up of the village land committee and land tribunal on their judgements regarding land dispute.
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION
1.1 Background Information
Land rights as explained by Odgaard (2006), are crucial for economic development in Africa. The majority of Africa’s populations depend on access to arable land and/or pastures for their livelihoods. However, African agriculture suffers from many problems such as low technological development, low productivity, unequal distribution of resources, Some of the root causes of this situation are related to existing land tenure and land conflicts in many countries. Improved access to and utilization of land and other natural resources, and better conflict handling systems are therefore important for increasing economic growth and reducing poverty. Land is important for economic development, and it is becoming an increasingly scarce resource in many parts of Africa. It is an object of economic speculation and it represents very strong feelings about identity and sense of belonging. For these and other reasons, land is a frequent source of conflict.
While there is a large, though inconclusive, literature on the impact of land titles in Africa, little attention has been devoted to the study of land conflict in relation to rural livelihoods, despite evidence on increasing incidence of such conflict. According to Nabugyere (2012), on the historical perceptive, many land conflicts stem from customary land ownership patterns, lack of clear land demarcations and this has caused serious harm to communities like loss of life.
Deininger and Castagnini (2004) used data from Uganda to explore who is affected by land conflicts, whether recent legal changes have helped to reduce their incidence, and to assess their impact on productivity. Results indicate that female-headed households and widows are particularly affected and that the enactment of the 1998 Land Act has failed to reduce the number of pending land conflicts.
Agricultural activities on land is largely carried out by women; for growing cash and food crops and little surplus is sold to earn an income for the family and hence affecting rural livelihoods (Tripp, 2004). It should be noted that majority of Nigeria’s population
(82%) derive their main livelihood from agriculture and livestock sector (NSGRP, 2005). Apart from tying the rural areas closer to the commercial activities of the cities such activities have a direct bearing on the land rights and land conflict situation and thus on livelihood conditions of many rural people. Land conflicts have caused painful suffering to different social diversities but particularly women, causing death of their husbands in land wrangles and also being kicked out of their family land when the husbands die (Wamkuyu, 2008). However, the issues of land management are being handled lightly. The authorities concerned seem not to be very serious in understanding the negative effects of these conflicts on the individuals and the community at large. The fundamental question at this point is what can be done to prevent the escalating land disputes in Warri south west LGA so as to harmonies development in the LGA? Whether the complainants of these disputes have ever been attended to their satisfaction to enable them regain their land ownership, and if not, why is the authority taking time to address such issues? This therefore, has prompted this study to be carried out.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Land is a treasured resource by the community. Population pressure, changes in the land legislations (Land Act No. 4 of 1999 and Village Land Act No. 5 of 1999), increasing evictions and urbanization has created great awareness about land and increasing land conflicts in our communities. Regardless of all efforts put by the government on land sector yet there is an increase in number of land use conflict in the country. Due to increasing demand of land for agriculture activities, settlements, pastoralist, and other economic activities, the government has formulated Land Policy in 1995 and other machineries like Land Division of the High Court as well as Land Arbitration Councils at LGA and Ward levels supported by other committee such as village land committee.
This study therefore, intended to critically analyze the negative effects of land conflicts to the rural livelihood of local communities at villages at Warri south west LGA. Secondly, there is no sufficient empirical data to show the effect of land conflicts on the livelihood of local communities of selected villages at Warri south west LGA and as such there is no basis where land conflicts can be handled. Little attention has actually been devoted to the study of land conflicts despite evidence on increasing incidences of such conflicts. It is therefore; against this background that the researcher investigated the effects of land conflicts on the livelihood of the people in Warri south west LGA.
1.3 Objectives of the Research
The general objective of the study is assessment of land dispute in Nigeria Warri south west LGA, Delta taking villages as case study.
The specific objectives are:
- To access the causes of land-use conflicts in selected villages in the study area.
- Identify types of land conflicts in selected villages in the study area.
(iii)To identify the effects of land dispute in the study area.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the main causes of land-use conflicts in the study area?
- What types of land dispute in the study area?
- What are the effects of land dispute in the study area?
1.4.1 The Scope of the Study
This study was restricted to the land conflicts on local communities at Warri south west LGA with particular emphasis on the causes of land conflicts, consequences and how affected rural livelihoods in the LGA, The study was carried out in two villages with different nature (urban and rural).
1.4.2 Significance of the Study
The study is important because the information will assist policy makers, administrators and local government to know the various land dispute which exist in Warri south west LGA specifically in the villages of Songambele and Mkoka.
1.4.3 Limitation of the study
This study was constrained by inadequacy of fund in data collection as some of the respondents needed financial incentive to participate fully in the study and some other respondents were too reluctant to provide information during the study because of fear or suspicion. Another reason, there was a problem of availability of secondary data from institutions visited by the researcher though some data were found in their respective
Poor record keeping or lack of statistical data in wards level and LGA office were also among some of the other problems I was confronted with in my effort to access information relating to land issues
However, the study was successful through awareness creation and educating respondents on the importance of the study which made them to give cooperation to the researcher. The study was also successful due to good cooperation that the researcher received from officers from Warri south west LGA, village land committee, and villagers.