Determinants of Access and Utilization of Climate Services Among Vulnerable Communities: A Case Study of Isoko Communities in Delta State, Nigeria

Determinants of Access and Utilization of Climate Services Among Vulnerable Communities: A Case Study of Isoko Communities in Delta State, Nigeria

Andrew Onwuemele (Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5787-6.ch011

Abstract

Changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems. These impacts affect poor people's lives through impacts on livelihoods and the destruction of homes. In Delta State, Nigeria, the impacts of climate change are real. Adaptation has been identified as the key to reducing the impacts of climate change. However, successful adaptation depends on use of climate services. While climate services are essential to adaptation, the services do not always reach the users who need it most. This chapter analyzes factors influencing access and utilization of climate services in Delta State. The chapter utilizes the survey research while data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings show a low utilization of climate service. The determinants of access and utilization of climate services include income, educational attainments, access to ICT facilities, extension agents, and the level of local climate variability. The chapter calls for awareness creation on the importance of climate services.
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Introduction

In recent decades, changes in climatic conditions have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans (IPCC, 2014). These impacts affect poor people’s lives directly through impacts on livelihoods, reductions in crop yields, destruction of homes and indirectly through increased in food prices and food insecurity. These impacts also exacerbate other stressors in the environment with negative implications for livelihoods especially those that rely on natural resources such as agriculture. According to the Nigerian Meteorological Agency [NIMET] (2008), which is the agency charged with the responsibility of providing climate information, Nigeria’s climate is already changing based on the assessment of the Nigerian climate over the period 1941 to 2000. The report noted the following changes in climatic condition of Nigeria over the period:

  • Rainfall: The report demonstrated that during the period 1941 to 2000, the combination of late onset and early cessation shortened the length of the rainy season in most parts of the country. Between 1941 and 2000, annual rainfall decreased by 2-8 mm across most of the country, but increased by 2-4 mm in a few places (e.g., Port Harcourt) (NIMET, 2008).

  • Temperature: Furthermore, it shows that from 1941 to 2000, there was evidence of long-term temperature increase in most parts of the country. The main exception was in the Jos area, where a slight cooling was recorded. The most significant increases were recorded in the extreme northeast (Maiduguri), extreme northwest (Sokoto) and extreme southwest (Ibadan), where average temperatures rose by 1.4-1.9oC (NIMET, 2008). With respect to climate change future projection in Nigeria, several scenario analyses have been done by the Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG) at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Department for International Development (DFID) and the Maplecroft Company. Using statistical downscaling method to extrapolate the empirical data of about 40 meteorological stations in the Nigeria, CSAG suggest a general trend of rising temperature from 2.0 – 2.2OC from south to north for the period 2046 – 2065, with a much more rapid increase in the range of 3.5 – 4.5OC at the end of the 21st century.

In view of the projected climate disruption precipitated by high levels of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions, adaptation is seen as a necessary strategy at all scales to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Hallegatte et al. (2015) notes that between today and 2030, good climate-informed development will give the best chance for warding off increases in poverty due to climate change. This clearly demonstrates the importance of climate services in climate change adaptation. Climate services are scientifically based information and products that enhance users’ knowledge and understanding about the impacts of climate on their decisions and actions (American Meteorological Society, 2015).

Climate services deliver data, statistical analyses, tools, and other information resources about historical weather patterns and expected future climate conditions including temperature and precipitation scenarios, sea-level changes and their potential impacts on agriculture, infrastructure, health, and other sectors (USAID, 2013). It has been shown to be useful in planning various activities that depend on climate information. In the agriculture sector, farmers are able to select more effective planting times, and choose the most appropriate crops for the coming season. In the health sector, it is used in designing early warning systems to improve surveillance on diseases affected by climate conditions (such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, and so forth) and help mitigate against the suffering resulting from weather extremes such as heat waves and winter cold, and urban smog events (Nyenzi & Malone, 2005; Ayubu, Malongo, Siza, & Respickius, 2012). In the construction industry, planners and engineers use long-term climate forecasts to decide where buildings should be sited as floodplains move, or how to design bridges to ensure they can withstand increasingly heavy storms (McMichael et al 2003; Patz, 2002).

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