One of the basic needs of man is shelter, which has been recognized world wide as only next to food. Agbola and Kassin (2007) stated that all houses are shelters but not all shelters are houses. For a shelter to be called a house, it must fulfill the needs and aspirations of the users. They went further to state that a good house should have a quiet environment, living and outdoor space, privacy, cleanliness, safety and aesthetic satisfaction. It must also be built with good quality materials and be served with basic community facilities such as road, water, electricity, sewage/refuse disposal and recreational facilities (Agbola and Kassin, 2007). Similarly, Rangwala (2011) noted that it is not enough toprovide stable structures as houses, but they must be so located and designed that they afford conveniece, amenity, health and social life to the community. He also stated that housing has the potentials of promoting human welfare, social life, economic growth and healthy life. Housing is thus a strong and indepensable causal element in all manner of progress initiated and substained by both the individual and society (Nwosu, 1985). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), housing should provide protection against communicable diseases and reduce pschological and social stresses to a minimum.
Residential preference and pattern have a strong effect on immigration of people into any area. Areas with poor accessibility, bad roads, poor infrastructure attract low rent and most residential areas in transition have the low income earners located in these areas.
Often times, the cost of occupying rental housing is over shadowed with rent. Rent is a fixed (though reviewable) sum paid by lessee to the lessor as a consideration for the occupation of the subject property by the lessee. There are other costs incential to the occupation of the property and this may include security costs, maintenance costs, utililies, neighbourhood charges, property taxes and such, the bulk of which some times are passed to the occupant. Housing consumption goes beyond structural attributes to include environmental, neighbourhood and accessibility (location) attributes (Kamali 2008). The provision of adequate housing is a very integral part of the needs of every society and has a great value for individuals, families, communities and society at large (Onokerhoraye and Omuta, 2005). Housing is a physical and social necessity of life, plays a number of fundamental, social, economical, psychological and environmental and health-roles in the well being of the people and the economy. Consequently, housing is generally considered to hold a place of strategic importance in developments.
Two fundamental factors underlie the housing problems in Nigeria. First, the high rate of population growth and associated rural-urban migration contributed largely for housing need in Nigeria. From 30.4 million in 1952 ,the population of Nigeria grew to 55.7 million in 1963. By 1991, the population had risen to 88million, and by 2006 it was 140 million (Federal Bureau of Statistics, 2007; NPC, 2006). The rate of urbanization between 1980 and 1993 was among the highest in the world. Total urban population has increased enormously. At the estimate of 44.0 percent level of urbanization, total urban population by the year 2000 was over 49 million. The number of cities also grew from 50 urban centres in 1952, to 357 urban centres in 1991 (Jiboye, 2011). The last five decades of Nigeria’s development was therefore a period marked by accelerated pace of urbanization. Consequently, urbanization has become one of the most intractable in the nation’s urban housing problems and has led to urban infrastructural decay.
Since the city is regarded as the engine of growth which propels national economic development (Jiboye, 2009; Akhmat and Bochun, 2010), the effect and problems emanating from these population increases have undoubtedly constituted critical challenge to sustainable housing is universal, it is however more critical in less developed countries (Aina, 2015; Lawanson, 2015, Olotuah and Bobadoye, 2012).
In Abraka residential area make up over 58% of the total land uses and the rented apartments over 40% of the residential areas, (Abotutu, 2006). Population in Abraka is in continuous increase due to many reasons. People preffer to reside in Abraka because of educational purposes, affordable cost of houses, security, environmental attributes, accessibility of place of the settlement of the area.
One major challenge militating against sustainable housing and urban development in most developing countries is that of spontaneous and uncontrolled migration. Rural-Urban migration and immigration have in recent times posed serious threat to quality and affordable housing in many Nigerian cities bringing with it attendant problems such as insecurity, diseases, increased crime rate, social vices, congestion, housing problems, difficulties and more importantly high cost of decent housing and accommodation (Jiboye, 2009, 2010, 2011). Residents of various cities in Nigeria now find it difficult to acquire comfortable and decent accommodation as a result of unchecked rural-urban migration, urban expansion, and rapid population increase. It has been discovered in recent studies (Jiboye, 2011; Abotutu, 2010; Olotuah and Bobadoye, 2012) that a larger proportion of the population in Nigeria live in substandard and poor housing. The reality of this scenario is that the urban house forms in Nigeria accommodate extended family of living with many inconveniences, while spatial congestion and infrastructures cause problems in living comfort (Awotona and Ogunshakin, 2013). It has also been observed that increased migration, rapid urbanization and poor economic growth have compounded the problems of inadequte housing in Nigeria (Okoye, 2009). These housing inadequacies, particularly for the low-income group, have been complicated by the high rate of population growth, inflated real state values, infux of rural immigrants, deplorable urban services and infrastructures, and a lack of implementation of planning policies (Oladunjoye, 2011; Olotuah, 2015). The reality of this sirtuation is that existing housing stocks are inadequate to cater for the increasing population (Jiboye, 2011).
It has also been discovered that income plays a key role in the choice of accomondation and residential prefernces especially in urban centres of Nigeria. The high income earners go for decent and comfortable accommondation and usually stay in areas like G.R.A and high class residential areas with adequate security and adequate facilities provided whereas the reverse is the case for low and middle income earners. They like to stay in areas of their social class (Slums, squatter settlement, ghetto, etc) with no good housing facilities. These areas usually have poor drainage and bad road network; lack educational facilities while social unrest among others is prevalent. Residents of these areas form social groups where they imbide the village culture. People prefer to stay in places closer to their place of work to minimize transportion cost and areas of inter-tribal relationship so as to foster communal relationship among ethnic relations irrespective of other factors affecting their stay and comfort. People of equal status such as gender, educational status, marital status and age grades tend to fit in to each other as residential neighbours rather than those who differ. This could be seen in the staff quarter lodge in the university environment, student hostels and accommodation within the Abraka university community as people of similar background, education, age group, and sex (gender) tends to be more compatible as neighbours than other social groups. The provision of basic amenities and public facilities in some residential areas have continued to attract dwellers to itself. A good example of such areas in Abraka is the Police station road, College road, Okpogoro, Abraka P.O to include many others. Although, these variables have to a great extent tried to solve the attendant problems of housing but all efforts have prove abortive. This study therefore seeks to investigate the role of income in residential preferences in Abraka community and what these preferences mean for the observable residential pattern.
This study aims at examining the residential preference in Abraka and their impacts on the pattern of accommodation in it various residential zones. However, the objectives include:
The following research questions will be answered in the study;
The following null hypothesis will be tested on due course.
This research work is carried out to fulfil academic purpose and will be of immense help to the government, academicians, planners, urban and rural dwellers, geographers, demographers and the general public on the need to provide quality housing delivery to all categories of residential neighbourhood irrespective of social class, income status, age group, educational qualification etc. It will also educate and enlighten the residents of Abraka on the factors to be considered when choosing the residential neighbourhoods.
The research will suggest mitigation strategies to overcome housing problems such as congestion, increased crime rate, development of squartter settlements, etc.
This study through its mitigation strategies and techniques will contribute immensely to the socio-economic growth and development of Abraka as well as contributing to national development and nation’s to include societal development.
The study cover all the fourteen (14) villages and hamlets in Abraka with an intensive study of the settlement pattern of the area. The villages are; Oria-Abraka, Erho-Abraka, Ughele-Abraka, Urhuovie-Abraka, Ajanomi-Abraka, Ekrejeta-Abraka, Urhuoka-Abraka, Umeghe-Abraka, Ugono-Abraka, Otorho-Abraka, Urhuagbesa-Abraka, and Oteri-Abraka.
The Abraka region can be divided into at least two sub-regions, the Abraka inner region and the Abraka outer region. While the Abraka inner region comprises the Abraka main settlement and the other small settlements that are within its immediate neighbourhood, the Abraka outter region can extend as far out as possible with only a few services providing the interlink between the outter settlements and the Abraka micropolis.
Thus, the Abraka inner region consists of the six communities, which make up the present-day Abraka town. These communities are arranged generally in a North-East to South-West direction along River Ethiope Urhuoka, Ekrejeta, Abraka urban, Ajanomi, Urhuovie, Erho and Oria. Together, they constitute the declared planning urban areas of Abraka.
Abraka lies approximataly on latitude 5 48 and longitude 6 06E. It is situated at the Eastern bank of River Ethiope in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. Abraka covers a total land area of about 21.2square kilometers (Ufuoma, 2000).
Physical aspect of Abraka and its environs share a similar physical feature. The present topography consist of a rolling low land, plain generally about 300 above sea level. It is a plain slopping towards the Ethiope River in the North and towards river Ovwiere in the South and finally towards Eku in the West. This region has the water table far deep into the ground.
The climate of Abraka region is a tropical climate which is influenced by seasonal winds. The winds are the tropical maritime and the tropical continental winds commonly known as the South-West and the North-East winds. There are little variation as a result of effects of rivers. Some number of factors are operative as regards the climatic pattern of the area, this include temperature, rainfall and relief. The mean maximum annual temperature is 25.7c. Temperature is high in the month of March, April and January with a range of 45c to 50c.
However between November, January and February, the temperature falls between 24c and 20c (Omere, 1975). The dry season usually lasts from November to February. These dry and dustywinds brings harmattan to the clan. The wet season is some times usually interupted in August, locally known as ‘’August break’’.
It must be noted that the chief type of vegetation are closely related to the varying type of rainfall regime existing. Thus, we can distinquish more than one type of vegetation in the area under study, these are Equatorial rain fores, Derived Savanna and Tropical forest. Thes vegetations in this area of study resulted from high humidity, well distributed rainfall, high temperature of very low range. The vegetation along the road from Abraka to Igun and from Benin function to Evboesi are derived which resulted from human activities such as; Bush burning, Agricultural practices, Timber felling and edaphic features i.e the environmental conditions which are mainly determined by the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the soil.
Abraka and its environs has a sandy-loamy soil with a coarse texture. The portion of the soil that is close to the river bank is the soil that is close to the river bank is fine textured. The colour of the soil is red with a granular nature. The profile of the superfical layer is very thin, while the sub soil is redial-orange, gravelly and sandy. The soil in the region are fertile which make for good production of agricultural produce in the areas. The luxiriant vegetation in most part of the area is also a function of the fertile soils.
The rivers found in the these region are the river Ethiope and Ovwiere. The river Ethiope flows from Umuaja in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State in a East-West direction, Ethiope East Local Government Area.
The river Ethiope is characterised by meanders, flood plain and swamps. The valley is about five (5) meters and has a well marked regime. It is about four (4) meters deep out of the university swimming pool in March and six (6) meters in October after the heavy rains of the shiny season. The water is very clear and one can see the bottem or beds of the river clearly.
River Ovwiere takes its source from Utagbo-Uno in Ndokwa West Local Government Area and flows parallel to River Ethiope at Abraka P.O like Ethiope River. It occupies a broad valley with a large swampy areas on either bank. It is characterised with meanders alluvial mud and clay on both sides of the bank. The water is dark-grey and deep. It is not as clear as River Ethiope (Ojegun, 1981).
Agricultural activities is one of the socio-economic activities in Abraka. Abraka is a medium-sized town which can be referred to as agro-town in the sense that the majority of indigenous resident population depends on agricultre for their livelihood. In other words, Abrake is an agro-town as the majority of its inhabitants are either full-time farmers or part-time farmers who grow a variety of crops and keep some livestock for sustenance. Also, these farmers sell part of their farm products for cash in some with which they provide their non-food requirements. The crops that grown within region can be classified into following categories: food crops such as cassava, yam, plantains, banana and cocoyam. Cash crops consists of two types of crops, crops cocoa which has been an exprt crop for decades and traditional food crops like yam, cassava and plantain. Range of agricultural activities within Abraka inner region, agriculture which involves the production of a wide variety of crops, a wide variety of livestock, as well as forestry, fishery and the agro-services such as processing, storage, transportion and marketing of agricultural products remains the oldest and the most rife industry of man in the world till today. Globally, man needs agricultural products for food, shelter, for earning cash income and for operating the industry especially the agro-industries.
Traditionally, Abraka was an agro-settlement whos inhabitants were virtually subsistence farmers. With the establishment of schools, churches, small-scale trades, the post office and health institutions, Abraka began to have a population that consists of a large proportion of farmers and farming assistants and a small proportion of a non-farm population. The establishment of university in Abraka brought in a larger group of staff and students into Abraka and these led to increasing of population in Abraka which make people to reside in Abraka in order to farm and produce farm products for their means of their livelihood.