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1.1     Background to the Study

         Climate change is one of the environmental hazard facing the world today. This is evidenced by the spate of conferences, campaigns, reports and researches on climate change in the last 20years (IPCC, 2001; Copenhagen, 2009). Climate change is often used to describe any kind of change in climate that may be natural or human-induced (UCS, 2002). Climate change according to Ekpoh (2009) is any long-term change in the patterns of average weather of a specific region or the earth as a whole. It is an abnormal variation in the earth’s climate that usually occurs over durations ranging from decades to millions of years (Ekpoh and Ekpoh, 2011). Evidence shows that global mean temperature increased by 0.60 during the 20th century, with the 6 hottest years occurring between 1997 and 2007 (IPCC, 2007). This warning of the world’s climate has been linked to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGS) in the atmosphere, which are dominantly of anthropogenic origin such as fossil fuel combustion, land use and deforestation. Climate change phenomenon has serious deleterious consequences for the earth in the form of significant variations in regional climates, recurrent droughts, excessive heat waves, windstorms, killer floods, and so on (Ekpoh and Ekpoh, 2011). Climate change is an area that is currently in dire need of a wide range of publicity and other measures in order to mitigate its effect on the society. This is more so in the sense that informed public will make wiser and more accurate decisions and response to climate change issues.

          Olaniyi et al., (2013) pointed out that climate change refers to an increase in average global temperatures. Natural events and human activities are believed to be contributing to an increase in average global temperatures. This is caused primarily by increases in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Nigeria is experiencing adverse climate conditions with negative impacts on the welfare of millions of people. Persistent droughts and flooding, off season rains and dry spells have sent growing seasons out of orbit, on a country dependent on a rain fed agriculture. Alarm bells are ringing with lakes drying up and a reduction in river flow in the arid and semi-arid region. The result is fewer water supplies for use in agriculture, hydro power generation and other users. The main suspect for all this havoc is climate change. It is projected that by the end of 2017 Africa will be worst hit by the effect of climate change which Nigeria is part of it (Olaniyi et al., 2013).

          Climate change, or global weather patterns, or global warning can be described as the biggest environmental issue of our time. It is global in its causes but its consequences are far more reaching in developing countries, particularly Nigeria. It is a topical issue worldwide because of its attendant problems that are threatening the sustenance of man and his environment. These are particularly becoming more severe in the under-developed and developing countries (Small and Nicholis, 2003). Climate change has become the new reality of our time. It brings with it changes in weather patterns that can have serious repercussions for human being, upsetting seasonal cycles, harming ecosystems and water supply, affecting agriculture and food production, causing sea-levels to rise. Climate change has a cumulative effect on natural resources and the balance of nature. Its effects are already visible in Nigeria.

          Nigeria, as a developing nation is particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change. A large part of the economy of the country depends on natural resources, which are particularly vulnerable to climate change. When those resources are affected, communities are implicated. Disease, loss of livelihoods and settlements can force entire communities into relocation or complete extinction and even refugee status. As critical as the effect of climate change is, it is not clear whether Nigerians are aware of what climate change is or its effects. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is the lack of insurance policy and knowledge as Olorunfemi (2010) had put it. Nigerians need to be educated and informed about climate change insurance policy and how it can change our lives drastically.

Climate change insurance policy has to do with how man can actually cope with all these forms of anomalies despite the rapid increase in temperature. It brings in the issue of how insurance policies can actually be put in place to actually take cover for all the properties and lives that have been lost due to some of these intensities in the climate change. A typical rise in rainfall could actually raise the water level coastal areas thereby flooding houses and taking or claiming lives or properties, hence it comes into place that climate change insurance policy assist in such situations so as to reduce the aftermaths effect of the incidence (Olorunfemi, 2010).

          Natural disasters can destroy homes, cars, crops, businesses and farmland, leading to an increase in the number and severity of insurance claim. As a result, insurers in some parts of the country have stopped offering certain types of insurance coverage they offer. This has led to higher insurance premiums that are often unaffordable for consumers. As a result, some consumers buy policies that don’t provide as much coverage as they need, while others go without insurance. Climate change is not just a property and casualty issue. It can also affect consumer’s health. Poor air quality can lead to an increase in the number of people with asthma which can also lead to an increase in health insurance claims.

          Climate change insurance policy is comprised of two key cautions. First, carbon emissions must be cut rapidly to avoid large future temperature rises would lead to severe pervasive and irreversible impacts (IPCC, 2007). Secondly, measures must be put in place to adapt as best that can be done to the future warming already locked into the system. There are benefits of climate change insurance policy, such as coal burning, electrifying vehicles policy in UK and China.

          Climate change is altering weather and causing an increase in the intensity and frequency and of adverse weather conditions such as flooding, hail and drought can affect a policy holder’s insurable assets. Climate change therefore creates risks to both movable and immovable property and one of the issues for insurer is how to underwrite the additional risks that climate change brings. Apart from the effects of climate change on policy holders, it can also impact on the sustainability of the insurance industry. The availability of insurance premised upon two factors, being the ability of the insurance industry to finance risk and the expectation that the insurance underwritten will be profitable. Climate change can therefore pose a financial threat to the insurance industry, and management and understanding of climate change and it’s effect on insurable assets are crucial in ensuring the future sustainability of the insurance industry.

          Neither the long-term insurance nor the short-term insurance makes provision for addressing risks arising from the effects of climate change. Despite the lack of guidance there are various measures that insurers can adopt in order to mitigate or avoid the risks posed by climate change. ICEED (2015) underlined the need to raise local farmers’ awareness on the need to access insurance services scheme to benefit from available lending facilities. Nigeria has significant experience in delivering traditional agricultural insurance schemes. Lack of information and knowledge about climate change insurance policy also means that many Nigerians are reluctant to accept the reality of climate change. Also, there is lack of public policy, government preparedness and commitment to promoting climate change adaptation strategies in the country. This study is therefore carried out to assess climate change insurance policy in Warri Metropolis (Warri south, Uvwie and Udu LGAs), since insurance policy has a serious role to play in helping to give out the correct message about climate change so as mitigate and alleviate its effects.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

          Climate change is a topical issue worldwide because of its attendant problems that are threatening the sustenance of man and his environment. These are particularly becoming more severe in the under-developed and developing countries of which Nigeria is one. It has become a reality, with grievous consequences. The impact of climate change includes floods, landslides, drought and famine. As weather becomes fiercer and storms increase in frequency and intensity, serious socio-economic consequences result (Odey, 2009). He added that malnutrition and disease become common occurrences. Despite these multi-various impacts of climate change, the biggest obstacle is the lack of its awareness and knowledge and that Nigerians need to be educated and informed about climate change insurance policy (Odey, 2009).

          There are noticeable consequences of climate change in Nigeria such as intense thunderstorms, widespread floods and incessant droughts. Odey (2009) has pointed out that climate change impacts pose great dangers with consequences such as desertification, sea-level rise, flooding, water salivation, among others. These impacts could manifest in food security challenges, damage infrastructure and social dislocation. Additional impacts includes threat to health as rising temperature could bring about diseases such as chronic heat rashes, cerebra-spinal meningitis (CSM), stroke, malaria, and other related diseases. Climate change affect every citizen, every part of our environment and our natural resources, and thus practically every aspect of our lives, our economy, our urban and sub-urban development patterns (Ekpoh, 2009). Global concern regarding the devastating impact of climate change has emphasized the need for creating awareness on climate change insurance policy and building community capacity for adaption strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change. As pointed out by Nachimuthu and Vijayakumari (1993), the need of the policy is to make people sensitive towards nature through a strong programme of climate change insurance policy. This is imperative in the sense that, there are some misconception and misunderstanding of climate change insurance policy and climate change issues. Many researches have been conducted concerning the understanding of climate change and global environmental problems.

Studies have shown that climate change insurance policy has been not successful in many area where it has been applied. For instance, Odey (2009) assert that climate change insurance policy has not been applied in major cities of the Nigerian environment such as Warri, Asaba, Ibadan, Lagos, etc. It is against this background that this study “climate change insurance policy in Warri Metropolis” is carried out to address these problems mentioned above as they affect climate change insurance policy.

1.3     Aim and Objectives

          The ultimate aim of this study is to assess the level of climate change insurance policy participation in Warri Metropolis (Warri South, Udu and Uvwie LGAs).

          The specific objectives of the study on climate change insurance policy in Warri Metropolis comprising of Warri south, Udu and Uvwie LGAs, were to:

  1. determine the level of awareness of the people about climate change and climate change insurance policy
  2. Determine the extent to which people insure their properties due to climate change issues in the study area.
  3. Determine the impact of climate change and global warming on the livelihood and socio-economic activities of Warri Metropolis.
  4. Discuss the problems associated with adoption of climate change insurance policy and make appropriate recommendations.

1.4     Research Hypothesis

          The following hypothesis are stated as:

  1. There is no significant effects of climate change on the livelihood and socio-economic activities of the people.
  2. There is no significant difference in the level of awareness of climate change insurance policy in Warri Metropolis.

1.5     Significance of the Study

         This study is basically produced to fulfill an academic requirement. Nevertheless, it is hoped that it would go a long way to encourage more meaningful development effects on the issue of climate change effects in Warri Metropolis and Delta State at large

          This study is not intended to break an entire new ground, rather, it’s undertaken in the premise that it will add to the existing literature in the area of geography. In addition this study is very necessary especially at this point of Nigeria’s development, where there is massive increase in the need to map and study the impacts of climate change on the natural environment and the need for climate change insurance policy in an area.

          This study is also significantly important because the removal of vegetation, construction of buildings, roads, pavement and other human transformations of the natural environment, together with heat generation from human activity are known to cause global warning and climate change which cause temperature in urban areas to rise above those of the surrounding rural areas. The climate conditions of the environment normally reflect the comfortability of the resident of Warri Metropolis and to compare the level of awareness of the people about climate change insurance policy in Warri Metropolis. This will show how much climate change has affected the inhabitants of Warri Metropolis.

          This work is expected to guide geographers, climatologists, meteorologist, architects, etc., and all those whose livelihood is affected by climate change to gain understanding of how insurance policy can help to advert the enormous problems of climate change by securing their properties.

          This study is also carried out to enlighten the entire people of Warri Metropolis (which comprise of Warri South, Udu and Uvwie LGAs) and Delta State at large in the society on the need to establish a good and favorable condition to enhance better living. However, the findings will also provide useful background information to future research in the contribution of geography towards nation’s buildings.

1.6     STUDY AREA

1.6.1  Location and Size

          Warri Metropolis which comprise of Warri South, Udu and Uvwie Local Government Areas is one of the most important and busiest towns in Delta State, located in the South-South Geo-Political zone of Nigeria. Warri Metropolis is located between latitudes 50 301N to 50 551N of the equator and longitudes 50 291E to 50 481E of the Greenwich Meridian. It is situated 30miles or 48km upstream from the port of forcados and at the terminus of road from Sapele and Ughelli. It has a navigable channels of water front of about 61meters. The region is often less than 300meters above sea-level and 96km north of Benin City. As a major industrial city of Delta State, on the Niger Delta region it is bounded by Warri North in the Northern part of the state, in the West by Warri southwest, in the East by Okpe and Ughelli, while in the South by Burutu and Ughelli South Local Government Areas. The area forms part of the Warri-Effurun industrial axis in Delta State. Warri is now over 300km2.

This increase in the size over the years and in an attempt for man to expand his domain, man has altered the micro climate through its human activities which has resulted to climate change due to lack of awareness to control such situations.

Study Area
Fig 1: Map of Delta State Showing the Study Areas

1.6.2  Relief and Drainage

          Warri Metropolis and its environs cover an area of approximately 307.8k2 with an indicating topography that is characterized by lowlands between 3-6m above sea-level. The swampy nature of the topography hinders the flow of accumulated water formed by rains. This makes run off during the rainy season almost impossible leading to flooding in most cases.

          There are creeks in the area such as the Tori creek and other major rivers. Warri River is a tributary of the Forcado River which eventually discharge into the Atlantic Ocean.

          It could therefore be deduced that man through its various human activities (fishing, farming, mining, construction, etc.) have blocked this drainage system provided by both he himself and nature thereby causing climate change induced problems.

1.6.3  Climate and Vegetation

          Warri Metropolis is characterized by tropical equatorial climate according to Koppen classification of 1918. Warri metropolis which comprise of Warri South, Udu and Uvwie LGAs is characterized by two major seasons namely, the rainy (wet) season and the dry season. The climate study area is usually described in terms of its elements such as rainfalls, temperature, humidity, solar radiation, evaporation, etc. with the low flat topography of the area, the climate of Warri metropolis is mainly a function of longitudinal location and nearness to the sea. The area experiences the southwest wind which originates from the Atlantic Ocean during the rainy season. The rainy season lasts from April to October which is a period of seven (7) months. There is however, a break in the rainy season by August (August break) after which it resumes and the rainfall becomes stronger.

          The dry season (Harmattan) is short and starts from November to March. During this period, the area experiences the North-east trade wind that comes from the Sahara Desert between December and January. The effect of the short period of the harmattan is minor and heavy down pour often occurs in the heart of dry season.

          Warri Metropolis experiences high annual rainfall of over 3, 000mm, which is distributed throughout the year. Temperature is uniformly high with an annual means of 280c and very low daily range of 300c with relative humidity as high as 85%. This is clearly shown in the table below;

Table 1.1: Monthly Temperature and Rainfall distribution in Warri

Months Rainfall (mm) Temperature (0C)
Jan 30.8 33
Feb 180.1 35.4
Mar 192.8 33.5
Apr 456.9 33.7
May 665.2 34.5
Jun 590.4 34
Jul 660 35.5
Aug 190.3 34.5
Sept 657.3 34.4
Oct 522.7 34.6
Nov 88.2 34.9
Dec 68.3 35
Total 3963 414

Source: Police and Community Head’s Diaries 2009-2010 (Efe and Ndakara, 2010)

          The natural vegetation is of rain forest with swamp forest in some areas. The forest is rich in timber, trees, palm trees well as fruit trees, unfortunately, much of the rain forestry has been destroyed as a result of its farming, commercial lumbering and urbanization.

          Nwajei (1997) observed that the climate of an area has great influence on its vegetation. The vegetation in the area comprises of mangrove swamp, fresh water swamp and rainforest. The rise in temperature and the influence of man has reduced the forest mainly to secondary growth (deciduous vegetation) due to man’s anthropogenic activities. This has in turn prone the environment to direct sunlight which has altered the natural climate of the environment causing a change in climate due to lack of trees to act as shade and wind break.

1.6.4  Geology and Soil Characteristics

          Warri Metropolis comprising of Warri south, Udu and Uvwie LGAs is situated within the Niger Delta region of Nigeria which has the Agbada, Akata and Benin formation. The rock found are of sedimentary rock type, silty clay and sand clay and sand to a top layer of 4-6m. This is followed by and pebbly at the depth (Okoye et al., 1987). Warri Metropolis has a flat terrain of about 4m above sea area and located at the Shore of Warri River. The area is also characterized by hydro-orphic soils, which is a mixture of coarse, alluvial and colluvial deposits (Okoye et al., 1987; and Efe, 2004). The Warri River and Creeks that leads to Rivers Forcados and Excravos drain the area too. The closeness to water encourages the equatorial climate which in turn determines the increase in rainfall, leading to increased underground water and infiltration of water into the soil i.e. flooding which cover most of the roads during the rainy season. The soil has a low acidic level making it fairly rich in nutrients. But in recent times, man’s anthropogenic activities has rendered the soil infertile and thus has been greatly affected by harsh climate caused by climate change induced problems.

1.6.5  Population

          The population of Warri Metropolis has increased over the years. Warri Metropolis is one of the rapidly growing cities in Nigeria with a population rising rapidly from 19, 526 in 1933, 55, 256 in 1963, 280, 000 in 1980, 500, 00 in 1991 to 632, 243 in 2006 population census exercise (Annual Abstract of Statistics, 2008) and estimated at 750,000 by the end of 2016 (Tamuno, 2009). It has a high population density that is concentrated in the core areas of the city. These areas include; Warri-Sapele road, Agbassa, Okere, Okumagba Avenue, Igbudu, Iyara, Jakpa, Ekpan, Uvwie, Airport road, P.T.I axis and Udu.

The rise in population also implies the rise in temperature which increases the climate of the area which give rise to global warming resulting to climate change through the emission of poisonous substances or gases into the atmosphere thereby altering the climate of the area.

The effect of climate change on the inhabitants of Warri Metropolis as a result of the rapid increase in population in recent times have necessitated the need for climate change insurance policy participation in the area. Furthermore, this rapid increase in population could be attributed to the industrial activities in the area. This rapid increase in population has in turn affected the source of livelihood of the people in the study area.

1.6.6  Socio-Economic Activities

          Social infrastructure exists in the area. There are lots of primary and secondary schools. College of Education and Petroleum Training Institute also exists in the area. There are different categories of roads and water channels including Warri Port which exchanges transportation in the hinter land with the outside world and aid the exchange and distribution of imported and exported goods and services. Airport also exists which serves the people in the area. Particularly the various oil companies, communication systems in the area include post and telecommunication offices as well as radio and television houses.

          Tourism and recreational activities are also available in various schools, hostels, clubs, stadium, bars and restaurants. There are also post offices and computer services. Most of the oil companies are located in Warri, Effurun Industrial Axis. They includes Agip Plc, Total, Chevron Plc, Halliburton, Panalpina, Shell Petroleum Development Commission (SPDC), Excravos, etc. There is also the Delta Steel Company (DSC) which produces steel at Aladja. Again in the area, there are some surveying and civil engineering construction firms like Niger cat, Setraco, Geosite surveys etc. There are also a lot of prominent commercial buildings which comprises of Banks, Hotels, Insurance firms, Super markets and restaurants interwoven with these commercial outlets in trading activities of local waxes and manufactured goods. The markets include Warri main market, Udu market, Pessu market, Igbudu market and Effurun market, etc.

          The nature of socio-economic activities in the city has overall effect on the climate which has posed serious threat to the environment through urban warming effects which has resulted to climate change and consequent global warming thus arising the need for insurance policy in the area to help secure the properties and livelihood of the people. Again it has been discovered that the people lack the knowledge and awareness on climate change insurance policy and the need to secure their lives and properties from the severe effects of climate change.

1.7     Scope and Limitation of the Study

          The scope of this study is restricted to climate change insurance policy in Warri Metropolis (Warri south, Udu and Uvwie LGAs). The project is also restricted to some selected areas of the study; these include Uvwie, Udu, Jakpa, Ekpan, P.T.I, Enerhen, Okere, Ugborikoko, Ugboroke, and Okumumagba Avenue.

          However, this research work was limited by a number of factors, amongst which are finance, time and physical constraints. But these constraints did not deprive the researcher from reaching dependable results.

1.8     Definition of Terms

  • Climate Change: A change in the climate condition of the world which is usually a negative change. It is also an increase in average global temperatures caused by natural events and human activities, which are believed to be contributing to an increase in average global temperatures.
  • Insurance Policy: It is defined as what brings effect from a particular event or perils. It is a standard contract between the insurer and the insured, known as the policy holder, which determines the claims which the insurer is legally required to pay.
  • Climate Insurance: It brings in the issue of how insurance policies can be put in place to take cover for all properties and lives that have been lost due to some of these intensities in the climate change.
  • Policy: A written statement of a contract of insurance.
  • Climate: The regular pattern of weather conditions of a particular place.
  • Climatologist: A scientist who study climate.
  • Metropolis: A large important city (often the capital city of a country or region).
  • City: A large and important town.
  • Town: Large settlement usually harboring thousands of facilities. It is larger than a village but smaller than a city.
  • Village: An organized unit of settlement usually consisting of hundreds of families.
  • Settlement: Any form of human inhabitation from a single to the largest city.

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