1.1 Background of the Study
Climate change is a change in the state of climate that can be identified by changes in the mean or the variability of its properties and persists for an extended period typically decades or longer (IPCC, 2007). Climate change or global warming refers to all change in climate as a result of natural variations and human activities (IPCC, 2007). This natural variation could be due to increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, and water vapour) in the atmosphere.
Climate change is an environmental, social and economic challenge on a global scale (Scholze et al., 2006). Climate change can be exacerbated by human induced actions such as the widespread use of land, the broad scale deforestation, the major technological and socio-economic shift with reduced reliance on organic fuel (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005).
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 (C02). Nigeria is experiencing adverse climate conditions with negative impacts on the welfare of millions of people. Persistent droughts and flooding, off 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).
The world is undergoing a climate reduction. The rate of this revolution has become fast especially in recent times across the globe. Climate change is almost invariably considered an issue of global interest. However, the extent represents a problem which is still heavily debated.
Over the years, studies of climatic characteristics have been limited to the micro scale known as micro climatic characteristics (Efe, 2002; Oguntoyinbo, 1981; Ojo, 1988; Figurola, 1995; and Efe and Aruegodine, 2003). Human activities have much effect on the climate of Abraka as most of these climatic parameters are being altered by the numerous activities of human in the region. Some of these human activities are the method of farming, gas flaring within the environment or neighbouring communities, transportation, fumes from factory buildings, illegal oil bunker, fumes from generator sets, improper waste disposal, deforestation etc.
Lately the heat wave all over the country has been unbearable. Even with rain, the heat is still unbearable. Have you ever wondered why the sun is so hot? The heat is caused by global warning. Global warming is the rise in the atmosphere. This is called the Green House Effect. A Green House Gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect.
Climate change have been identified as a maj or moving force affecting the accelerated socioeconomic growth and development of many nations in this 2Vt century. Different climate change effects extreme events may have a range of diverse impact on transportation infrastructure and services. These will vary significantly by mode, climate change factors, and depends on the local or regional circumstances and vulnerabilities; including those associated with the natural environment, as well as a broad range of socio-economic factors. Man and his activities over the years have contributed significantly to the rise in the global temperature and its attendant environmental consequence (Efe and Ndakara, 2011).
The transportation sector is instrumental to many economic and social functions. At the same time, transport infrastructures and services depend on weather conditions and, thus, it is important to improve our understanding on how these would be affected by the present and future climate and its dynamics. Although it is claimed that the transport sector is particularly vulnerable to climate change (Eddowes et al., 2003; IPCC, 2007; Karl et al, 2009; USDOT, 2012). There is comparatively little detailed research into specific implications/impacts, adaptation strategies, cost and benefits, compared with other sectors such as energy and agriculture (EEA, 2010).
Transportation is a key component of growth and urbanization in towns and cities for example Seattle, Washington etc. transportation is a key necessary for specialization; it allows production and consumption of products to occur at different locations. Transportation has throughout history been a spur to expansion; better transport allows more trade and greater spread of people. Economic growth has always been dependent on increasing the capacity and rationality of transport (Stopford, 1997).
The transportation sector needs to incorporate appreciate checkmate on climatic change for effective exploitation of the modem technology within the human environment as well as continuing acceleration in development. Transportation now enables one person at one part of the world to communicate or correct with another person at another remote part of the world through the aid of transportation network and systems.
The growth problem of climate change impact is global and the developing countries, especially in Africa will be mostly affected (Zoellick and Robert, 2009).
1.2 Statement of Problem
The modern day climate has revolutionized transportation in developing socio-economic activities and this is known as one of the major factor affecting the transferability of people goods and services in the society (Eddowes et al., 2003). They added that severe climatic condition such as intense temperature and heavy rainfall may hinder vehicular movement thereby affecting transport activities in any modern day society.
Climate change impact pose great dangers with consequences such as desertification, sea level rise, flooding, water stagnation, 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 which may hinder transporters from effective movement on the road (Odey, 2009).
Ekpoh (2009) opined that climate change will 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. There are noticeable consequences of climate change in Nigeria such as intense thunderstorms, widespread floods and incessant droughts. This adverse effects may cause flooding of major streets and roads which may pose serious threat to road transporters and other commuters. It is a general phenomenon that road accidents are common during heavy rainfall and intense weather condition such as rise in temperature (Odey, 2009).
Again, roads tend to be in bad shape and condition after heavy rainfall in lowland regions where rainfall is throughout the year and rain intensity is high. This make it almost impossible for road transporters to ply the road especially express and busy roads during intense rainfall as most of potholes may not be visible thereby causing crash among vehicles and commuters.
Passengers tend to be delayed during intense rainfall since rainfall may affect vehicular movement in most cases and in other cases the road may not be motorable during heavy rainfall and harsh weather condition such as rain storm. This make passenger’s wait more than 1hr to allow the rain drain down before they can continue their journey. This has been the case in Agbor and other parts of Delta State especially for vehicles whose wiper is not functioning well.
Agbor, Delta State, Nigeria stand a chance of achieving more from the wide range of services made possible by transportation technology and service in solving some or even all of its socioeconomic queries in the locale. Many people are denied from the use of good, reliable and efficient transportation means due to financial constraint (transport cost) and the absence of good and modem transportation network, technology and services and all these can be attributed to the impact of climate change making it almost impossible for some inhabitants to carry out their socio-economic activities. This study therefore seek to address the aforementioned problems and make appropriate recommendation.
1.3 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this study is to assess the impact of climate change on the transportation system in Agbor.
The specific objectives of this study are to;
The following null hypothesis will be tested in this study;
1.5 Significance of the Study
This is to evaluate the impact of climate change on the transportation system in Agbor. The means at which stakeholders in the transportation sector can mitigate climate change and it will favour them and the general public.
This research will awaken major stakeholders in the transportation sector, the government and general public to know the actual impact/implication of climate change on the transportation system in Agbor.
Furthermore, it is a valuable tool for the geographers, various associated fields of study on climate change and transportation. It is hoped that the results of this research will help in alleviate the impact/implications of climate change on transportation in Agbor.
1.6 STUDY AREA
This research work is focused on Agbor in Ika South Local Government Areas of Delta State. This section of this project work will focus on the location and size of the study area, vegetation, climate, drainage system, population and socio-economic activities.
1.6.1 Location and Size
Agbor is location in South-western Nigerian approximately latitude 6° 10’N and 6° 17’N and longitude 6° 91 E and 6° 111 E (Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Development, Asaba, 2004). Agbor is bounded on the east by Emuhu, on the west by Alihame, on the north by Ottah in Edo State and on the south by Owanta. Politically, the Ika speakers are mainly found in two local government areas (Ika South local government area and Ika North. East local government area) both created in 1991 from the former Ika local government area in Delta State.
Ika south and Ika north-east local government areas occupy a land area of 117.45 kilometer square (Delta State Government Website, 1991) with a total population of about 240,000 people (NPC, 2015 estimate).
This strategic location of Agbor coupled with the increase population and the landmass makes it easier for transporters to ply route since it is geographically located in a very attractive and friendly environment; but with time intense rainfall/harsh weather condition has posed serious problem(s) to commuters who ply the Agbor-Asaba express route and other routes that lead to Benin, Kogi, Abuja, etc. The implication of this is that intense rainfall caused by climate change affects the transportation system in the area.
Fig 1: Map of Delta State Showing the Study Area
1.6.2 Relief and Drainage
Delta State landscape is predominantly a subdued low lying deltaic plain interspersed with water logged depression and swamp (Odemerho and Ejemeyorwi, 2007). Agbor falls under the low land region of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.
Agbor is drained by Orogodo. River which acts as a reservoir that drains all the rain water. Orogodo river is located between Mbin village at an elevation of 150metres above sea level, it joins the River Ethiope at Urhuoka near Abraka in Delta State and covers a total distance of about 75kilometres (Idise et al., 2011). The location of Agbor in the low land region makes the area naturally reliable to flood and a swampy environment which hold water for some months depending on the nature of the rainfall and type of flood which predominate the area.
This intense rainfall induced by climate change problems may hinder transportation activities in the area for some days as streets and major roads may be flooded thereby causing road accident and other road transport problems.
The vegetation was formerly rainforest but has been replaced by derived guinea Savanna Vegetation (Ofunnia, 1993). Its attitudinal position is 25metres above sea level. They are also oil palm trees that grow wide and tall creepers climb from undergrowth up to the tree trunks, in some places around Ute-Okpu, Emulu, Umunede, Mbiri and Owa Clans, rubber trees have replaced the vegetation.
It is important to note that most of the economic trees are no longer found due to their destruction (deforestation), by farmers purposely to have enough land for farming. Also in an attempt to construct roads and railway line, vegetation are destroyed and completely leveled down thereby exposing the environment to environmental hazards and threat most of which are caused by climate change which in turn affects transportation networks in the area.
Agbor is located in the humid tropical region and enjoys tropical equatorial climate, according to (Efe, 2007). Agbor has a mean annual temperature and minimum and maximum atmospheric temperature value of 250c to 3800 while morning and evening hours showed temperature value as low as 2l°’ to 2800, basically the area experiences two main seasons, the wet (rainy) and dry season. Which has seven (7) to eight (8) months of heavy rainfall which ranges from 2300mm to 2500mm and mean annual temperature ranges from 2800 to 3o°’ in the dry season, the tropical continental air mass become dominant the wind in the dry season is normally dusty and dry all through, and there is little rainfall during this period.
From the above, it could be deduced that the tropics experience rise temperature throughout the year which may cause intense heat and alter the natural climate thereby causing acid rain which flood major roads and streets thereby hindering vehicular movement and pose threat to transporters and commuters who ply the major roads on daily basis. This is one of the major reason why road accidents is common during heavy rainfall and on intense sunshine. This implies that climate change has negative impact on transport system in the study area.
Agbor is made up of Ferra-soil, this are deeply weathered red and yellowish brown soils with abundant free iron oxides but generally without lateritic iron pan layer (Mogborukor, 2007).
Agbor soil is highly acidic and most times hold water after intense rainfall which result to flooding of major roads and streets which pose serious threat to commuters and transporters. This implies that climate change to a great extent affect transportation system.
The population of Ika south local government area was 129,935 and that of Agbor was about 86,000 (population census, 1991). As at 2006 census it rose to 156,925 and 78,000 which reflect the growth rate of the country. The population of Agbor is made up of Farmers, students, traders, civil servants and government officials.
This rapid rise in population due to urbanization has seriously posed threat to transportation system in the area through climate change effects which are caused by the alteration of the natural environment by human activities such as fumes from automobile vehicles, fumes from generator set, fumes from factory building/built up areas among others.
1.6.7 Socio-Economic Activities of the People
The primary activity of the people in the area are mainly agriculture, Agbor and Owa Communities through which the Orogodo River flows are agricultural communities producing namely foodstuffs such as farm, corn, vegetable, cassava, plantain, and variety of fruits and also rearing of animals (goats, pigs and poutiness etc). The socio-economic activities of the people has been hampered by severe weather condition which affect transport activities which is the major socio-economic activities of the Agbor people. This shows that climate change has a great negative effect on the transportation system of Agbor.
1.7 Scope/Delimitation of the Study
The scope of this study is restricted to the impact of climate change on transportation in Agbor. The project is also restricted to some selected areas of study: these include Ihogbe, Alifekede, Omumu, Alisor, Alilehan, Alizomor, Ozanogogo (Ozara), Alisimien, Ewuru, Ehurn, Agbor-Obi, Owa, BojiBoji, Agbor main town, amongs others.
However, this research work was limited by 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
The following key terms will be clearly defined and simplified in this study;