Publication Date

March 2016


The Hadejia-Nguru wetlands have long been recognized as a World Heritage Site notably for its supportive role to wild birds from Europe, Asia, and Australia. At times the functions of the wetlands have been tremendously jeopardized due to dwindling resources and thus affecting the lives of more than 1.5 million people. A number of projects were initiated by different international communities, such as the Department for International Development (DFID), aimed at fostering sustainable utilization of the natural resource base to improve the well-being of the people. The interventions have rarely succeeded, perhaps due to the lack of understanding of rural household vulnerability drivers. It is against this backdrop that this study undertook a household vulnerability assessment to determine the internal and external factors and their magnitudes in exacerbating the conflicts in the area. The data was obtained through the administration of 210 questionnaires in 15 communities of the wetlands region and analyzed principally using the vulnerability ladder, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), and descriptive statistics. The results revealed that the external drivers, like invasion by typha grass and other aquatic plants, pests, and fluctuating water flow volumes, as the main sources of vulnerability rather than anthropogenic factors of resource over-exploitation, poor management, and lack of internal control mechanisms. The external factors were found to have multiplier effects on primary productivity and the livelihoods of the dependent communities subjecting them to poverty conditions and exacerbating intense competition and conflict over the depleting resources.

Author Bio(s)

Ahmadu Abubakar Tafida is a Lecturer I in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola Nigeria. His specialization includes rural development, extension, and sustainable livelihoods. His current research interests include poverty and conflict, livelihood diversification capital assets, natural resources, governance, and climate adaptation. Email: tafidaaa@mautech.edu.ng. Mala Galtima teaches in the Department of Geography, Gombe State University Gombe State, Nigeria. Email: galtimam@gmail.com.