Exploring alternative livelihood in oil-spill impacted communities: A Nigerian perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Alternative livelihood is a widely used concept for interventions that aim to reduce the frequency of other activities considered to be environmentally damaging by switching them with lower impact livelihood activities that provide equivalent benefits. This chapter explores the alternative adaptive method for livelihood support of communities impacted by oil spill hazard. The debates around oil spills and impact on livelihood are overwhelming, with little knowledge of how impacted communities survive amid the incidents. This community-based/participatory research uncovers substantial aspects of livelihood strategies. The chapter discusses seven significant alternative strategies for household livelihood support: (i) local refining of petroleum products for domestic and commercial use, (ii) long-distance fishing, (iii) distance timber production activities, (iv) daily bricklaying jobs, (v) farming/share system of farming, (vi) internship farming system, and (vii) leased farming. The implications of the alternatives on socioeconomic and sociocultural development of the communities are analyzed, suggesting that a majority of the alternatives have significant contribution to the socioculture and local economic growth, while a few of the identified alternatives require more restructuring to reduce environmental damage ensued by the activities. The chapter concludes that the communities across the Niger Delta region use a variety of farming methods to support their everyday livelihood, and a majority of households depend on the local refining of petroleum product to generate electricity while creating income in the process. The chapter suggests that the alternative methods for livelihood support across the communities be industrialized further with the formulation of appropriate policies that can enhance restructuring and/or amendment of the community strategies at the local level, a recommendation based on its thematic findings. This research will be of value to researchers seeking understanding of how the Niger Delta region can be strategically empowered during this petroleum era before desertion of the product.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Disaster Risk
Subtitle of host publicationA Multidimensional Approach
EditorsPedro Pinto Santos, Ksenia Chmutina, Jason Von Meding, Emmanuel Raju
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128190487
ISBN (Print)9780128190470
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2020


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