Nordic Journal of African Studies - Abstract

Title: The Reality and Tough Choices about Water and Sanitation in Nigeria’s Coastal Settlements: a Preliminary Discussion
Authors: Emmanuel M. Akpabio and Aniekan S. Brown
Published: © Nordic Journal of African Studies Vol. 21(4) 2012, pp. 164–182
Language: English
Keywords: water and sanitation challenges, tough choices, coping measures, coastal environments, Nigeria


This paper aims at developing a better understanding of local social, cultural and ecological geographies of water and sanitation in Nigeria’s coastal settlements. In-depth interviews, field observations and secondary sources of data were used to capture local complexities associated with these issues in Ibeno-a coastal settlement in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria. Findings showed that the daily water and sanitation practices of the people depend, to a large extent, on the nature of the locational/physical environment as well as the wider social and cultural circumstances of the people (located in beliefs, spiritualities and socio-economic status). As behavioural responses, a number of coping resources and methods were observed to be central to meeting the daily challenges of water and sanitation in the area. In conclusion, the paper argues that theories working on behavioural changes and human cognition alone are not sufficient in deepening understanding of the complexities surrounding water and sanitation issues in developing countries. The wider social and environmental contexts are important variables for considerations.

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©2012, Nordic Journal of African Studies