EUCHARIA ONYEMA EJECHI
Department of Sociology and Psychology
Delta State University
P. M. B. 1 Abraka, Nigeria.
The perceptions of the socio-ecological impact of oil exploitation in the Niger Delta by the rural inhabitants were investigated with structured questionnaire. Respondents indicated non-satisfaction with environmental quality of life (mean score, <5.0 vs. 10.0 points), and compensation money received from oil companies (4.2 vs. 10.0) that tended to cause feuds (14.8 vs. 20.0). The perception of the future was bleak (1.5 vs. 4.0), although respondents indicated that it depended on political leadership/representation (β=0.74, p<0.05) presently judged unsatisfactory (26.5 vs. 60.0). Declining youth participation in the traditional economic activities correlated (r=0.40-0.65, p<0.05) with the decline (8.6 vs. 24) in the traditional economy. Respondents indicated decline in the abundance/availability of fish, forest animals and farm products that suggested ecological problems. An independent Niger Delta Environmental Research Centre funded with tax on oil, can be established to undertake the needed social and scientific studies that will indicate mitigation measures.