Utilizing Creeks for Integrated Rural Coastal Development of Ilaje Area of Nigeria.
Rural communities in the country are blessed with resources which need to be exploited to achieve rural development. This study examines the Utilization of Creeks for Integrated Coastal Development of Ilaje Area of Nigeria. The primary goal of the study is to carry out inventory on creek resources and how best it could be utilized for Integrated Coastal Development of the study area. Questionnaires which include close and open ended questions were administered to elicit information from household heads in the study area. Stratified-random sampling technique was employed in the administration of questionnaires, and 5% sample was adopted for this study. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis method. Information gathered from the administration of questionnaires include: socio-economic characteristics of respondents, major uses of creeks, existing condition of the coastal area and infrastructural facilities in the study area among others. The study reveals the present level of creek utilization, poor fishing techniques, poor sources of water and navigation routes, and manual dredging among others. Based on the findings, it is recommended that government should employ the services of dredging companies to selected locations in the study area for dredging; this would increase the amount of sand turn over, thereby increasing revenue generated for local economic development. Periodic clearing of water weeds will also be of necessity, dredging and expansion of the creeks for navigation for modern boats and development of tourist and recreation centres will also enhance development of the area.
Keywords: Coastal development, creeks, Ilaji, navigation and rural communities.