Climate Change Awareness and related Tree Planting Practices in a Rural Community in North-Western Nigeria
Background: Tree cutting is one of the causes of climate change and a common practice in Africa, a continent under significant threat from climate change. Therefore, climate change awareness and mitigation are vital to reducing its impacts in the region. Reforestation through planting of trees is an important carbon emission reduction strategy. This study assessed climate change awareness and related tree planting practices among household heads in a Nigerian rural community.
Methods: A community-based descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in April 2019 among all household heads in Nasarawan Buhari community. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from the 104 household heads (or their representatives). Data was analyzed using SPSS (version 21.0) and statistical significance was set at p value of < 0.05.
Results: The mean age of respondents was 40.6±12.6 years, and most of them (87.5%) were males. Half (50.0%) were aware of climate change, and their main source of information was radio (63.5%). Most (98.1%) used fire wood for cooking. Only a minority (27.9%) planted at least a tree in the year preceding the study. There was a statistically significant association between climate change awareness and occupation (p=0.038) but not with tree planting (p=0.827).
Conclusion: The results indicated that only half of respondents were aware of climate change. There was high use of wood as cooking fuel with low tree planting. Tree planting was not associated with climate change awareness. There is therefore a need for continuous climate change education and mitigation campaign in the community.