Assessment of Participation of Churches in Social Forestry in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

  • S I Udofia
Keywords: Participation, churches, social forestry, Uyo LGA, Nigeria

Abstract

A study was conducted to assess the participation of churches in social forestry activities in Uyo Local Government Area (LGA) of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Social forestry is any activity leading to tree planting on any vacant land in order to avail people of forest goods and services. Uyo LGA was stratified into four sampling units based on the existing four clans (Etoi, Ikono, Offot and Oku). At each clan, 250 Christians were randomly selected and administered with structured questionnaires in different churches. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square. About 72.60% of the respondents were males while females constituted 27.40%, 76.20% of the respondents were 40 years and above in age, while 23.80% of them were from 25 to 39 years. Educational background showed that 41.45% of the respondents had West African Examination Council Certificate or below, while 46.20% and 23.60% acquired OND/NCE and HND/BSc respectively. In terms of occupation, the respondents were farmers/business people (62.60%), civil servants (10.60%), and full-time preachers (23.60%). About 31.60% of the respondents planted trees whereas 68.40% did not. Of those that planted trees, 61.71% concentrated on fruit trees, 33.86% raised ornamental plants while 4.43% planted timber trees. Preference for type of plant was significant (p<0.05). Homegardens showed significantly (p<0.05) as favoured sites of tree planting. About 15.20% were willing to plant trees as against 84.20% that were not willing. Reasons given for their unwillingness were as follows: trees as hosts to evil spirits (72.29%), long maturity period (46.82%), ownership problem (39.39%), trees regenerate naturally (36.20%), inadequate land (32.20%) and lack of skill (19.81). These reasons, individually had significant (p<0.05) influence on respondents’ unwillingness to plant trees on vacant lands. There is need for enlightenment campaigns in churches in Uyo LGA of Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, to deflate wrong beliefs that trees host evil spirits.

Keywords: Participation, churches, social forestry, Uyo LGA, Nigeria.

Published
2014-09-25
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2227-5444
print ISSN: 2225-8612