Livelihood Diversification among Artisanal Sand Dredgers in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

Fatai Abiola Sowunmi, Isaac Busayo Oluwatayo, Oluwakemi Adeola Obayelu, Omolola Rukayat Lateef


The need for a sustainable livelihood is compelling many artisanal sand dredgers to engage in other economic activities to augment the income from sand dredging affected by the season. Moreover, the pressure of the demand for sand heightens environmental degradation. This study analyzed livelihood diversification among artisanal sand dredgers in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. Two-stage sampling was used to sample one hundred and twenty-three respondents using a structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Simpson diversity index and the two-limit Tobit regression. The study revealed that 86.2% of artisanal sand dredgers engaged in other economic activities. The average monthly incomes earned from sand dredging and other economic activities were ₦50,229.27 and ₦31,023.76, respectively. Sand dredging contributed 65.7% of the total income of respondent; other economic activities contributed 34.3%. The study revealed an income diversification of 0.46. The age of the respondents and household size were factors that influenced the extent of livelihood diversification. The findings of our study affirm the need for sand dredgers to engage in other economic activities because sand dredging alone as a means of livelihood cannot sustain their well-being. As more sand dredgers engage in other activities, the pressure on the environment that causes degradation through sand dredging would be reduced. This study is rooted in Environmental Economics. The engagement of most sand dredgers in other economic activities indicates that a substantial number could be gradually drawn away from sand dredging to reduce pressure on the environment.


Keywords: livelihood diversification, sand dredging, economic activity, environmental degradation, the Simpson index.




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