Building agrarian infrastructure resilience against climate change impacts : a case of Plateau State, Nigeria

Goyol, S ORCID: 2019, Building agrarian infrastructure resilience against climate change impacts : a case of Plateau State, Nigeria , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Agrarian infrastructures dominate development in the Nigerian agricultural sector and incorporate various systems of transportation, irrigation and agricultural services that aim to improve the effectiveness of agricultural production and the sustenance of livelihood systems. However, climate change and the increasing trend of hazard events pose challenges to the stability of agrarian infrastructure systems and, in turn, development in the sector. Previous strategies to manage the impacts of climate change on agriculture focused heavily on the preservation of the natural world through land management; however, there is no clear approach to manage agrarian infrastructure systems. Therefore, this study argues that, building the resilience of agrarian infrastructure systems through effective management would be equally relevant to sustaining development in the sector. In this context, the research aims to develop a Framework for Agrarian Infrastructure Resilience (FAIR) that can strategically manage climate change hazards and their impacts on agrarian infrastructure systems.

A pragmatic philosophy with an abductive approach is adopted for this study. The conceptual framework, which was developed from the conduct of a literature review, was refined and validated through a multiple case study research strategy. Semi-structured interviews and survey questionnaires were used as the primary data collection techniques; 22 semi-structured interviews were conducted with infrastructure managers to elicit information on the institutional aspects of agrarian infrastructure management including infrastructure risks, vulnerabilities and resilience capacities. Furthermore, 229 questionnaires were administered to infrastructure users (farmers) in three selected agrarian communities; they provided information on the nature of climate risk and the impacts on agrarian infrastructure systems, the factors of vulnerability and communities’ capacities for resilience. A content analysis was used to analyse information elicited from the semi-structured interviews whilst descriptive and inferential statistics were used for the analysis of data from the survey questionnaire.

The case study findings on the geographical variations in local climate risks, and the confined impacts on infrastructure systems and resilience capacities challenge the current institutional structure, which places greater focus on resolving the aftermath of rapid onset events. The findings reveal that the main factors explaining the substantial impact of climate change are the poor conditions of agrarian infrastructure systems, and the lack of funds which represent a major driver of infrastructure vulnerability. Although poor conditions aggravate infrastructure damage and service disruption, social networks and non-structural community measures were more effective resilience strategies than institutional interventions. However, these were short-term measures. Accordingly, this research recommends a review of current climate change adaptation policies and the incorporation of future climate change within infrastructure plans. Furthermore, it advocates the development of comprehensive climate risk assessments and mapping in order to improve the preparedness and contingency plans for climate change. Finally, the study suggests expanding the scope of infrastructure investment, retrofitting existing infrastructures, upgrading design standards, and improving water systems and water management strategies. This research contributes a greater understanding of the local processes of climate change, and knowledge of the concept of agrarian infrastructure resilience, particularly in the Nigerian agricultural sector. The empirical implication of this research is the development of a framework that can enhance decision making towards the provision and management of resilient infrastructures.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Pathirage, C (Supervisor) and Ingirige, MJB (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Funders: University of Jos, Nigeria
Depositing User: Simi Goyol
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2019 10:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:19

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