Abstract: In sub-Saharan Africa, hydro-meteorological related disasters, such as floods, account for the majority of the total number of natural disasters. Over the past century, floods have affected 38 million people, claimed several lives and caused substantial economic losses in the region. The goal of this paper is to examine how personality disposition, social network, and socio-demographic factors mitigate the complex relationship between stressful life experiences of floods and ocean surges and the adoption of coping strategies among coastal communities in Nigeria and Tanzania. Generalized linear models (GLM) were fitted to cross-sectional survey data on 1003 and 1253 individuals in three contiguous coastal areas in Nigeria and Tanzania, respectively. Marked differences in the type of coping strategies were observed across the two countries. In Tanzania, the zero-order relationships between adoption of coping strategies and age, employment and income disappeared at the multivariate level. Only experience of floods in the past year and social network resources were significant predictors of participants’ adoption of coping strategies, unlike in Nigeria, where a plethora of factors such as experience of ocean surges in the past one year, personality disposition, age, education, experience of flood in the past one year, ethnicity, income, housing quality and employment status were still statistically significant at the multivariate level. Our findings suggest that influence of previous experience on adoption of coping strategies is spatially ubiquitous. Consequently, context-specific policies aimed at encouraging the adoption of flood-related coping strategies in vulnerable locations should be designed based on local needs and orientation.
Abstract: Patterns in relative differences in contaminant concentrations between the sexes across many species of fish may reveal clues for important behavioral and physiological differences between the sexes, and may also be useful in developing fish consumption advisories and efficient designs for programs meant to monitor contaminant levels in fish. We determined skin-off fillet and whole-fish total mercury (Hg) concentrations of 28 adult female and 26 adult male bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) from Squaw Lake, Oakland County, Michigan (MI), USA. Bioenergetics modeling was used to quantify the effect of growth dilution on the difference in Hg concentrations between the sexes. On average, skin-off fillet and whole-fish Hg concentrations were 25.4% higher and 26.6% higher, respectively, in females compared with males. Thus, the relative difference in Hg concentrations between the sexes for skin-off fillets was nearly identical to that for whole fish. However, mean skin-off fillet Hg concentration (363 ng/g) was 2.3 times greater than mean whole-fish Hg concentration (155 ng/g). Males grew substantially faster than females, and bioenergetics modeling results indicated that the growth dilution effect could account for females having 14.4% higher Hg concentrations than males. Our findings should be useful in revising fish consumption advisories.
Abstract: Rapid expansion of commercial horticulture production and related activities contribute to declining surface water quality. The study sought to understand the impacts on select rivers in Laikipia and Meru, production hotspots. The specific aims were (1) to identify prevailing surface water quality by examining variations of 14 physico-chemical parameters, and (2) to categorize measured surface water quality parameters into land use types highlighting potential pollutant source processes. Water samples were collected in July and August 2013 along 14 rivers in the study area. The data were analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA) and discriminant analysis (DA). Principal components (PCs) explained 70% of the observed total variability of water quality, indicating a prevalence of heavy metal traces (cadmium, phosphate, and zinc). These were linked to the rigorous use of phosphate fertilizers and copper-based agrochemicals in intensive farming. DA provided four significant (p < 0.05) discriminant functions, with 89.5% correct assignment enabling the association of land use with observed water quality. Concentrations of dissolved solids, electro-conductivity, and salinity spiked at locations with intensive small-scale and large-scale horticulture. Understanding the impacts of intensive commercial horticulture and land use practices on water quality is critical to formulating ecologically sound watershed management and pollution abatement plans.
Abstract: Despite their importance, available information on the dynamics of forest protected areas and their management in the Niger delta are insufficient. We present results showing the distribution and structure of forest landscapes across protected areas in two states (Cross River and Delta) within the Niger Delta using multi-temporal remote sensing. Satellite images were classified and validated using ground data, existing maps, Google Earth, and historic aerial photographs over 1986, 2000 and 2014. The total area of forest landscape for 1986, 2000 and 2014 across the identified protected areas were 535,671 ha, 494,009 ha and 469,684 ha (Cross River) and 74,631 ha, 68,470 ha and 58,824 ha (Delta) respectively. The study showed annual deforestation rates for protected areas across both states from 1986 to 2000 were 0.8%. However, the overall annual deforestation rate between 2000 and 2014 was higher in Delta (1.9%) compared to Cross River (0.7%). This study shows accelerated levels of forest fragmentation across protected areas in both states as a side effect of the prevalence of agricultural practices and unsupervised urbanisation. The results show the need for government intervention and policy implementation, in addition to efforts by local communities and conservation organisations in protected area management across ecologically fragile areas of Nigeria.
Abstract: The “Santa Catarina Rural” is a Program co-funded by The World Bank for improvements on 1300 km of low volume rural roads on Southern Brazil. The pioneer project under the program was on the municipality of Santa Rosa de Lima, where the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the road improvement activities as well as the regular traffic were assessed on an experimental basis using the CarbonROAD software application. Here, we show details of the CarbonROAD software application and the construction emissions assessment procedure as well as the mitigating effect of the plants used for compensation. It was found that most of the emissions come from the road improvement work. This includes earthworks, fuel for motor graders, bulldozers and other machines, and materials and gravel extraction, industrialization and transportation, etc. Only a smaller portion comprises regular road traffic. The accumulated emission balance shows that the carbon absorption is larger than construction emissions after just 15 months. The potential for price appraisal of the generated carbon credits is explored.
Abstract: Dealing with large-scale Food and Biodegradable Waste (FBW) often results in many logistical problems and environmental impacts to be considered. These can become great hindrances when the integration of solid waste management is concerned. Extra care is needed to plan such waste disposal or treatment services and facilities, especially with respect to the ecological impact. Decision-making with regards to the sustainable use of these facilities also involves tradeoffs between a number of conflicting objectives, since increasing one benefit may decrease the others. In this study a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is presented to evaluate different waste management options and their applicability in Japan. The analytical process aims at selecting the most suitable waste treatment option, using pairwise comparisons conducted within a decision hierarchy that was developed through the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). The results of this study show that anaerobic digestion should be chosen as the best FBW treatment option with regards to resource recovery. The study also presents some conditions and recommendations that can enhance the suitability of other options like incineration and composting.