‘Borehole Race’ and the Dilemma of Governing the ‘Ungoverned’: Understanding the Urban Political Ecology of Groundwater Exploitation in Nigeria

Emmanuel M. Akpabio, Ekerette S. Udom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Groundwater exploitation is an essential aspect of the numerous processes of transforming the urban natural environment for human gains. We use the political ecology of borehole exploitation in Nigeria’s urban environment to understand the micro-and macro-level processes mediating the transformation and changes in urban “groundwater scape”. The fieldwork processes depend on field counting of borehole distribution, in-depth and semi-structured interviews, and a review of secondary literatures. We argue that the social and environmental changes arising from the exploitation of groundwater bespeak the active and continual manifestation of the interplay of combustible interests and power friction among institutional agents within the permissible range of the natural environment. Such dynamic power relations engender a pattern of socio-natural transformation consistent with Swyngedouw’s notion of urban metabolism- “a series of interconnected heterogeneous and dynamic but contested and contestable processes of continuous quantitative and qualitative transformations that re-arranges humans and non-humans in new and often unexpected ways”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Volume31
Issue number9
Early online date1 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Akwa Ibom State
  • environmental changes
  • groundwater resources
  • Nigeria
  • political ecology
  • Uyo

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