SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ARINTA WATERFALL ON ARINTA EKITI STATE
1.1 Background to the Study
Tourism has continued to drive itself onto the radar of developing countries’ policy makers as an important foreign exchange earner (Kareem, 2008) and it is concomitant to sustainable development. It is a great generator of economic wealth for developed countries like Unite States of America, Germany, Japan, France and Canada. A number of countries have tailored their tourism industries adaptly to reflect this desire and have reaped economic rewards while minimizing the environmental and social impacts of growth. Costa Rica led way in developing the ecotourism concept, followed closely by Ecuador, Tanzania, Kenya and Nepal. Tourism can develop and grow when local residents have a positive attitude towards it and when they see their role in the process of the tourism development (Ambroz, 2008).
One of the main factors behind the success of Nigerian tourism is the natural beauty. Nigeria is located along the South Atlantic Ocean and she is blessed with a wide range of water resources. Being a coastal country, she has a wide range of beaches and other marine beauties. Historically, the coastal region aroused about two centuries ago in many European and North America nations as a new form of tourism destination for leisure purposes. Up to the 18th centuries, the coastal area has been a mere landscape, where religious presence and socio-cultural values had not encouraged the area to be known as a leisure site. Nigeria is also rich in handicrafts and sculptures, historical monuments, arts, sport, places of beauty, socio-cultural events, parks, museums, relaxation sites, waterfalls, resorts, hotels and other accommodation facilities among others. She also has abundant cultural and historical heritage which is one of the critical factors for developing rural and urban tourism in the country. However, several museums and other heritage sites in Nigeria often establish a special exhibition to showcase their product to prospective tourists and stakeholders.
All this tourism potential makes Nigeria a hospitable nation and the local norms and values combined with peaceful environment full of loving and friendly people makes her a good and well tantalizing tourism destination.
Development of tourism in rural areas has wide ranging positive and negative impacts on host communities, especially those living in and around the destination. Residents in most of the communities seem to have positive perception towards tourism. This does not imply that they do not have concerns on the negative impacts of tourism in their communities. According to Ijasan and Izobo-Oladunni (2012), tourism development is a dynamic process and is conducted in an ever changing environment, a blend of economic, political, cultural, technological and geographical reality of events.
In Nigeria, little attention has been given to tourism development (Ibimilua, 2009). The reason for this is not unconnected with the low economic structure as well as the rural economic base of the country. However, the nation is very rich both in ecology and culture; it has a wide variety of biodiversity and equally blessed with many traditional festivals and cultural attractions.
Idumah et al.,(2009) noted that most of the environments of the tourist destination in Nigeria are characterized by the dearth of aesthetics and infrastructural facilities that can serve as an avenue to improve tourist’s patronage. Ekiti state is blessed with abundant tourism potentials, such as spectacular rock formations, hydrological bodies, wildlife, waterfalls and other rich festivals, architecture and craft which has necessitated towards existing tourism drive in the state according to Ibimilua and Ibimilua (2015).
The study site, Arinta waterfalls, situated in Ipole-Iloro, is a good tourist attraction and natural wonder in Ekiti State. This site is not as developed as Ikogosi springs. The Arinta waterfalls are a wonder spectacle to behold, cascading down rocky hills from a great height amidst natural forest vegetation to form a flowing pool of spring water. The place is ideal for relaxation, picnics, mountain-climbing, hiking, bush trails and religious retreats.
Ijasan and Izobo-Martins (2012) worked on the assessment of community engagement in tourism planning and development of Arinta waterfall tourist resort, Ipole-Iloro Ekiti. Kayode and Ayodele (2012) in their research on the assessment of the strength of tourism potentials of Ekiti state, resulted that Arinta waterfall, Ikogosi warm spring are strongly rated as tourism potential destinations, so developing the site can add to the state visitor proposition which is a key challenge to developing economic benefit through tourism. Only Ikogosi warm spring, out of all the tourism potentials in the state have been converted into tourism resort (Bankole, 2002) while others are still left fallow without any conscious effort by the government and private individuals towards their development. Thus, this study aims to examine the socio-economic impact of Arira waterfalls on Ipole Ekiti State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the fact that tourism is important to any nation, the problems associated with Arinta waterfalls are quite enormous. In that case, such problems are perceptive at the Arinta waterfalls. The infrastructural facilities such as good road network and parking space are not enough to meet the demand of the Arinta waterfalls. The problem of pollution is one of the vital issues in contention. The solid waste disposal in the water by the residents and visitors has posed a potential environmental problem in the area and also made the Arinta waterfalls unattractive. Flooding is also a major problem in the area. Though this problem rarely occurs, it is one of the disadvantages of the centre. Finally, the political will on the side of the government is not appreciable. Government is not paying adequate attention to Arinta waterfalls tourism and this constitutes a major setback to the development of Arinta waterfalls.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide this study;
- What is the socio-economic contribution of tourism development on the host community
- What is the socio-economic contribution of tourism development on the host community
- What is the level of infrastructural development in Ipole Iloro Ekiti
- What is the economic impact of the water fall on the residents of Ipole Iloro Ekiti.
- What is the social impact of the water on the Ipole community
1.4 Aims and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the research wok is to examine the socio-economic impact of Arinta waterfall on Arinta Ekiti State Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:
- Examine the socio-economic contribution of tourism development on the host community
- Examine the level of infrastructural development in Ipole Iloro Ekiti
- Investigate the economic impact of the water fall on the residents of Ipole Iloro Ekiti.
- Investigate the social impact of the water on the Ipole community
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses will be tested for the purpose of this study
Ho: There is no socio-economic contribution of tourism development on the host community
Hi: There is socio-economic contribution of tourism development on the host community
Ho: The level of infrastructural development has no significant impact on Ipole Iloro Community
Hi: The level of infrastructural development has significant impact on Ipole Iloro Community
Ho: There is no significant economic impact of the water fall on the residents of Ipole Iloro Ekiti.
Hi: There is significant economic impact of the water fall on the residents of Ipole Iloro Ekiti.
Ho: there is no social impact of the water on the Ipole community
Hi: there is social impact of the water on the Ipole community
1.6 Significance of the Study
This will enlighten the local populace about the important of tourism on the social economic development in Arinta and Ekiti state at large. It will help to know the resources to be developed, managed and promoted for tourism and community development (e.g. cultural and nature-based or eco-tourism).
This development can bring forth the provision of social amenities and infrastructures, construction of modern roads, active cultural institutions, sustainable environment, provision of employment opportunities and many other benefits in the study areas.
Finally, the recommendations that would be given in this report would optimistically provide the necessary information and strategies needed by the students, researchers, government and other sets of people, who are concerned in the development and management of cultural and natural resources to boost the disciplines of archaeology, museum, tourism and other cultural related fields in the community.
1.8 Study Area
History of Ekiti
Ekiti was an independent state prior to the British conquest. It was one of the many Yoruba states in what is today Nigeria. The Ekiti people as a nation and districts of Yoruba race trace some of her progeny to Oduduwa, the father and progenitor of Yoruba race even though good reason appear to establish the existence of aboriginal people in Ekiti region prior to influx of royalty from present day Ile Ife as that kingdom grew and abound.
There are two major schools of thought regarding Ekiti History. First was the story that tied the origin of Ekiti to Ife. The story goes that the Olofin, one of the sons of the Oduduwa had 16 children and in the means of searching for the new land to develop, they all journeyed out of Ile-Ife as they walked through the Iwo – Eleru(crave) near Akure and had stop over at a place called Igbo-Aka(forest of termites) closer to Ile-Oluji.
The Olofin, the 16 children and some other beloved people continued with their journey, but when they got to a particular lovely and flat land, the Owa-Obokun (the monarchy of Ijesha land) and Orangun of Ila decided to stay in the present Ijesha and Igomina land of in Osun state. While the remaining 14 children continued with the journey and later settled in the present day Ekiti land. They discovered that there were many hills in the place and they said in their mother’s language that this is “Ile olokiti” the land of hills. Therefore, the Okiti later blended to Ekiti. So Ekiti derived her name through hills.
It must however be noted, that this history may describe the history of certain royalty in present-day Ekiti, but not all of Ekiti which is made up of 131 Principal towns, with their own royalty and many land owning communities with no royalty at all.In fact, the invading royalties from the East, went on to colonize and transform the aboriginals, distinguishing the Ekiti dialect upon mix with the Ife/Oyo tongue of the Yorubas according the Samuel Johnson, the renowned historian of early Yoruba States and Affairs
Second school of thought on Ekiti origin is more likely and grounded in actual history. It was said that Oduduwa, the ancestor of the Yoruba traveled to Ife [Ife Ooyelagbo] where he met people who were already settled there. Among the elders he met in the town were Agbonniregun [Stetillu], Obatala, Orelure, Obameri, Elesije, Obamirin, Obalejugbe just to mention a few. It is known that descendants of Agbonniregun [Baba Ifa] settled in Ekiti, examples being the Alara and Ajero who are sons of Ifa. Orunmila [Agbonniregun] himself spent a greater part of his life at Ado. Due to this, we have the saying ‘Ado ni ile Ifa’ [Ado is the home of Ifa]. The Ekiti have ever since settled in their present location.
Nobody can give accurate dates to these events due to the lack of written sources, but people have lived in Ekiti for centuries. It is on record that Ekiti Obas had prosperous reign in the 13th century. An example was the reign of Ewi Ata od Ado in the 1400s.
About the Ekitis, Samuel Johnson had this to say:
“Historically, the Ekitis are among the aboriginal elements of the Nigeria absorbed by the invaders from the East (Yoruba people from Ile Ife). “The term Ekiti denotes a “Mound”, and is derived from the rugged mountainous feature of the country. It is an extensive province and well watered, including several tribes and families right on to the border of the Niger, eastward. They hold themselves quite distinct from the Ijesas, especially in political affairs.” (Samuel Johnson, The History of the Yoruba, 1921). It is believed that the ancestors of Ekiti people who came to combine with the aboriginal people on the land migrated from Ile Ife, the spiritual home of the Yoruba people. According to oral and contemporary written sources of Yoruba history, Oduduwa, the ancestor of the Yoruba traveled to Ife [Ife Ooyelagbo] where he met people who were already settled there. Among the elders he met in the town were Agbonniregun [Stetillu], Obatala, Orelure, Obameri, Elesije, Obamirin, Obalejugbe just to mention a few. It is known that descendants of Agbonniregun [Baba Ifa] settled in Ekiti, examples being the Alara and Ajero who are sons of Ifa. Orunmila [Agbonniregun] himself spent a greater part of his life at Ado. Due to this, we have the saying ‘Ado ni ile Ifa’ [Ado is the home of Ifa]. The Ekiti have ever since settled in their present location. The early Ekiti country is divided into 16 districts (and it has been maintained to this day), each with its own Owa or King (Owa being a generic term amongst them) of which four are supreme, viz. : — (1) The Owore of Otun, (2) The Ajero of Ijero, (3) The Elewi of Ado and (4) The Elekole of Ikole. The following are the minor Ekiti kings : — (5) Alara of Aramoko, (6) Alaye of Efon Ahaye, (7) Ajanpanda of Akure, (8) Alagotun of Ogotun, (9) Olojudo of Ido, (10) Ata of Aiyede, (11) Oloja Oke of Igbo Odo, (12) Oloye of Oye, (13) Olomuwo of Omuwo, (14) Onire of Ire, (15) Arinjale of Ise and (16) Onitaji of Itaji. The Orangun of Ila is sometimes classed among them, but he is only Ekiti in sympathy, being of a different family.”
The modern Ekiti state was formed from part of Ondo in 1996. Prior to this, it was part of the Ondo Province in Western Region of Nigeria. While the non-Ekiti part of the region largely dominated geographically, Akure which was then regarded as an Ekiti town was the headquarters of Ondo province.
The May 2009 rerun was characterized by even worse rigging and the election was disputed again. Eventually, after three years, the election of Oni was thrown out and Dr. Kayode Fayemi was declared the duly elected governor of Ekiti State.
The prominent private university in Ekiti State is Afe Babalola University, Ado–Ekiti (ABUAD), founded by the legal luminary, philanthropist, seasoned administrator, and farmer Aare Afe Babalola, SAN. It has become a pillar of support for the state in terms of human capital development and empowerment
Towns and administrative divisions
The people of Ekiti State live mainly in towns. These towns include: Ado, Ikere Ekiti, Awo Ekiti, Ayegbaju Ekiti, Araromi Oke Ekiti, Efon-Alaaye, Aramoko Ekiti, Temidire-Ikole Local Govt, Igede Ekiti, Are Ekiti, Ikole, Ayede, Isan, Iye Ayede, Ire, Ijero, Ayetoro, Ipoti, Igogo, Ise, Itapa, Otun, Usi Ekiti, Ido, Emure, Iyin, Igede, Ilawe, Ode, Oye, Omuo, Ilupeju, Ikoro,Iloro, Ijurin, Ikun, Iye, Ijesa-Isu, Ayedun, Aisegba, Osin, Okemesi, Iworoko, Ifaki Ekiti, Osan, Erinmope, Asin-Ekiti, Orin, Ilogbo Ekiti, Osi, Igbole, Ora, Aye, Ikogosi Erio, [Igbara-Odo](Ogotun), Erijiyan Ekiti Iludun, Ilemeso, Otun, Itapaji, Ipao Ekiti, Oke Ako Ekiti, Irele Ekiti, Imojo, Ire Ekiti, Eda Oniyo, Gogo Ekiti, Odooro Ekiti, Ijan Ekiti, Epe Ekiti, Usi Ekiti, Ijesa-Isu Ekiti Ilasa-Ekiti, Iropora-Ekiti.
Ekitis are culturally homogeneous and they speak a dialect of Yoruba language known as Ekiti. The homogeneous nature of Ekiti confers on the state some uniqueness among the states of the federation. Slight differences are noticeable in the Ekiti dialects of the Yoruba language spoken by the border communities to other states. For example, the people of Ado local government area do not speak exactly the same dialect with the people of Ijero Local government area, while the people of Ikole area speak something different from the people of Ikere area. The communities influenced by their locations include Otun (Moba land) that speaks a dialect close to the one spoken by the Igbominas in Kwara State. The people of Oke-Ako, Irele, Omuo speak a similar dialect to that of Ijesas of Osun State. However, part of the uniqueness of the Ekitis is that wherever is your own part of the state, you will understand well, when the other Ekiti man/woman speaks, in spite of the dialectal variations. In addition, all towns in Ekiti State take a common suffix, “Ekiti,” after their names. The main staple food of the people of Ekiti is pounded yam with Isapa soup or vegetable soup.
Interestingly, not all parts of Ekiti are today part of Ekiti state. Historical Ekiti includes Akure as documented by Samuel Johnson, and also parts of Ekiti LGA in Kwara State. Indeed, Ijeshaland being part of Ekiti Parapo is also in Osun State.
Climate and vegetation
The State enjoys tropical climate with two distinct seasons. These are the rainy season (April–October) and the dry season (November–March). Temperature ranges between 21° and 28 °C with high humidity. The south westerly wind and the northeast trade winds blow in the rainy and dry (Harmattan) seasons respectively. Tropical forest exists in the south, while savannah occupies the northern peripheriesh
Ekiti land is naturally endowed with numerous natural resources. The state is potentially rich in mineral deposits. These include granite, kaolin, columbite, channockete, iron ore, baryte, aquamine, gemstone, phosphate, limestone, gold among others. They are largely deposited in different towns and villages of Ijero, Ekiti West, Ado – Ekiti, Ikole, Ikere, Ise-Ekiti and other Local Government Areas.
The Land is also blessed with water resources, some of its major rivers are Ero, Osun, Ose, and Ogbese. More so a variety of tourist attractions abound in the state namely, Ikogosi Warm Spring, Ipole – Iloro Water Falls, Olosunta hills, Ikere, Fajuyi Memorial Park Ado – Ekiti and so on. The Ikogosi tourist centre is the most popular and the most developed. The warm spring is a unique natural feature, and supporting facilities are developed in the centre. The spring is at present being processed and packaged into bottled water for commercial purpose by a private company – UAC Nigeria.
Moreover, the land is buoyant in agricultural resources with cocoa as its leading cash crop. It was largely known that Ekiti land constituted well over 40% of the cocoa products of the famous old Western Region. The land is also known for its forest resources, notably timber. Because of the favourable climatic conditions, the land enjoys luxuriant vegetation, thus, it has abundant resources of different species of timber. Food crops such as yam, cassava, and also grains like rice and maize are grown in large qualities. Other notable crops such as kola nut and varieties of fruits are also cultivated in commercial quantities.
The State is mainly an upland zone, rising over 250 meters above sea level. It lies on an area underlain by metamorphic rock. It is generally undulating country with a characteristic landscape that consists of old plains broken by step-sided out-crops that may occur singularly or in groups or ridges. Such rocks out-crops exist mainly at Aramoko, Efon-Alaaye, Ikere-Ekiti,Igbara-odo- ekiti and Okemesi-Ekiti. The State is dotted with rugged hills, notable ones being Ikere-Ekiti Hills in the south, Efon-Alaaye Hills on the western boundary and Ado-Ekiti Hills in the centre.
The state is largely agrarian. Agriculture is the mainstay of the state economy. It employs 75% of the state working population.
The State is one of the largest producers of Rice, Kolanut, oil palm and cocoa in the country. They also produce crops like cassava, yam, cocoyam, maize, cowpea, citrus, plantain and fruits like cashew, mango and orange.
As the state is within the ecological belt known for abundant forest resources the state produces high quality woods which are raw material for wood based industries within and outside the state.
The state is endowed with mineral deposits of value like Clay, Kaolin, Columbite, Cassiterite, Foundry Sand, Bauxite, Clarcomite and Charcoalnite Granite.
1.9 Study Area
The Erinta Water falls at Ipole-Iloro is located at about 6km North-West of Ikogosi. It could be reached only through a secondary road from Ikogosi. The road leading to the fall passes through the Ikogosi Tourist Center. Visit this resort center and Marvell at the work of nature. Tourists fell the chilly effect of this fall about 10 meters away. It has three pronounced escarpments.
This resort centre is naturally endowed with thick and evergreen forest. The Arinta waterfalls are a wonder spectacle to behold, cascading down rocky hills from a great height to form a flowing pool of spring water amidst natural forest vegetation. They are located in Ipole-Iloro Ekiti and are a popular tourist site that draws local and foreign tourists to the State. “Arinta… ever wet ever flowing, the obsession of Ipole people, ever plunging ever splashing”
The steep slopes of the overawing ridge, panoramas of a beautiful valley trapped between two ridges meet the eyes. The landscape features a sprawling expanse of plush vegetation set with a patchwork of rust-brown ‘tabs’ at a distance, and a sky-line bedecked with gently undulating ridge tops on the other side. The noon-day sun energized the verdural flavour of the valley below, casting it in a harmonious romance of bright and dark shades of leaf green. The tarred road descends down the other side of the ridge to meet the sleepy enclave of Ipole-Iloro. A small stream meets the road at the village entrance. It is called Oluwa stream, and being highly-revered by the people, it is said that the water can cure any kind of diseases.
The enclave holds a total human population of about eight hundred people. Aayo spring can be seen winding its way across the village, dividing the village into two parts. The first part towards the south, holds the area where the ancestors of Ipole-Iloro people first dwelt before expansion took the boundaries of the village beyond the river to the other side. This cultural landmark constitutes a major landmark in the enclave and it’s highly treasured by the people.
1.9 Organization of the Study
The present study has five chapters. The first Chapter provides a general background to the study, where among other things; it presents the problem statement, study objectives. The second Chapter presents a critical review of literature relevant to the study. A detailed description of the methodology employed, study area and the data used by the present study is provided in Chapter three. The fourth Chapter presents results and discussion. Summary, recommendations and conclusion are provided in Chapter five of this research work.
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