ASSESSMENT OF RURAL CHILDREN’S INVOLVEMENT IN FISHERY ACTIVITIES IN OGUN WATERSIDE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OGUN STATE, NIGERIA
The study assessed rural children’s involvement in fishery activities in Ogun waterside Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria. Eighty rural children were sampled from four fishing communities across two wards in the LGA through the use of multistage sampling technique. Data were collected with structured interview schedule. The study identified fishery activities involved in by rural children, determined their level of involvement, identified their educational activities and also identified reasons for children’s involvement in fishery activities. The results indicated that majority of the rural children were male (71.25%) with mean age of 14 years, Christians (61.25%) and had large household sizes between 6 and 10 persons (77.50%).Smoking of fish (96.25%), fish catching (93.75%), firewood gathering (92.5%) and selling of fish (88.75%) were some of the fishery activities involved in by rural children. The study also revealed that high level of involvement was observed with fish processing and fish marketing activities. Despite children’s involvement in fishery activities, their educational activities were not affected. The results of Chi-square analysis also showed significant associations between rural children’s involvement in fishing activities (χ2 = 210.772, p<0.05), fish marketing activities (χ2 = 163.547, p<0.05) and their educational activities. The study concludes that if children’s level of involvement in fishery activities is low, their educational performance will not be affected. It is therefore recommended that children’s involvement in fishery activities should only be tailored towards socializing the children and not for children to be exploited through child labour.
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