Resource 1: Natural resources and human settlement in Nigeria

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

Nigeria is the giant of Africa. It had a big influence on the cultures of Europe, Asia and Africa. But why did the early Nigerians settle where they did?

From ancient times to the present, human settlement patterns have been influenced by the availability of usable natural resources. Food, water and shelter are basic human needs, and have thus determined the ability of a society to flourish or fail in its existing environment. Ancient communities such as Lakoja developed in river valleys, which ensured access to food and drinking water, and also provided transportation routes for trade. However, the protection and wise use of these resources ultimately determined a population’s ability to thrive and sustain life for future generations.

25% of Nigeria is desert or influenced strongly by the desert. 75% of the land is scrubland or forest and this is where most Nigerians lived. Farmers did not have to worry about overusing the land because each year the River Niger flooded the farming land and made it fertile again. It was so fertile that farmers harvested two to three crops a year. Nigeria also has rich oil resources that big multinational companies run. There is much debate and conflict over these resources as a lot of the wealth is lost from Nigeria.

Flooding …………………………… Harvest

3. Thinking about resources and the environment

Resource 2: How to debate an issue