Ijeoma Nduka and Chika O. Duru
Developing countries such as Nigeria are burdened w ith over population leading to high rates of unemployment thus contributing to the large number of people seen on the streets engaging in hawking activities. The aim of this study was to de termine the socio-demographic characteristics of hawkers as well as the health and social implicatio ns of street hawking and the factors contributing t o it. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study co nducted among 300 hawkers who were recruited by simple random sampling from major streets, busy mar kets and the central motor parks in Aba, South- East Nigeria in January 2014. Data was collected th rough in-depth interview and observation of the participants and the use of interviewer administere d questionnaires. Interviews were recorded and extracts presented in related themes. SPSS version 17 was used for analysis. Of the 300 respondents, 108 (36.0%) were males while 192 (64.0%) were femal es giving a male: female ratio of 0.6:1. Over half; 174 (58.0%) were children between the ages of 10 an d 19years. Fifty-two (17.3%) did not have any formal education. Major reason for engaging in hawk ing was to support the family income however, the majority 216 (72.0%) were willing to quit hawki ng if offered an alternative means of livelihood. T he awareness of HIV/AIDS vulnerability and HCT service s among the respondents were low but this was not statistically significantly (X 2 =0.56; P=0.45 and X 2 =0.79; P=0.37 respectively).This study revealed that unemployment and poverty were factors contribu ting to hawking activities. Street hawking poses numerous risks and hinders educational development. Policy implementation against street hawking and poverty alleviation through job creation are re commended to stop the menace of street hawking in Nigeria.
Share this article