control of erosion in eastern Nigeria has being a big problem which require fast solution . this article provides some controlling measures on how erosion in eastern nigeria can be controlled.
Nigeria as an entity has in recent times been beset with so many challenges, some of them threatening to bring her to her knees of all these multifaceted problems, there is one which is very peculiar to the Eastern part of the country, that problem is erosion.
The problem of erosion in eastern Nigeria, erosion usually caused by water called gully erosion a situation in which water accumulates over short periods of time in narrow channels removing soil, has always been there even before pre – colonial times. Nowadays, it is not unusual when traveling through the Eastern part of Nigeria to see gaping holes on the sides of roads, forming death traps for the many road users.
However, this article does not only seek to point out the causes of this menace, some of the obvious ones being the abundant rainfall peculiar to the clime of the part of the country, felling of trees indiscriminating as a result of urbanization and population explosion and the mischievousness of some people manifesting in their packing sand for sale thereby rendering the land bare. This article also tries to proffer some of the solutions that if applied would reduce erosion if not wiping it out entirely.
The first in the list of these solutions is the planting of trees and grasses. It should be drummed into the consciousness of everyone that land should never be left bare. A bare land, especially in sloppy areas is usually prone to erosion. Trees and shrubs should be planted in every available space, and where trees cannot be planted, grasses should be left to grow. For every tree that is cut down, whether for personal or corporate use, another should be planted.
Furthermore, catch pits should be dug inside residential compound, school, churches etc to collect run-off water. The residue collected inside these pits should be packed out so that in seeking to eradicate one problem we do not create breeding places for called malaria.
Long ridges should also be constructed especially across sloppy areas. The spacing of these ridges usually varies according to the steepness of the ridge. The steeper the slope, the closer the spacing.
The purpose of making ridges is to slow down the velocity of the runoff water. If its velocity is high, the damage capacity is high. However, if the velocity is reduced by creating obstacles, such as these ridges, the damage is also reduced.
Another cheap way of controlling erosion is the use of sand bags to fill gullies created by erosion. This is particularly cheap for people living in areas where they cannot afford to buy concrete. Sand, which is readily available, is put in bags and used to fill the gullies. It should however be noted that plastic bags should not be used because the tendency for them to break is high.
In the case of area where erosion has ravaged the land and created so many gullies restoration is very imperative. It should be noted also that natural waterways and abandoned waterways are also prone to erosion. The aim of restoration is to stop the growth of these gullies, and if possible reclaim that which was lost. One way of doing this is covering up these gullies with grasses. A second alternative is to convert these gullies into a stable artificial channel for the discharge of water. These gullies can also be rechanneled into already existing drainage system to dispose the excess water. It is also advisable in some cases to divert the flow from the gully into artificial channels if the discharged water is not good in cohesion less soil.
Measures should also be put in place to reclaim areas ravaged by erosion. In some areas, erosion has created so many gullies and done so much harm that people run away from such areas. However, this does not stop the problem. Reclamation measures such as building dams, refilling of gullies can be put in place.
Another measure, perhaps the most important and crucial measure is the sensitization of the masses on the causes and effect of erosion many people do not know the causes on damages of erosion and sometimes unwittingly contribute to this. This is probably because most of them are not farmers or have not been displaced by erosion. People living in urban areas rarely discuss erosion and some do not even understand the extent of this scourge except by chance when they come upon the ravages of erosion when travelling. Sensitization and education of the masses is very important and can never over emphasized this is because education causes a change in people’s thinking and that is the greatest change of all.
Finally, legislation should be made to punish any individual or corporate entity who contributes to erosion. This includes companies that cut down trees for commercial purposes, individuals that pack sand also for commercial purposes and so on. These laws should be enforced by the various agencies responsible and punishment meted out to offenders. If these steps are taken, erosion would soon be a thing of history in Nigeria.
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