…But not so for people in regions hijacked by soil erosion!
Their houses, farm lands, sources of income, access to health, education, water, social, economic and
political life, infrastructure, etc would sooner than later be eroded by soil erosion.
Life on earth has been under threat from generation to generation!
These threats are in diverse forms and dimensions. More than ever, the earth has been losing the battle to sustain life
and provide a platform for livelihood. Some of these threats have been in the form of soil erosion, desertification,
pollution, deforestation, etc. Soil erosion has become pandemic in South East Nigeria destroying kilometers of land
mass and reducing the quality of life of the people in those regions. Soil erosion in South Eastern Nigeria is estimated
to have encroached on about 1,100 square kilometers of arable land mass and growing at a rate of about 50 metres per
Soil Erosion occurs when soil is removed through the action of wind and
water at a greater rate than it is formed.
Usually the erosion starts un-noticed and gradually establishes itself and begins to unleash a
ferocious fury on the soil creating cavities, causing hazardous disasters and ruining livelihoods.
The cost of soil erosion is high with economic, health, environmental
and social impacts
Soil erosion reduces yields and income from crops and pastures due to loss of nutrients and organic matter
thereby degrading the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. This soil erosion shown above has created a divide on
the road. Communities on either side of the divide are unable to access each other, nor exchange goods and
services including farm produce, access to health and education. As the situation worsens, these communities
begin to loose their farmlands, houses and other forms of economic and social engagements will deteriorate
thereby increasing poverty and reducing the standard of living and quality of life.
Is the situation becoming hopeless?
Erosion-induced gullies have become one of the greatest environmental disasters facing several communities in
Southeastern Nigeria thereby rendering the area hazardous for human habitation. There has been a call for
emergency action to check the menace of erosion in the region. The economic cost of gully erosion in southeastern
Nigeria is devastating. Large sections of land have been destroyed in recent years in towns such as Agulu, Ekwulobia,
Nanka, Umuchu, etc. Highways have been ruined by these gullies, leading to numerous vehicular accidents and
deaths. Community efforts by the locals to control the menace seem inadequate. People in those areas are beginning
to lose hope!
State of emergency needs to be implemented. Immediate Action Required!
The gully erosion has led to many Nigerians losing their homes and becoming homeless. Farms and land have also been
destroyed, therefore eliminating many people's livelihoods. Beyond just those living on or near the gully site, the
erosion is responsible for the loss of much livestock and many crops which limits food accessible to those nearby. The
obvious effects are the destruction of the land and the loss of soil fertility and general health. In one Nigerian's lifetime
it is estimated that over 200 people died because of the gully erosion. Displacement is also a major effect of the gully
erosion. In the past ten years 85% of the population (of the erosion prone areas) has migrated because of the gully.
Need for concerted action beyond domestic efforts!
Nigeria has an Ecological fund which is meant to be used to address such ecological challenges as
desertification in the Northern Nigeria, Deforestation and Erosion in the Southern Nigeria amongst
others. Beyond community efforts and domestic Government Intervention, much more needs to be
Erosion menace can be a platform for mobilizing action for development!
This artifact aims to bring to the front burner the menace of soil erosion in South Eastern Nigeria as a fresh opportunity
for the local communities, the national and sub-national governments and international community to come together
and show commitment to the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as the most appropriate way
to promote a fairer, safer and more inclusive world, by addressing the menace .
Life can be good again!
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) aims to address some of the above issues by year 2030 by using
the billions in official development assistance (ODA) funds to raise trillions in order to generate positive
actions that will help achieve the goals. Life on earth can be better again for the people in erosion-prone
areas of the world if everybody is galvanized to action. The time to do so is NOW!