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PROJECT TOPIC: EFFECTS OF SOIL EROSION IN EMERGING URBAN CENTRE OF AFUZE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION 1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Soil erosion is a problem that needs to be controlled in order to forestall its danger in any locally, soil is fundamental  to all land use and care has to be taken to ensure that it is not misused  or destroyed. Most of this soil erosion is caused by the interference of man through human activities and ignorance. Mismanagement in soil use greatly accelerates this erosion process. Soil is one of our most precious resources, the loss of this resources through land degradation process in an urban areas such as soil erosion, is one of the most serious environmental problems we are faced with as a gradual process that occurs when the actions of water wind, and other factors eat away and wear down the land causing the soil to deteriorate or disappear completely. Soil erosion/deterioration and low quality of water due to erosion and run off has often become a major problem around the world. Soil erosion is one form of soil degradation along with soil compaction, low organic matter, loss of soil structure, poor internal drainage, Salinization, and soil acidity problems. These other forms of soil degradation, serious in themselves, usually contribute to accelerated soil erosion, therefore humans obviously need to be much more knowledgeable about this problem. Much has been written in academic papers about erosion. Apart from the writings of the academic works, a lot of things have been said concerning erosion problem all over the world, to the extent that erosion is almost becoming a household word. The paper, medium, Internet and in literature books, has written much about erosion, its cause and effect in Nigeria and rest of the world. Erosion attacks human endeavors in various sectors. Its ugly effects can be seen both in rural and urban sectors of not only Nigeria but countries all over the world. In the urban sector, the danger of erosion manifest itself in the form of destruction of peoples property (washed out houses) and the destruction of road and streets. Deep gullies often cut off the urban streets thereby denying the residents from motorized access to their houses. The rural area is not spared from the destruction as most of their crops are often washed away. Some of the rural settlements have no motorable roads since their roads have been destroyed by erosion. Erosion also removes top soil which contains the plant nutrient thereby leaving the soil impoverished and unproductive. Besides making agricultural soil unproductive, erosion of agricultural land and runoff result in the deposition of soil particles in unwanted area’s (sedimentation of roads, creeks, e.t.c) with all its negative consequence for traffic. Furthermore, the importance of soil erosion control is not restricted to the maintenance of the productive potential and fertility of soil for future generation. It is also an effective means to ensure employment in urban and rural areas and reduce urban and rural exodus. Efficient erosion control is therefore very advantageous from the ecological and social perspectives, besides being highly significant from an economic point of view. Therefore the study of such a phenomenon as harmful as this deserves attention. Any expansion on its study is not a waste of time. 1.2   STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM         It is surprisingly that erosion continues to be a serious environments hazard in urban center of Afuze, after much has been invested on its control both by the government and non- government organization. The local government had at defferent time executed erosion control and flood channelization project in Afuze.  The fact that erosion continues to be threat to life and property after enormous investment on its control seems to suggest that something is wrong some where. Probably what was done was not adequate or what was done was done in the wrong way? This should leave every reasoning mind in doubt as to the efficacy of what was done, it is this doubts created by the re-occurrence of this erosion problem despite the various efforts to check it that informed the choice of this topic. Therefore for the purpose of this project, a lot of questions will be ask in respect of the state of erosion control in Afuze, these questions includes, A.         What has been done so far by way of controlling erosion in Afuze? B.        Are what has been done so far adequate? C.     Are there certain things, which should be done that were left undone?                                            D.        Were things done in the wrong way?   E.         What is left to be done? Based on the above, this research project intends to fill this gap that is lacking in knowledge as far as soil erosion in Afuze is concerned. And as far as the author is concerned, no researcher has ever researched on this topic in afuze. 1.3       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY     The objectives of this study is to access the adequacy  and effects of soil erosion control measure in Afuze this objectives  shall be  achieved   through the following 1.       To determine the type of soil erosion in the study area 2.       To identify the nature and characteristics of soil in the study area. 3.       To examine the factor responsible for soil erosion in the study area.4.       To determine the effects of soil erosion in the study area. 5.       To identify the adequacy of the various measures that has been taken to control soil erosion 6.       To make recommendation  1.4 HYPOTHESIS         In this research study the hypothesis bellow shall be tested. A)       The cost of controlling soil erosion in Afuze is not effective and it has a significant effect on the control of soil erosion, the people and environment  B)      The cost of controlling soil erosion in Afuze is effective and as such, can check soil erosion in the area 1.5   RESEARCH METHODS           Research methods in geography and regional planning involves all the process of field investigation, data collection, processing and analysis of data, classification and interpretation as well as test of significance which are designed to establish the critical level of association among diverse geographic variables. In research of this nature, data collection, analysis and discussion are made easier when based on a defined spatial closure Threkson et- al (1970) 1.5.1 DATA REQUIRED AND THEIR SOURCES Data required for this study would be derived from two main sources. Documentation and field sources.           Documentation sources includes published and unpublished materials, such as books, reports, articles, the internet   and maps           Field sources which are the primary sources include direct measurement, and indirect interviews. 1.5.2 METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION           Questionnaires will be well structured and administered in order to obtain information that is relevant for the proper unfoldment of the research objectives. The sample size of 125 questionnaires will be used in this research. This will be drawn from the population of study i.e Afuze. The 125 respondents would be chosen from 5 Major Street to represent the total population of the area of study, this sample size was chosen to reduce time and cost as the researcher will not be able to come in contact with every body in the area. 1.5.3 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS           For the analysis of data, statistical methods will be applied. In order to investigate whether the various measures adopted to control soil erosion have been effective or not, simple percentage and the contingency of chi-square statistics will be used. This was necessary to analyze the level of effectiveness of control and effects as perceived by the residents of Afuze town, variable will be cross-tabulated so as to see weather there is relationship between them because the survey will be conducted at different streets in the study area. 1.6   THE STUDY AREA Afuze is the local government head quarters of Owan East local government area. Owan East is one of the eighteen local government areas in Edo-State. Afuze town has a distance of one hundred and three (103) Km from Benin City. Owan East local government area came into existence in 1991 when Owan West was created. Owan East local government shares boundaries with neighboring local government as follows to the East Owan west local government area and to the north is Akoko Edo local government area; the south is Esan west local government area of Edo state. It is geographically demarcated by latitude 7-15 north and 60- 50 north and contiguities 500- 50 east and 60- 15 east of the Greenwich meridian. Afuze is the word one (1) in the geo-political zone or sample words in Owan East local government area.  1.6.1 CLIMATE           Afuze (Owan East) experience the characteristics of humid tropical climate of high rainfall intensity and seasonal high temperature. Rainfall starts form April and ends in October in most cases.  Over the entire basin, means annual rainfall value are put as 1.556 min with the mouth of July and September having the highest rainfall while the mouths of January and December records the lowest rainfall in the year. The type of rain that is prevalent in this study area is conventional rainfall and is unevenly spread throughout the days of the week and seasons.  1.6.2 VEGETATION           The vegetation of the study area is a reflection of the rain forest with a predominate moist deciduous forest relation vegetation rich in timber resources such as Iroko. Obeche Apha, mahogany, Acacia and walnut. The tallest trees are 36 meters high but there are two other distinct canopies of trees bellow 15 meters a part from the tropical hard wood.  Food crops found in the area includes oil palm, yam, cassava, coco yam, plantain, rice maize, beans e.t.c1.6.3   RELIEF Afuze (Owan - East) is situated on a plateau underline by the fine-grained sand and carbonaceous shelen clay Akinbode (1993). The plateau can be divided into two structural components, namely the flat terrain and the dissected slope, which mount the side of the plateau. The relatively flat terrain has a slop of 1038 meters over most of which the elevation varies between 350 and 460 mater above datum with the highest point- place like Igue, Ake, Ikhin and Otuo northern part of the area.  The flat terrain interlay has contributed to the settlement of people in the plateaus. Part of the settlement extends to the valley. According to Imoroa. These northern parts of Edo state consist of Precambrian rocks. 1.6.4   SOIL           The soil found in this area according to Imoroa (1993) is classified as ferrasoils and brown lat-soil they are soil rich in ferrous and aluminous.  They are deep and strong weathered soil derived from sand sediment and they have a brownish and reddish colour. This soil is sensitive to erosion. They are mainly used for crop production especially cocoa, cassava, rice and maize, finally the soils are well drained in most parts of the cassava producing areas. 1.7        COMMUNICATION/TRANSPORTATION Communication refers to all means of communicating between people and places, Olomo (1997). Common means of communication in the study area includes post office, mobile phones, roads (for transportation)with the exception of the following, waterways, airways and other means of communication. Transportation by road is very important in Afuze town. Transportation has been viewed as fundamental for day to day activities, for without transport, neither will there be access to socio- economic activities in the area. Lord Lugard wrote that the natural development of African may be summed up in one word transport” 1.8        SETTLEMENT PATTERNS According to Olomo (1997) three settlement patterns exist and these are nucleated, linear and dispersed settlement. In Afuze town, the settlement pattern noticed is linear pattern, where most of the settlements are located along the road side.


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