Home » A NOBLE SCHOLAR’S CONTRIBUTION TO EROSION CONTROL IN NIGERIA

A NOBLE SCHOLAR’S CONTRIBUTION TO EROSION CONTROL IN NIGERIA

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Prof Uchenna Nwosu (Odenigbo Igbo-Ukwu) shared an article and a video clip of his modest contribution to erosion control in his homestead at Igbo-ukwu in Anambra state of Nigeria. The story is very inspiring and one that is believed to hold the key to curbing the menace of erosion at the local front. Read the article and watch the video below:

PREVENTION OF EROSION BEGINS AT HOME

Erosion is rain flood damage of the soil. It occurs mostly on naked soil, especially in regions with no underlying rocks and stones.
With rapid population growth and proliferation of new homesteads (ipu obi) in a place like Igbo-Ukwu ground areas are increasingly being covered by roofs and interlocked surfaces, thereby causing less rainwater absorption by the soil. Furthermore, climate change is causing heavier rains than previously known. CONSEQUENTLY, THE PROBLEM OF RAIN FLOODWATER AND SOIL EROSION IS BOUND TO GET PROGRESSIVELY WORSE IN THE COMING YEARS – UNLESS IT IS PROPERLY ADDRESSED.

Because the stormwater runoff which causes erosion is mostly generated from our homesteads the solution must also begin with our individual homesteads.
Inexpensive but effective erosion control begins with planting grass in parts of the homestead, as its tough intricate root network binds and hugs the soil, protecting it from washing out.
Unfortunately, our culture abhors growing grass within the homestead, regarding it as a sign of poor housekeeping. Therefore, it behooves us to revisit this cultural attitude of grass avoidance. Culture being dynamic, we must adapt or perish with erosion!

NEEDED ADAPTATIONS

  1. Minimize the area of interlocking or concrete slabbing of your compound to allow surfaces for stormwater runoff to soak into the soil.
  2. Dig a 3ft by 20ft catchment pit (umi) at the lowest part of your compound to collect the rain floodwater. PLEASE DO NOT COMPACT THE SIDE OF THE PIT, THEREBY INTERFERING WITH RAPID SOAK AWAY OF THE FLOOD WATER.
  3. Plant any available grass around the flood inlet to the umi to prevent entrance of sand and debris. You can buy rooted or carpeted grass from roadside florists. Other forms of delicate broadleaf ground covers will also suffice.
  4. Gradually expand the area covered by the grass to include all the surfaces in your compound not concrete-slabbed or interlocked.
  5. Cut the grass from time to time with cutlass or lawn mower for neater appearance.
  6. For a roadside catchment pit please be sure to plant grass to cover the area, at least from 10 ft of the stormwater inlet, to stop the mud and debris carried by the flood. OMITTING THIS STEP WILL CONDEMN THE CATCHMENT PIT TO A ONE RAINY SEASON USE ONLY!

Watch this video below;

 

  1. To arrest the progress of extant gullies, plant freshly cut green bamboo stems about 2 ft deep at 10 to 20ft intervals along the drainage floor. The roots are very effective in binding the soil, thereby arresting further cavitations of the gully. Deep planting should prevent their being washed away by the rush of floodwaters.

Don’t wait for the Government to come to your aid. Do what you must do to help your community.

Prof Uchenna Nwosu
Odenigbo Igbo-Ukwu

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