Effects Of Soil Erosion On Settlement

Project and Seminar Material for Geology

Effects Of Soil Erosion On Settlement


This study examined the effects of soil erosion on settlement in Agbor and its environs. It identifies the problems, conservation, strategies, control techniques and suggest proper management practices. The study adopts the survey research design in data collection through administration of 190 questionnaires to the respondents in Agbor. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The results indicated that there is a significant relationship between the effects of soil erosion and the level of settlement development in Agbor. Furthermore, results showed that that there is a significant relationship between the causes of soil erosion and the factors responsible for the degradation of Agbor and its environs. The implication is that soil erosion has resulted to the collapse of buildings and poor settlement structure in Agbor. This shows that, soil erosion has significant effect on the settlement of Agbor. The study recommended that government/private individuals should construct drainage, embankments and sand fill burrow pits.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content
  • Table Of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background To The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of Problem
  • 1.3 Purpose Of The Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance Of The Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.2 Factors That Determine Soil Erosion
  • 2.3 Forms Of Erosion
  • 2.4 Erosion Control Measures
  • 2.5 Theoretical Framework

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Study Area
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Research Population
  • 3.4 Research Instruments
  • 3.5 Sampling Procedure
  • 3.6 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Analysis And Results

  • 4.1 Results

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background To The Study

Soil erosion is a naturally occurring process whether it is by water, wind or ice, involves the actions of soil detachment, movement and deposition. It could be a slow process that continues relatively unnoticed or can occur at an alarming rate, causing serious loss of top soil (Jim, 2012). Loose soil, low organic matter, loss of soil structure, poor internal drainage, salination and soil acidity problems are other serious soil degradation conditions can accelerate the soil erosion process.

Erosion is a natural process that is prompted by man-made human (anthropogenic) activities such as deforestation that involves the removal of vegetation, overgrazing, unmanaged construction of building and roads. Excessive erosion can produce ecosystem damage, loss of soil and receiving water sedimentation. The effect of soil erosion is sometimes linked to over population (Cohen, 2007). He further stated that erosion tends to remove topsoil at a faster rate than soil is accumulated in an area. This results in collapse of buildings, especially those of poor foundation. This affects settlement development by residents within the study area. However, increased soil erosion at a much faster rate than soil is accumulated materially or artificially is a recent problem due to mankind’s conservation which in action makes the land unprotected and vulnerable to degradation. Other natural causes are occurring adduced the rainfall with wind storms to make wreck havoc on the environment. This ugly effects occurs both in residential and agricultural/farming areas as well as the natural environment. The effects of soil erosion are found insitu (on-site) where the soil become detached), as well as off-site where the eroded soil is transported. Also, in form of the high rainfall, storms obviously cause deep gullies, but erosion due to smaller events can seem in form of sheets with no consequence, but in fact there is a cumulative effect on a long-term basis.

Cohen (2007) stated that, the most serious consequence of soil erosion globally is the treat to long-term sustainability of agricultural productivity and hindrance to settlement development. This eventually leads to development of rugged terrain and collapse of buildings. The destructive impact of erosion is felt on developing countries such as Africa and Asia, and developed countries for which there is a huge environmental concern. Soil erosion results in the loss of soil fertility that makes the land barren that accumulate more than 25 million hectares of barren lands in the world and to desertification (Tutor Vista, 2013). High rainfall of short duration and torrential downpour results in flash floods that make rivers overflow their banks, destroy foundation and collapse buildings, washed away live stock and act as hindrance to settlement development (Adelye and Rustum, 2011). Also, it could damage bridges and causes a dam to overflow to submerging buildings, displace people from homes, with attendant loss of personal valuables and ongoing psychological fear and insecurity caused by such event (Bariweni, Tawari and Abowei, 2012). Like wind and water, coaster erosion is a natural process but can be exacerbated by human activities. Activities that can influence Agbor erosion of river droughts, include, mining of sand for construction purposes, building on the beach, to interfere natural movement of sand and impedes beach recovery, removal of vegetation from sand dunes, to destabilize protective barriers, from waves and currents. Erosion not only cause damages to the immediate area where it occurs but also have negative effects on the surrounding environment. Water erosion often destroys buildings, roads and fences and other type of structures, including bridges, cars, buildings, sewage systems, roadways and canals, etc.

The economy can also be severely affected by flooding. Businesses may lose stock, patronage, data and productivity and cause disruption to utilities and transport infrastructure with knock-on effects to a wider area. Tourism, farming and livestock’s can equally be affected. The built environment may be damaged or destroyed as a result of erosion and flooding with high repair costs and long periods required for reinstatement. The public realm is often badly affected through damage and deposit of potentially large quantities river accumulated of debris. Land contamination may occur and spread during erosion. Individual properties and vital infrastructure may also be damaged or disrupted, communication, electricity and gas supplies can be interrupted, to wider communities if sub stations and transport are eroded. Road links, railways, canals, etc, may be blocked causing disruption to the wider transport network and accessibility and also result in severely disrupted local inhabitants settings, especially amongst those considered most vulnerable (Bariweni, Tawari and Abowei, 2012). This phenomenon is a common site in Agbor and its environs, posing direct threat to settlement development in the area and the destructions of building infrastructures in its surrounding rural areas. Cohen (2007) said that improved land use techniques such as terracing, of building and tree planting can limit erosion. It is against this background that this study is carried out to find lasting solution to curb the problems caused by soil erosion especially as it affects settlement in the study area.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

Environmental hazards including erosion gave rise to lopsided concentration of vehicles in some of the roads thus making the roads, a place of great conflict between man and the environment. It has also been observed that improper planning in Agbor has resulted to in erosion, streets flooding, because in most areas, it was observed that settlements, buildings and other structures were built across River Plains and along flood water path as well as erosion sites and flood plains, thus obstructing the free flow of run-off result causing erosion.

Soil erosion has posed a serious threat to Agbor and its environs, facing the problems resulting from erosion. During the wet or raised season, some areas are become inundated to uninhabitable and unmotorable. Local Government and individual in affected areas, have tried to control erosion problem without professional input by filling up the affected areas with gravel, building embankment, placing sand bags and planting trees.

Erosion is now synonymous with disaster, dangers, despair, destruction, death and damage to economic properties. Environmental problems caused by urbanization, removal of the natural cover exposes the soil to the action of running water. This greatly reduces the fertility of the soil to cause development of monstrous soil gullies in the land.

Though, there is no statistics data on the extent of soil erosion and fertility in degraded areas of Agbor, there is enough evidence to show that, the topsoil is increasingly depleted by soil erosion though outdated and unscientific practices. The impact of unchecked settlement development as a result of rapid urbanization has further aggravated the problem.

Some of the natural factors which tends to increase soil erosion in Agbor include: soil type, soil slope and topography. The inherent low statues of soil has much impact on the effects of organic matter on soil properties. Soil is also lost when it is down slope, road network, commercial places, building which result from urbanization and other life and properties.

It has been observed that the dual factors of topography and heavy rainfall affect the entire land area of Agbor. That is, most part of the region has been plagued and subjected to erosion which has resulted to menace to her inhabitants. A lot of studies have been carried out by scholars on the causes of erosion and this research will therefore focus on the effects and solution to soil erosion on settlement in Agbor and its environs.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study

The aim of this research work is to examine the effects of soil erosion on settlement in Agbor and its environs.

Specifically, the following objectives will be addressed;

  1. To examine the factors responsible for the high erosion degradation in the study area.
  2. To identify the causes of soil erosion in the study area.
  3. To examine the extent to which the Agbor environment has been degraded by soil erosion.
  4. To examine the effects of soil erosion on settlement in Agbor and its environs.
  5. To identify the problem, conservation, strategies control techniques and suggest proper management practices,
  6. To recommend measures to prevent or ameliorate to help eradicate soil erosion in Agbor and its environ.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions were drawn to guide this research in the study area;

  1. What are the immediate and remote causes of soil erosion in the study area?
  2. What are the major factors responsible for environmental degradation in the study area?
  3. To what extent has Agbor environment been degraded by soil erosion?
  4. What are the effects of soil erosion on settlement in Agbor and its environs?
  5. What are the possible solution to address the problems of soil erosion and its adverse effect on settlement in Agbor and its environ?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

There is a great need to examine the effects of soil erosion on settlement in Agbor, Delta State-Nigeria. This study will help to know if there is any significant relationship between the effects of soil erosion and the level of settlement development in the study area. The researcher is interested whether soil erosion has significant effect on the settlement of Agbor. The study will also look at the factors responsible for the degradation of the natural environment especially in Agbor, Delta State.

This research work will cover the entire of Agbor and it’s to look intensely at the effects of erosion on buildings. It would offer suggestion(s) on the causes of soil erosion and its advance effect on settlement development.
Therefore, the research work will unfold the deteriorating effects of soil erosion on settlement development and other related land use in Agbor. It will educate the general public on the various causes of soil erosion in the area and proffer solution to combat the soil erosion problem(s) on settlement development in the study area.

This study gives us information about the effects of soil erosion on settlement in Agbor, Delta State-Nigeria as well as to proffer solution(s) to problems of soil erosion and its adverse effect on the settlement of Agbor, Delta State. This opens new horizons for new researchers. The findings of the research are helpful for the policy makers to introduce some new strategies for the betterment of the society. However, the findings will also provide useful background information to future research in the contribution of geography towards nation’s buildings.

This work is expected to guide geographers, geologists, pedologists, geomorphologists, environmentalists, agriculturists, builders, engineers, surveyors, educationists, academicians, experienced soil analysts, etc., and all those whose field of study is associated with solving soil erosion issues to gain understanding of how soil erosion affects settlement development and control measures and mitigation strategies and management techniques can help to advert the enormous problems of environmental degradation especially those caused by soil erosion.
Furthermore, for the purpose of this study, the researcher will determine soil erosion problems in Agbor which will go a long way to address the socio-economic welfare of the people. Finally, the study is also carried out to enlighten the entire people of Agbor and Delta State on the need to establish a good and favorable condition to enhance better living among the urban and rural dwellers.

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

This research on the effects of soil erosion o settlement in Agbor and its environs concludes that, the natural environment we live in is a part of our social and economic continued existence and whatever happens adversely can affect us negatively to our detriment. However, for greater efficiency, the curative to soil erosion effect(s) is to treat it as a crucial part of the concept of environmental control. This may be achieved requiring an adequate knowledge of the environment. The consequences of soil erosion and other natural environmental disasters posit the dire need for a cohesive environmental planning and management. The requirement for this is the formulation of medium where ideas would be consistent and an adequate strategy formulated to manage, direct and control environmental issues. This is because of the necessity to help with the effects of soil erosion in the area.

Both soil causes and effect of soil are major drivers of land degradation and pose key problems to livelihoods of the community members in the study area. Sheet, rill and gully erosion are the main types of erosion within the study area and the latter form of erosion, namely gully erosion, is the most alarming problem removing huge quantities of soil, dissecting land and damaging infrastructure.

Deterioration in soil fertility as a result of severe soil erosion is a critical deterrent to crop production and a lack of fodder has been a major factor in the decline in agricultural production. As charcoal is the major source of energy for cooking in the study area, deforestation has seriously depleted forest resources. This has compelled community members to travel long distances and spending significant amount of time for collection of wood.

Nigeria and elsewhere in the world suffer from the havocs of gully erosion. The cause of soil erosion in Agbor and even Nigeria includes both natural and anthropogenic sources. The impacts include loss of human and animal lives, loss of properties and land resources. Some of the solutions that are proffered include improved farming techniques, cultural method of erosion control- gully erosion, and enactment of laws against any activities that favor gully growth. The government at all levels in Nigeria and the stakeholders in environmental management such as State Ministry of Environment and Federal Ministry of Environment should also sensitize Nigerians on the causes, impacts and problems of soil erosion and erosion in general.

However, poor or lack of implementation of research findings and recommendations seem to hinder complete evaluation of proposed solutions. For instance, in some cases where an effort is made, poor quality of work usually lead to even greater erosion, as in the case of road construction probably due to poor supervision, poor funding and corruption. Though we have little or no control on the natural causes of gully erosion especially those related to the underlying geology, the individuals and relevant stakeholders should discourage all practices that are capable of initiating or speeding the phenomenon in Nigeria. If all the suggested solutions are carefully looked into, it is believed that the incidence of gully erosion in Nigeria would be drastically reduced and the security of the lives of the people and their properties will be guaranteed.

5.2 Recommendation

This study recommends the creation of a forum for environmental problems. This can be as coordinating Consultants. Government, Non-Governmental Organizations, Cooperate Organizations, Federal Emergency Relief Agency and spirited individuals should get closer to the affected settings and assist the casualty of this problem.
An alternative is Erosion control which is the practice of preventing or controlling wind or water erosion in agriculture, land development, coastal areas, riverbanks and construction. Effective erosion controls are important techniques in preventing water pollution, soil loss, wildlife habitat loss and human property loss.

Erosion controls are used in natural areas, agricultural settings or urban environments. In urban areas erosion controls are often part of storm-water runoff management programs required by local governments and other tiers. The controls often involve the creation of a physical barrier, such as vegetation or rock, to absorb some of the energy of the wind or water that is causing the erosion.

Another process is the use of Reforestation: is the natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands that have been depleted, usually through deforestation. Reforestation can be used to improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the air, rebuild natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigate global warming since forests facilitate bio sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and harvest for resources, particularly timber. The term reforestation is similar to afforestation, the process of restoring and recreating areas of woodlands or forests that may have existed long ago but were deforested or otherwise removed at some point in the past. Sometimes the term re-afforestation is used to distinguish between the original forest cover and the later re-growth of forest to an area. Special tools, e.g. tree planting bar, are used to make planting of trees easier and faster.

Effects Of Soil Erosion On Settlement

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Effects Of Soil Erosion On Settlement


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