STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT REPORT ON NASARAWA STATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS. THE SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF LAND DEGRADATION

One of the economic and historical challenges Nigeria has continued to contend with since the onset of the twenty-first century is the one that presents itself in the form of National Security problems. It is both economic and historical because there cannot be any form of economic development without a firm national security system that can motivate wholesome national economic planning and implementation while at the same time galvanizing foreign investment. It is also historical because prior to this ugly turn of event, the nation had always been a bastion of peace and development since it triumphantly rose above its civil war in 1970. The security problems have presented its self in various forms that range from heightened armed robbery and kidnapping problems across the country, intractable insurgency in the North-Eastern part of the country and farmers versus herdsmen struggles for land space, also across the country.

         While there are adequate provisions of the law to take care of some aspects of the problems such as the ones that have to do with criminal activities like robbery and kidnapping, the ones which relate to the farmers/herdsmen has tasked the national psyche to breaking points. Most dispassionate observers have however pointed to the ballooning population of the country on one hand, and continuous degradation of adequate grazing lands for herdsmen in the Northern part of the country as the root cause of that aspect of the problem.

         Nassarawa state is one of the states that has contented with the problem of incessant struggles between farmers and herdsmen despite all the unceasing efforts of the state and local governments to bring the issue to an amicable end. Wind Sound Africa therefore decided to go to the grounds in collaboration with relevant arms of the state government and the Council governments to, get a grip on the state of the ecological system with the sole aim of getting all levels government, Non-governmental Organizations and corporate citizens to be part of the solution. The details of our visits to rural areas are as follows:

LAFIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Lafia Local Government Area of Nassarawa State is the Metropolitan Council Area which also hosts the administrative Headquarters of Nassarawa State. The Local Government Area is under the double jeopardy of being host to the Administrative Headquarters of the state with its rural-urban migration-induced population explosion on one hand, and the geographical positioning of the town which is on a sloppy terrain, with its attendant constant flooding and erosion problems. The Local Government Area has a population of 330,712 people which is made up of diverse people of mixed backgrounds, as the town is known to accommodate a high percentage of residents who come from all parts of Nigeria. It is a very hospitable environment for investors and people of varying occupation.

One of the most biting economic albatrosses of Lafia Local Government Area is the geographical positioning which makes the town to be ceaselessly subjected to flooding and rampaging gully erosion menace. At a time the Northern part of Nigeria is contending with security challenges that has everything to do with scarce availability of adequately balanced lands for necessary economic activities, the kind of land-degradation Lafia Local Government Area is experiencing is an issue that demands the urgent attention of all Development Agencies, all levels of Governmental and nongovernmental organizations and corporate conglomerates. This is why Wind Sound Africa went to all the nooks and crannies of the Local Government Area to obtain valid data on its lands and infrastructural Degradation for the purpose of using them to alert Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations on their Economic implications and the positive roles they can play in the amelioration of their negative impacts.

The details:-

  1. Mgbolo Hotel Gully Erosion Site

This is a fast expanding gully erosion site which affects up to twenty-four residential homes in Bukar Sidi area of the town. It also threatens the premises of Mgbolo Hotel which is one of the hotels that offer hospitality services to investors, business men and women who visit Lafia for various developmental and investment purposes. Residents who spoke to our team lamented the menacing expansion of the gully which they said had taken over up to 20-30 percent of the total size of their residential lands. They cried out for assistances from Governmental or non-governmental organizations in view of the fact that their own self-help efforts and even those of the state and Local Governments alone were far from being adequate for the quantum of control and problems amelioration works that are needed in the area. As at the time our research team visited the problem site in April 2014, the gullies measured five meters deep, ten meters wide and up to 800 meter long all the way to Bakar Sidi stream. Soil samples obtained from below 3cm of surface level showed up to 65% loss of essential nutrient contents compared to similar samples obtained from non-eroded parts of the same area. Control structural works needed in the area to stem the rapid state of the gullies’ expansion are sand-filling, stone-pitching and flood water control channels to effectively channel flood waters to BukarSidi stream, 800 meters away from Mgbolo Hotel premises.

  1. Science School to Mustapha Bello Street

This problem site is in an area in which school structures are situated and the structures are subjected to excessive degradation from rampaging gullies. Government Science School, St. Williams Primary School all along Mustapha Bello Street are all seriously affected by this fast expanding gullies. The gully extends all the way to Angwan Aragu thus affecting up to twenty seven residential homes in one form or the other. Soil samples obtained from the area indicated up to 56% loss of essential nutrient contents present in samples obtained from non-degraded areas of the locality. Urgent control works needed in the area are stone-pitching after sand-filling of gully tracks as well as putting in place properly-sized drainages. Gullies in the area measured 3 meters deep, eight meters wide and is as long as 300 meters at the most devastated part of the problem site.

  1. Rice Mill Bridge to River Amba Gully site

This is the major point of the flooding disaster that besets Lafia town every year. Flood waters from the highlands of Lafia rampage through this area, inflicting unquantifiable seasonal damages on residential homes, water systems, and other public infrastructures that leave the people and the various levels of governments loosing heavily. The state government, in realization of the centrality of this problem site, had in the past attempted to construct a drainage channel that was meant to direct the campaign flood waters to River Amba. Our findings however revealed that due to the increasing pressure on governments financial resources, the State Government, which was said not to be the present one, could not complete the channelization project. The present State Government is said to be very highly interested in completing the project. However residents of the area were of the opinion that in view of the gigantic development projects the present Government is handling in all parts of the State, the Federal Government and other non-govermental organizations should please come to their aids and save them from the seasonal nightmare the flooding has continued to unleash on them over the years. The half completed channelization of flood-waters from the high lands of Lafia to River Amba is an economically relevant project for which the people need every form of extra governmental support that can come their way. As at the time of our visit to this particular area that suffers the worst impact of the menace every rainy season, the gullies measured 1.4 meters deep, 3.5 meter wide and almost 1000 meters long all the way to the shores of River Amba. Tests conducted on soil samples of the area showed the absence ofs a high percentage of essential nutrient contents compared to another obtained from outside the flood zone. The toxic contents of debris swept over and deposited in a high fraction of the area is a serious source of concern for families that dwell side by side with the debris for health reasons. The area qualities to be graded an Environmental Emergency Zone.

  1. Lukeman Primary School Gully Site

This gully site which qualities to be graded as another emergency Problem site is fast expanding according to information made available to our Team. The site is known to be a major course of concern to the state and Local Government in view of the dense population of residents that live around it, as well as the Public structures like schools and water pipes which the problem threatens. Apart from Lukeman Primary School which walls had collapsed and had been rebuilt several times from the effect of the gully, the number of people whose residents are badly affected by the gully all the way from Gidan Voucher at Ungwan Zugu, to the Primary School premises was put at about 6000 individuals. Soil sample tests carried out on samples obtained from below 5m from surface level showed up to 46% loss of essential nutrient contents compared to ones obtained from non-degraded areas of the neighborhood. Toxic wastes deposited close to drinking water sources also constitutes a serious health menace to the dense population of the area. gullies measured 5 meters wide, 6 meters deep, 350 meters long.

(5) Kofar Zanwa Gully Site

This residential areas gully site threatens up to thirty residential homes which houses more than 2500 individuals. The central mosque, which is situated in the area is also badly threatened and needs to be urgently protected from imminent collapse to prevent threat to lives of worshippers. Tests showed high presence in top level soils, of toxic elements.

Gullies measured 10 meters wide, 7 meters deep and 900 meter long

(6) Ungwan Doka Gully Site

This problem site extends from the area up to River Amba and affects a local population of up to 4000 people whose homes are virtually sitting inches away from the bellies of the menacing gullies. The area is heavily populated and residents who spoke to our team were conclusive in their opinion that they do not have any other place to relocate to and therefore requested for the assistance of the Federal Government as well as other good minded people and organizations. Debris and soil samples from below 5mm from surface level in the area indicated high presence of toxic content. Gullies measured 25 meters wide, 10 meters deep and 350 meters long as at April 2014.

  1. Ungwan Katari Gully Site

Ungwam Katari is another densly populated part of Lafia town that is highly devastated by gully Erosion menace. As at the time of our team’s visit to the area, up to 33 residential homes occupied by up to 3,000 residents were under serious threat. Eroded areas showed serious loss of essential soil nutrient contents while drinking water sources were continuously contaminated by erosion waters and debris swept from other parts of the town by rampaging gully erosion aided water. Gullies measured 2.5 meters deep, 3 meters wide and 400 meter long.

 

Impact Assessment

In view of the fact that Lafia metropolis, which is the headquarters of Lafia Local Government Area is also the host Administrative headquarters of Nassarawa State, the economic implications of the land and infrastructural degradations that exist in the area is quite enormous. Population pressure on scarce land, which is the main source of Nigeria’s worsening security problems finds ample definition in Lafia town. Migrating rural community dwellers who are pressured to migrate because of economic and security problems as well as the high pressure of corporate organizations in the state capital which offer economic opportunities to citizens, all add up to put high pressure on lands and infrastructure in Lafia town. With all these put together, and put side by side with the extent of lands and infrastructure degradation that prevail in Lafia metropolis, experts on environmental problems Economic Impact Analysis are conclusive that Lafia Local Government Area loses an average of about 420 million naira per annum, to unrealized economic potentialities from areas such as locally collectable taxes, lost investments and human resource development. On the other hand, ecological problems control structural cost analysts also opine that for the Local Government to be able to completely control all of its lands and infrastructural degradation problems, apart from the few areas that were visited by our team, the Local Government Area will need up to 2.6 billion naira, an amount neither the state or Local Government can ever afford in view of their vast areas of development needs and lean sources of revenue allocation and generation. This fact calls for the comprehensive and urgent mobilization of all development focused non-governmental organizations, corporate citizens and other Local-based organizations to join hands in the efforts to save the Land from further degradation and stem the escalation of National security problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NASSARAWA EGGON LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Nassarawa Eggon Local Government Area is a semi-urban Local Government Area whose land area is populated by up to 78% farmers while the rest of the population is made up of civil servants, traders and business oriented people from across Nigeria. The Headquarters of the Local Government is home to many Federal and State Government Agencies as well as companies and related service-organizations. The area is reputed to be quite hospitable to potential investors and other ethnic tribes from Nigeria and other parts of the world.

When Wind Sound Africa visited the Local Government Area for the purpose of obtaining direct data on the lands and infrastructural Degradation situation in the Area, it was made obvious by the leadership of the Area that worsening lands and infrastructural degradation, the cost of which control is far beyond the affordability of the council Government, is actually a major source of concern to the Local Government and the people of the Area. Our Team was taken to five of such areas.

  1. UngwanAgbukum/Agbulu Farm Lands

This is a very critical environmental disaster zone that has given residents and the Local Government a lot of trouble in view of the fact that the main stay of the economy of the Local Government Area is farming. The rate of flooding and gully erosion that ravage Agbukum to Agbulu rural road on yearly basis is so bad that if it is left unchecked the next two years, the industrious minded farmers who live around the area and use the road, as the only available access to their farmlands will become economically redundant. The resultant famine that would become the lot of the people of the area will only add to the security problem that land scarcity has occasioned in Nigeria in recent years. The road, as at the time of our visit, was in urgent need of rehabilitation, stone-pitching and the construction of one major culvert at Ungwar Agbukum. As a result of the years of flooding that the area has been subjected to, the soil quality of the entire flood zone has lost its essential nutrient content by up to 54% upon being subjected to analysis in comparism with samples from non-degraded areas of the ward. The road is 8k/m long with most of it in need of proper drainage system to stem the effect of the flooding and gullies. Gullies measured 2.3 meters wide, 3 meters deep, 400 meters long along the 8k/m road.

  1. Moye to Angbulu Road Gully Erosion

Gully Erosion has ravaged the road which is of major economic value to the rural dwellers whose only access to their farm land is the badly flooded road. Up to 3000 farmers are said to depend on the road to convey their farm products out of their farms and on to the markets where they are sold. The 10 kilometer road is in need of complete rehabilitation, stone-pitching against fast expanding gullies, sand filling, and proper drainage system with two large sized culverts to measure 8 meters wide x 5 meters long and the other to measure almost about the same size. A top soil sample obtained from 5mm below surface level in the areas proved very fragile and had lost its essential nutrient contents.

  1. Nassarawa Eggon to Galle Gully Erosion Site

This extensive Gully site seriously threatens Galle Bridge at Ahoala Yaka area. The bridge needs to be urgently refurbished through stone-pitching while gully erosion along the road needs to be checked with sand-filling and stone-pitching.

Gullies measures 15 meters wide x 8.6 meter deep. 700 squarer meter around the box Culvert at Yaka needs to be stone-pitched.

  1. Ungwan Makama- Ashamaga Federal Road Gully Erosion Site:

This problem affects the rural feeder road which links up to 4000 farmers to the administrative headquarters of the Local Government and markets where they sell their farm products. The Gully Erosion site affects residential homes and farmlands. The area needs sand-filling, stone-pitching and drainage systems to stem the rate of expansion of the gullies and alleviate the multiple effects of the degradation on the economic lives of the people. Loss of essential nutrient contents of the top soil were evident in the samples obtained from the area when compared with those obtained from balanced and less degraded areas of the vicinity.

Gullies measured 10 meters wide, 6 Meters deep and up to 3 hectares of land area in total is affected between Ungwan Makama and Ashamaga. The road needs a culvert to measure 8 meters x 5 meters.

  1. Ungwan Dan Madani Gully Erosion Site

This gully erosion site affects the Federal High way which links Nassarawa Eggon to Jos. It also threatens up to thirty residential homes inhabited by more than 2,500 people. The area needs urgent sand-filling of up to 1000 square meters of land area affected by the gully erosion and stone-pitching. Tests carried out on soil samples obtained from 5mm below surface level in the devastated areas showed loss of texture and stickability quantities due to the extended gully erosion prevalent in the area. Gullies measured 7 meters wide, 4 meters deep and 5meters long in one major area.

Impact Assessment

In view of the fact that Agriculture is the main stay of the Economy of Nasarawa Eggon, the extensive nature of land degradations that prevail across the local government area has a significant impact on the quality of life of the citizens and the Local Government’s financial capacity. In terms of perished Agricultural products that could not be timely harvested and sold at their true values, unrealized agricultural ambitions due to flooding and other debilitating environmental conditions and consequent short-falls in taxes from produce markets, Nasarawa Eggon looses and much as 300 million Naira per annum between the government and the people. The Local Government Area, according to our Environmental problems control structural analyst, needs as much as 600 Million Naira to be able to put in place a good fraction of the needed problems control structures across the council area. In view of the above fact, and the inescapable fact that access to scarce land-resources is the major ingredient for Nigeria’s present security challenges, much more hands than those of the state and Local Governments need to be on deck to bail out the people and the Local Government from an impending economic extermination in slow process.

WAMBA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Wamba Local Government Area is one of the Local Government Areas in Nigeria whose natural terrain makes it to be a potential tourist destination for tourists from all over the world. Beautifully carved out hills and meandering valleys which clot the landscapes of the council Area is a beauty to behold the eyes of a first-time visitor. The Local Government Area is a Tourism Gold mine waiting to be turned into precious ornaments. It is a semi-urban Council Area with Agriculture as its economic mainstay. 90% of the population is made up of farmers.

However, the beautiful terrain which is Nature’s gift to the people of Wamba Local Government Area has assumed the semblance of an economic Albatross in view of the fact that un-channeled rain waters from the scenic hills have become major sources of flooding and gully erosion tracks across the council area. The quantum of money needed to put in place the kind of Environmental infrastructure that can turn Wamba into the tourism map of the world is way beyond the affordability of the state and Local Government in view of the competing Developmental needs of these two tiers of Government vis-avis their financial resources.

When Wind-Sound Africa visited Wamba Local Government Area to research into the extent of Lands and Infrastructural degradation the Area is contending with, the democratic leadership of the council gave our team its full cooperation.

  1. Kwambe Gully Erosion Site

This fast expanding gully erosion site along Wamba-Kwambe-Lafia road seriously threatens the very important road which is the only means of communication and transportation from four farming communities populated with over 40,000 people. The main source of the rampaging erosion waters that cause the gullies is rain waters that cascade down from surrounding hills and flood waters from river Umdo. The communities that depend on this road for their economic activities are Ungo, Ukaya, Gwagina and Utugu. The area needs extensive rehabilitation in the forms of sand-filling, stone-pitching, culvert works and re-enforcement works around Ukana bridge and its vicinities. Soil tests carried out on samples obtained from the area showed 48% loss of essential nutrient contents. Gullies measure 7 meters deep, 14 meters wide, and 20 meters longs on both sides of River Umdo.

  1. Lange Gully Erosion Site

This gully erosion menace is along Wamba to Lange road, which is one of the Local Government’s major farming community. The gully threaten farm lands and the road which up to 10,000 rural dwellers depend on for their economic activities.

  1. Bambu Gully Erosion Site

The Gully Erosion menace has devastated up to two hectares of farmlands as at the time of our research visit and was known to be fast expanding. Tests carried out on soil samples from the spot showed 43% erosion of soil fertility nutrient contents. Damaged road is 4 k/m. Gullies measured 7.3 meter wide, 3 meters deep and affects two hectares of farm lands.

  1. Nsheng Farm-lands of Kwara

Nsheng farm lands of Kwara Community is a gully erosion ravaged area where solid minerals mining activities combine with gully erosion to wreak serious ecological damages to the people’s lands. The area which forms part of Farin Ruwa Development Area suffers from the double jeopardy of being host to life threatening, often, inconspicous mining pits that dot the vast farmlands as well as fast expanding Gully erosion sites that need to be controlled immediately in order to avoid their negative economic impacts on the lives of the inhabitants of the Area. Our team also discovered that with the quantum of solid minerals that the area is blessed with, it can become a very viable host to a properly regulated mineral processing company. A gully site in the area affects the road which links Kwara with Kanje and Shawa communities, both of which has a population of up to 25,000 people. Kwara is blessed with quite a number of solid minerals which include tantalite, tin, and aquamarine. Gully erosion sites measured 7.3 meters wide x 4 meters deep. The effected road is 45 kilometers long between Kwara and Kanje. Soil tests carried out on samples obtained from the erosion site showed extensive loss of essential nutrient contents.

5.Mamara to Kwara Road Gully site

This is a gully erosion site which badly affects the road that links Kwara to Mamara, Mamara Jida, Ungwan Jato, Gimba, Ungwan Madaki and Ungwan Rimi, all great farming communities with a combined population of up to 25,000 people. One of the major casualties of the kind of infrastructural degradation in the Area is Mamara bridge which had become broken and so badly damaged and needs very urgent reconstruction, while the entire surrounding area needs sand filling and extensive stone-pitching. Tests carried out on soil sample obtained from the area showed up to 48% absence of essential nutrient contents compared to other samples obtained from less degraded parts of the Development Area. Gullies measured 4.1 meters deep x 17 meters wide and 20 meters long on both sides of the broken bridge.

  1. Lago Community Gully Site

This gully site is along the road that links Lago to Muggu Community and affects the bridge that links Lago to other communities such as Kose, K/ama, Wunjil and Kama all popular farming communities with a combined population of up to 35,000 people. The gullies measured 9 meters wide x 6 meters deep x 40 meters long up to River Yungba.

  1. Iwagwu Flood Zone

This devastating flooding menace badly affects existing residential homes, roads, farmlands and many plots of residential homes owned by sons, daughters and other residents of the area. The Local Government has already undertaken the construction of a very ambitions flood-control water channels in the Area. However the water channels needs to be extended up to Akyanapwole River to cover a distance of up to 700 meters. Existing channels measured 1.3 meters deep x 2 meters wide.

Impact Assessment.

Wamba Local Government Area can become a major internal revenue earner for the state and Council Government if basic infrastructures that would stem the rate of land degradation in the entire council area can be put in place and Tourism development becomes attractive to investors. Our problems impact analysts put the investment potentials that have been lost by the state and local government in Wamba land at not less than N10 billion naira per annum in the forms of forfeited Tourism Investment and consequent accruable revenue from collectable taxes from such investors and potential visitors. Problems control structural consultants also put the data-based cost of essential environmental and land degradation control structures needed in Wamba for the area to attain its economic potentials at 2 billion naira, with the six areas our team visited as sample spots. For the North-Central neighboring states and Nasarrawa as well as Wamba local government to benefit from the Tourism potentials of Wamba land, all stakeholders in the region, local and international development Agencies as well as governmental and nongovernmental organizations need to be rallied up to the assistance of the people and Council government of the area in view of Nigeria’s national revenue down-turn.

KEFFI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Keffi Local Government Area is a largely urbanized council Area which is presently under an uncomfortable population pressure because of its geographical position. While its administrative headquarters is one of the oldest and most politically exposed towns in the whole of Nigeria, its present population explosion problem arises from the fact that it also serves as one of the gate-ways to Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. In the light of this reality, the Local Government has every reason to be developmentally agile and pro-active on the issue of its land area and the pressure being brought to bear on it through ever ballooning population increase and other forms of hand degradation.

Flooding, gully erosion and other forms of lands and infrastructural degradation that are prevalent in Keffi Local Government Area is one of the economic issues that the state, the Local Government and residents of Keffi are becoming more increasingly worried about because of their direct relevance on the quality of lives of the people.

Wind Sound Africa Research Team were in Keffi for the specific purpose of collecting valid data on the council Area’s land and infrastructural degradation and using it to the economic advantage of the people and government. A limited number of badly degraded Areas were visited.

  1. Kofar Hausa Gully Erosion Site

The fast-expanding gully erosion site negatively affects the town’s roads and residential homes. The most affected road by this problems site is the one that links Sfohon Kasuwa to Kofar Hausa road. Up to thirty residential homes and a strategic bridge along the road has been badly affected around its pillars and stone pitched area. Many houses still occupied by their owners were merely less than one meter away from dangerously deep gully sites. Soil tests done on samples obtained from the area showed a high level of fragility of its content, confirming the possibility of the gully expanding even more quickly in the near future. It area qualifies to be graded as an emergency problem spot. The gully measured 18.3 meters wide x 9.8 meters deep x 300 meters long.

  1. Behind Emire,s Palace Gully Site

The gully Erosion site affects residential homes and town roads in the same way as the one in Kofar Hausa. Up to 35 numbers of presently occupied residential homes, including the immediate vicinities of the residence of the revered Emir of Keffi are already under threat from the problem. The proximity of residential homes from the gullies and the high possibility of more expansion in the coming years make the area deserving of being declared as another disaster area. Soil tests also showed up to 48% loss of essential nutrient contents and make the area more susceptible to faster expansion and possible destruction of residential homes. Indiscriminate dumping of wastes, combined with others swept into the area from other parts of the town by erosion water is also a serious threat to healthy living amongst the people of the area. The gully measured 6 meters wide x 3.5 meters deep x 500 meters long.

  1. Matony Hills/flooding and Gully Erosion Site

This is a floods zone that has also created very menacing gully erosion tracks whose sizes are increasing rapidly around homes and town roads. A highly populated section of the town is affected by this combination of flooding and gully sites. Matony Hill is 100 meters from the gully-site, as well as the residential homes at the receiving ends of the flooding and gully-erosion menaces. There is an urgent need to put in place large sized water channels to direct flood waters away from the residential homes of all who live between Matony Hills and Kongo Stream Bridge, a distance of 560 meters. There is the urgent need for a public awareness campaign against building on water-ways in Keffi town in view of the disastrous implication of the act. This problem, according to our findings arises because of the population pressure on the available lands in Keffi Local Government Area. The area is disaster prone. Soil samples obtained from the area, when subjected to laboratory tests showed significant loss of essential nutrient contents, when compared to ones obtained from less degraded parts of the area.

  1. Nasarawa Road Gully Site

This problem side affects the old road which links Keffi to Nasarawa Local Government Area. It also affects very many residential homes, some of which were less than 1.5 meters from the gullies as the time our research team visited the areas. Up to 3 hectares of farm lands and many of economic trees have also been threatened by this problem site in the hub of Keffi town. Soil tests carried out on samples obtained from the area showed up to 53% loss of essential nutrient contents and made it quite fragile for construction works. The most affected road by this problem site is the one that links Fsohon-Kasuwa to Kofar Hausa road. Up to thirty residential homes are badly threatened by this problem and the very strategic bridge along the road has been badly affected around its pillars and stone-pitched areas. Many houses still occupied by their owners were merely less than one meter away from the gully site. Tests done on soil samples obtained from the area showed a high level of fragility of its content, confirming the possibility of the gully expanding even more quickly in the near future. The problem site qualities to graded an emergency problem spot.

The gully measured 18.3 meters wide x 9.8 meters deep x 300 meters long.

Impact Assessment

In view of the strategic geopolitical position of Keffi Local Government Area as a gate-way Local Government Area to Abuja and the consequent population implosion to the area from other parts of the country, the value of the people’s land capital needs not to be underappreciated. Based on the extent of land degradation that were noticed in the few areas our team visited in Keffi and the data obtained from there, the Local Government is presently losing as much as 400 million naira per annum to environmental devastations. The Local Government Area, according to Environmental problems impact assessment experts needs as much as half a billion naira to put in place essential problem control structures needed in all parts of the Local Government, including the few areas our team visited.

 

 

 

 

DOMA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Doma Local Government Area is an Agrarian Local Government Area whose population is made up of 95% farmers. It is one of the largest land-sized local government areas in Nigeria. The Local Government is blessed with arable lands and vibrant farmers, a combination which makes them a potential food-basket, not just for the state but that of the entire country. However, based on the facts on the grounds in Doma especially around the administrative H/quarters, the Council Area is an Environmental Disaster waiting to happen. The level of land degradation that prevails in Doma town is mind-bugling. As a matter of reality, a very tangible fraction of the totality of Doma town should have long been long declared an environmental emergency disaster area where people are not expected to live.

Wind-Sound Africa visited a few of the highly devastated gully erosion and flood zones in the council area in its effort to obtain first hand data on the problems.

1.Dadin Kowa (By Ama’s House) Gully Erosion Site:- This is one of the gully erosion problem sites which qualifies to be graded as an Environmental Disaster Emergency zone. The ugly devastation affects the town’s road network, residential homes and many other development structures like water pipes, public buildings and gardens. The most frightening part of the gully erosion menace in Doma town is their dangerous proximity to the walls of residential homes in which people still live, and public buildings where people go to work for a living everyday. The gully measured 18 meters wide and 12 meters deep, by Ama’s house, and cuts across to Ado Rabiu Street where it also measured 18 meters wide, 4 meters deep affecting up to fifty-two (52) residential homes that are virtually sitting just inches away from the edges of the gullies. It again cuts across to Baba M. Kabo Street where many occupied residential homes are badly threatened. Culverts works, sand-filling and stone-pitching control works are urgently needed at Ama’s Area, Ado Rabiu, Ali Kabo, Hassan Zubuiru and Commando streets, which gullies measured 12 meters deep across the devastated areas. At Bye-pass road, the devastation occasioned by gully erosion bears a lot of similarities with a war-zone, where bombs had been dropped. Here, the gullies measured 10 meters deep and 25 meters wide across streets and around residential homes, all measuring up to 2000 meters long from Ama’s area up to Alh. Audu Mai-fili Street. Soil analysis done on soil samples obtained from the areas showed that long prevailing surface erosion and sparce vegetation covering of the area has resulted into the loss of nutrient contents which has rendered the soil texture to become very fragile, a condition that aids the continuous expansion of the gullies.

  1. Behind Timber Shed Gully Erosion

The problem affects town streets, residential homes and public buildings as well as other economic infrastructure such as water pipes. More than fourteen residential houses are badly threatened in this area. The gullies have destroyed eight inter-connecting streets, all of which need one culvert each, to measure 8 meters x 5 meters. Most of the gullies here measure 1.5 meters deep x 11 meters wide x1200 meters long. Soil tests showed the same result as in Dadin Kowa area of the town.

3 Behind Andona’s Palace Gully Site

The gully erosion site affects the Palace of the paramount ruler of Doma, the Andoma of Doma. The problem site is said to have been prone to rapid expansion rates as the years pass by and tests carried out on soil samples from the area showed them to be too fragile to avert future expansion of the gullies. Extensive sand-filling, stone-pitching and construction of water channels are urgently needed as problems-melioration measures in the area. Gullies measured 12 meters wide x 6 meters deep x 250 meters long from behind Andoma’s palace to Rafin-Sarki.

4       Okpata-Agima Road Gully site

The gully erosion site affects the road that links these two important communities whose residents’ the major occupation is farming. It also affects farmlands and residential homes. Other communities that depend on the road for their daily economic activities are Oluwa and Zemer, with a combined population of over 30,000 people. The road is 10 kilometers long with a stream that will need one culvert work.

Gully site measured 22.6 meters wide x 3 meters deep x 500 meters long. Soil samples obtained from the area proved fragile, obviously from the effects of prolonged surface erosion.

5       Akpanaja-Obedo Road Gully Erosion Site

This is a major intercommunity and interstate road that links Akpanaja to Makurdi, the Benue State Capital where the community dwellers engage in various forms of economic activities. The road is 4 kilometers long within Doma land and 8 kilometers long all the way to Makurdi. Community leaders in Akpanaja who met our research team emphasized the economic importance of the road and the urgent need for its rehabilitation to aid them in their economic engagements in Makurdi and amongst themselves. The people who depend on the road for their economic engagements in Akpanaja, Obedo and other surrounding communities are up to 3000 families. Soil tests carried out on samples obtained from the area showed presence of appreciable nutrient contents but proved to be fragile because of the prevailing surface and gully erosion menace. There are ten streams between Akpanaja Market and the boundary town, and 5 between them and Obedo. Gullies measured 9 meters wide, x 2.4 meters deep x 300 meters long.

Impact Assessment

Doma Local Government and its inhabitants, according to lands degradation Impact Assessment experts who were availed of the data we obtained from the few areas our team visited, loose and much as 400 million naira per annum to perished farm products, produce under-pricing, destroyed properties and lost revenue to the Local Government. On the other hand, the Council Area needs as much as 1.6 billion naira to put in place the most basic land degradation control structures such as extensive sand-filling and stone-pitching across Doma town, large sized drainage systems at flooding/gully erosion flash-points and rehabilitation of rural roads.

This amount of money, according to the rural and metropolitan dwellers who spoke to our team across Doma, is way beyond the affordability of both the state and the Local Government in view of their other contending development needs and the lean financial resources of the two levels of government. They called upon the Federal Government, Environment-friendly NGOs and Corporate Organizations to come to their assistance in view of the glaring implications of the much-talked-about impending calamities of Climate Change.

KEANA LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Keana Local Government Area is a semi-urban Council Area with over 90% of its population involved in various forms of farming as their economic mainstay.

Economic infrastructural and Lands degradation that prevail in the area as a result of various ecological misadventures in the Council Area affects the people’s economic investments by as much as 42% negatively every year and the situation has continued to get worse by the years.

When Wind Sound Africa went to the Council Area for an on-the-spot data collection of the prevailing rate of degradation with the primary purpose of drawing public attention to it, they were taken to a number of flashpoints of the deteriorating dilemma.

  1. Behind Osama’s Palace

This gully erosion site affects residential areas, including the immediate vicinity of the paramount ruler of the Area, the Osama’s Palace. Seasonal flooding and fast expanding gully erosion control efforts by the community and the Local Government had been over-whelmed by the worsening situations on the ground. Up to 20 other residential building, besides that of the Osama’s Palace were badly threatened.

The gullies measured 1500 meters long, 4 meters wide and 2.2 meters deep. Urgent water channels are needed to guide flood waters to Okpoya River which is 1500 meters away from the site.

  1. Iwagwu Flood Zone

Affects residential homes and plots of land earmarked for development into residential homes. Existing control works needs expansion and re-enforcement before being extended to River Akpananwole, which is 700 meters away from the flood site. The urgently needed drainage, according to disaster-control analysts who were availed with details of our findings, is to measure 1.3 deep, and 2 meters wide.

  1. Ungwan Waje Gully Erosion Site

The menacing and fast-expanding gully-erosion site affects Guza Madaki Community in Madaki ward particularly on the road from Police station to Ministry of Agric. The road is 5 kilometers long. The gullies measures 3 meters deep, 2.4 meters wide and 9mters long. The main town also suffers from another gully menace which extends from Gizza Mauri Market to Okpanla stream and needs water-channeling and stone-pitching for its 1000 meters distance.

  1. Kardarko Town-Kadarko Railway to Doka Town Road Gully Site.

This land and infrastructural degradation affects the major road in the town and the railway zone which is a gully site. It measured 63 meters wide 6 meters deep 500 meters long.

  1. Kwara to Doma Road Gully Erosion Site

This problem site affects Kwara town residential buildings and the entire road which is 20 kilometers-long within Keana land. The gullies measured 10 meters wide 4.6 meters deep. The gully damaged area needs a bridge to measure 40 meters long 12 meters deep.

In view of the wide spread nature of the land degradation problems that are prevalent in Keana Local Government Area, taking into consideration the fact that Agriculture is the mainstay of the people’s economic life, experts in economic cost analysis are of the opinion that the Local Government Council and its people loose as much as 430 million naira every year to perished goods, wasted investments and unrealizable tax operations every year. The Government and the people need urgent external assistance to effectively contend with the situation.

AKWANGA LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State is a semi-urban Council area whose major population however are resident in other semi-urban and rural communities spread across the local Government Area. The residents are 75% farmers and therefore depend very much on their lands and other related infrastructure for their major economic activities.

Wind Sound Africa surveyed the Local Government Area for the purpose of ascertaining the level of degradation the area has experienced in the face of the emerging effects of Climate-Change and general population growth.

  1. High Court Road Flooding Zone.

This problem affects the road that links the High Court to Police Barracks and also threatens residential homes and public buildings. The area needs large-sized water channels to take-flood waters from the area to the nearest outlet in the Police Barracks area which is 500 meters away from the main flood zone.

  1. Millionaire Quarters Gully Erosion Site

The gully-site is an emergency Graded erosion site which affects mainly residential homes and affects the road that links the Ministry of Agriculture to English Baptist Church. The gullies measured 12 meters wide, 5.5 meters deep and as long as 3000 meters. Up to fifty residential homes are already in need of urgent relocation from their present points in this area.

 

  1. Ugwan Alagu Gully Erosion Site

This is another Emergency Graded Problem Site that has affected up to forty residential homes. The gullies measured 11.6 meters wide, 7 meters deep and covers up to 2000 square meters of residential land area.

  1. Ungwan Yau to Gasko by Andaha to Jos Road Gully Erosion Site

This equally emergency Graded Gully erosion site threatens the Andaha to Jos Federal highway, public and private buildings as well as the lives of residents whose homes are already sitting inches away from the edges of the fast-expanding gullies. The gullies measured 21 meters wide, 7 meters deep and 3000 meters long from the High Way across to Wamba Road as the time of our Team’s visit to the area in June 2014.

  1. College of Education Gully Site

This badly devastated problem site is located between the Students’ Union Government block and the Provost’s Block within the vast premises of the College. It affects the College’s land area which would be needed for future development of the institution. The gullies measured 9 meters wide, 3 meters deep and 1500 meters long.

Akwanga Local Government people and the Local Government is estimated to be losing as much as 450 million naira every year to both perishable goods, uncollectable taxes and other losses that are related to the prevailing degradation in the Local Government Area. The Area needs urgent intervention assistance to reign in the economically costly losses.

KARU LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State is the Council Area whose land Area forms a significant part of the Federal Capital Territory. In view of the ballooning population of Abuja, and the fact that Karu, in fact, forms a major gate-way to the Federal Capital, land and other economic infrastructures are important needs of the government and people of the area.

Wind Sound Africa visited the Council Area with a view to researching into the land and infrastructural degradation of the Council Area.

  1. Behind Karu Local Government Secretariat Gully Site

The problem site affects residential homes and the premises of Higher Light Church. Up to forty residential homes are badly affected by the gully site. The gully measured 9 meters wide, 12 meters deep and up to 300 meters long as at the time of our visit to the area.

  1. Bakin Ado in Karshi Development Area Gully Erosion Site

This gully site affects the road that links Karshi to Tudun Wada and on to Uke, the admistrative headquarters of Karu Local Government Council. The problem site also affects up to fifty residential homes. The gullies measured 5 meters wide, 3 meters deep, and 1000 meters long along the road.

  1. Ugwan Fulani Flood Zone/Gully Site

These problems affect residential houses and the road that links Masaka Police Station to Jankawa. Up to one hectare of land area is affected. More than forty pieces of personal plots, some fully developed and occupied by their owners are badly affected and need urgent evacuation or extensive reclamation work. Urgently needed in the area is a Trapizontal Drainage System to convey flood waters from the affected area to the extreme end of Ugwan Fulani where a stream exists. The stream is situated 500 meters away from the road linking Masaka to Jankawa. A drainage system to measure 2 meters wide, and 1 meter deep would be needed for effective control of the flooding.

  1. Zone 4 Gully Erosion Site, Jankawa Road

This degradation spot affects up to forty-five residential homes to the point of an urgent need to evacuate the residents of the area for temporary reclaimation works. Gullies are just inches away from the walls of most homes. The 2012 flood disaster across Nigeria had hit the residents of the area and they had not fully recovered from the disaster as the time of our visit. Most gullies measured 20 meters wide, 3 meters deep and 300 meters long at one stretch. The area needs extensive stone-pitching and drainage system.

 

  1. Area One to Masaka market Road, by White House

This devastation affects residential homes across the neighborhood of Masaka Market road. Up to 100 residential homes are affected from the beginning of the gully at Turu Road by the market gates. The gully is joined by another one from the Southern end of the road. The gullies measured 14 meters wide, 9 meters deep and as long as 300 meters.

Land Degradation Structural Cost Consultants as well as Environmental Problems Economic Impacts Assessors who were presented with the details of the problems on the ground in Karu Local Government Area are of the conclusion that Karu Land owners as well as the Local Government Council loose as much as 2 billion naira annually as direct consequences of the state of the Environment in the local Government Area.

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OBI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Obi Local Government Area is a typical semi-urban Local Government Area with Agriculture as the mainstay of the economy. Up to 90% of residents of the local government area practice one form of Agricultural investment or the other. The greatest fraction of the people of the Council Area depends on their lands as the most important capital they possess for their economic engagements. In view of the deteriorating condition of their land capital, and because of the worsening land-degradation prevalent across North-Central Nigeria, Wind Sound Africa visited Obi Local Government Area for the purpose of surveying the Environment. The report:

  1. Ejikwobe Gully Erosion Site

This is one of the most popular land Degradation points in Obi Local Government Area. The problem affects the road that links Obi to Asakio, a very important farming community that add value to the socio-economic lives of the Council Area. As at the time of our Research visit, the gully measured 23 meters deep, 7.5 meters wide and 1000 meters long and was known to be expanding at alarming rates in recent years. A total population of about 10,000 people resident at Pastor College, College of Agriculture, Ikpo Sogye, Logobi and Asakio depend on the road for their economic survival. It needed urgent refurbishing at a cost which could only be sourced from a combination of the federal government assistance, the state and local governments and Non-governmental Organizations because the financial resources of these two levels of government were known to be over-stretched.

  1. Ikwoyakyo Gully Erosion Site

This problem spot is along the same state road and affects vast expanses of farmlands. The Problem measured 22 meters wide, 8 meters deep and as long as 50 meters at the point our Team took its measurements.

  1. Oleye Stream Flood Zone

This flood zone in Obi Town brings about annual flooding to the nightmarish disadvantages of the residents who live anywhere within 100 meters of the area. Rain waters from most parts of Obi town cascade into the area and results into flooding that penetrates public buildings and residential homes. The people could not put a cost on the years of economic losses they have suffered over the years from the flooding menace. The area needs extensive reclamation through sand filling and drainage systems. The areas devastated by flooding and in urgent need of reclamation work measured 3 meters wide, 3 meters deep and as long as 700 meters long from the two diverse sources of flood-plains.

 

  1. Duguru Bridge Problem Site

This is a make-shift hand-made community effort wooden bridge across an erosion-gully site which becomes unapproachable during the raining seasons. The road links Atabida and Ome communities in Duguru Ward to the rest of the Council Area and the administrative Headquarter of the Council Government. Gullies measured 5 meters wide, 4.3 meters deep and up to 350 meters long as the time of our Research visit.

  1. Ichichene Bridge

This is another wooden Bridge contraption put together by the affected members of a community that had already been destroyed by rampaging gully erosion waters as at the time of our Research visit. It links Gidan Hausa to Agiaragu and unto the administrative Headquarters of the Local Government. Gullies measured 4.6 meters wide, 6 meters deep and as long as 240 meters longs as at the time of our visit.

The people and government of Obi Local Government Area are on record to be suffering from economic losses valued at 450million naira per annum as a result of the state of land and other economic infrastructural degradations in the area.

 

 

 

 

Tanko Al-Makura Governor, Nasarawa State

Tanko Al-Makura
Governor, Nasarawa State[/capti

[caption id="attachment_260" align="alignright" width="150"]Tanko Al-Makura Governor, Nasarawa State Tanko Al-Makura
Governor, Nasarawa State

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