Hon Chairman, Hon Bendel Mancwat Domfa in long-term battle to uplift the people of the L.G.A

Hon Chairman, Hon Bendel Mancwat Domfa in long-term battle to uplift the people of the L.G.A

Langtang-South Local Government Area of Plateau state, North-Central Nigeria is one of the Council Areas in the state where the quests for viable land resources for human habitation and farming activities is as important as life itself. Competition for land space has led to security-threatening skirmishes that combines with others playing out in other parts the state and the preponderance of Northern Nigeria to constitute one of the major challenges of the nation-National Security. The resident of the local government area, irrespective of his or her professional training, is a farmer. The economy of the Council Area runs on Agricultural investment. It is on the bases of this fact that the leadership and the followership of the area feel strongly that the lands degradation problem of the area needs public attention and positive collective actions.
It is in pursuit of the Development Communications policy of Wind-Sound Africa that our team went to the grounds in rural and semi-urban areas of Langtang South Local Government Area to spotlight the enormity of their ecological problems.
The first problem that hits every traveller to Mabudi, the administrative headquarters of the Council Area is the acute scarcity of water for any form of domestic or commercial life. When our Team-leader checked into the only privately owned guest house in the town and dashed into the bathroom for a quick shower, having been assured at the reception desk that water was available in the room, he was astounded when he took a look at the dirty tepid water that had been arranged for him. He stormed out of the room toward the reception believing that he had been left with already used water to bath with. But that was discovered to be the lot of the average resident of Mabudi and the various communities that combine to make up the LGA even as the Local administration is on record to have done its utmost best to sink boreholes in as many places as its lean resources could afford them.
Our Team was taken to a number of land degradation problems spots across the council area with various forms of problems for profiling.
Angwuan Mission area of Mabudi. This is a flood-zone which occurs each time there is a heavy down-pour of rains. Evidences of destroyed homes were seen and the premises of COCIN church in the down has been at the receiving end of the menace. More than fifty residential homes are presently threatened by the problem. Economic losses that have been suffered by residents of the area is estimated to be worth tens of millions of naira every year. Soil samples obtained from the flood zone showed extreme loss of essential qualities for building and nutrient content for profitable farmwork.

Sabon Gida Community. This part of Langtang South LGA also witnesses annual flooding. Up to 50 hectares of farmlands are affected and the farmers are said so suffer untold annual losses in forms of perished farm-produce and destroyed structures. Annual economic losses suffered by residents of the area is put at tens of millions of naira and the road that links Sabon Gida to Lokang is always in unusable shape during the rains. Soil samples obtained from the area showed high loss of nutrient content when compared to ones obtained from less degraded parts of the LGA. The village Head of Sabon Gida, Mr. Jonah Daman explained to our team that the flooding problem of his people needs the urgent attention of all levels of government and nongovernmental organizations in view of the enormous cost of its solution and depleting financial resources available to the state and Local Governments across the nation.
Timshat Community in Nasarawa Ward is yet another terrible flood zone which cripples the economic activities of residents of the area by millions of Niara every year. A total population of up to 2000 people whose homes and farmland are in the flooded area count their losses each rainy season. A total of up to 40 hectares of farmland is affected by this menace. The area showed almost the level of soil-content degradation as found in the other areas visited.
Timbol Community in Timbol Ward suffers from an emergency-graded gully erosion menace. Road-relant communication between residents of the area is a herculean task in every part of the year because of the devastation the roads linking the community with their immediate neighboring villages has suffered from rampaging gully erosion. A major economic infrastructural development effort by the state and Local Government in the form of a box culvert has been destroyed by the fast-expanding gully erosion long before out team visited the area. The most devastating and fast-expanding part of the gullies measured 350 meters wide,17.5 meters deep and 500 meters long. Up to 9,000 people living in the area are affected. Soil samples obtained from the area showed more than 70% nutrient content loss, compared to ones from less-prone parts of the area.
The road that links T[mbo toTimman in Gamanka Ward is another gully erosion-ravaged road. The three kilometer road which is used by over 600 residents to transport their hard-earned farm products needs very urgent rehabilitation. The gullies measured 4 meters deep, 11 meters wide and 120 meters long.
The extent of land degradation that has set the rural economy of Langtang South Local Area back by about 60% compared to their compatriots in other parts of the country prevails in its most ugly shape in Walnim Community of Dadinkowa Ward. The Emergency graded flood zone affects up to 30 hectares of farmland belonging to over 400 farmers and their families. Soil samples obtained from the area showed up to 65% loss of essential nutrient contents required for either profitable farming. The very important road that links Plateau state with its neighboring Taraba State is completely damaged damaged by flood waters and gullies.
When the totality of the various land degradation challenges of langtang South Local Government Area were put before analysts for their informed opinion on their effects on the quality of lives of the people, their researched fact-based conclusion is that the Council Area loses as much as N350,000,000.00 (Three hundred and fifty million naira) per annum to unrealizable degradation-induced economic loses in the forms of wasted agricultural investments and government collectable tax losses.
Researched and written by Matthew Abah-Enyi, with valuable inputs and contributions from Mr.John Jwet (Works Dept,) Mr Markap Miri under the able leadership of the Hon Simon V. Domle, Secretary to the Council.

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