By Felicia Imohimi
Soil experts have urged the Federal Government to prioritise national soil policy to curb spate of soil erosion in the country.
The experts made the call on Friday in Abuja at the “Experts dialogue” organised by the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN).
The dialogue was part of activities to commemorate the World Soil Day (WFD).
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the WSD is commemorated annually on Dec. 5 and the theme for 2019 is “Stop soil erosion, save our future”.
Dr Effiom Oku, Lecturer, Department of Soil Science, UniAbuja, said while presenting a paper that unless there was a policy, addressing the issue of soil erosion would be in futility.
The paper was tagged: “Water erosion vulnerability map of Nigeria: Future outlook, present, past and policy recommendations’’.
The paper was jointly prepared by Prof. Victor Chude, the Registrar, NISS, Oku and Sunday Ishaya, of Department of Soil Science, UniAbuja, as well as Adamu James from the Nigeria Meteorological Agency.
Oku emphasised that there was need for urgent soil policy to articulate what needed to be done and what needed not be done with regard to curbing soil erosion.
According to him, the policy will empower the scientist to swing into action as well as law enforcement agencies to arrest and ensure penalties for people carrying out activities that can trigger the burden of erosion in the country.
He emphasised that there was urgent need to stop soil erosion being the greatest environmental challenge facing mankind and undermining development.
“There is urgent need to stop soil erosion because soil is directly linked to SDGs two, three, 13, 15 and a midwife to deliver many SDGs.
“It can take up to 100 years to produce two to three centimeters of soil and less than one minute for several centimeters of soil to be lost through erosion according to FAO.
“Soil erosion is the greatest threat to food security in Nigeria,” he noted.
He explained that erosion vulnerability and rainfall aggressiveness map provides a veritable policy tool as a guide for legislation and planning for disaster protection and reduction.
Oku noted that the objective of the presentation was to quantify the risks and show precisely water erosion hotspots in Nigeria and, as well, provide tool for decision makers to plan for prevention, mitigation and operations.
On the present water erosion in the country he noted that lowest erosivity was observed in Nguru in Yobe, Katsina town and Gusau in Zamfara State.
The further identified Calabar, Eket in Akwa Ibom as having the highest erosivity.
“Of the 36 States and FCT, low erosivity observed is in 17 per cent of the states, moderate in 43 per cent, moderately strong in 13 per cent and very strong in nine per cent,” he noted. (NAN)