Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Deputy Vice Chancellor University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Charles Igwe, has said that gully erosion is causing environmental problems in many communities in the south east.
Igwe said this, on Thursday, when he delivered the 135th inaugural lecture of the university titled “Unfolding Soil Erosion in Southeastern Nigeria: From Model to Aggregation and Colloidal Materials,” at Princess Alexandria Auditorium.
He said this gully erosion in some parts of south east have reached catastrophic stage that some members of communities have been forced to relocate from their original home due to devastating effect of the erosion.
“Many communities in the south east are affected in one way or the other.
“in some places the erosion has reached catastrophic stage that farmlands have been eroded, connecting roads cut off and many people relocated from their home as houses submerged,”he said.
The professor of Soil Conservation/Clay Mineralogy said three main factors were responsible for soil erosion namely, the soil content, rainfall and human influence, noting that while rainfall and soil content cannot be manipulated human influence can be manipulated.
“Rainfall and soil factors are serious factors because while human factors like land use and vegetation covers can be manipulated to reduce erosion hazard soil content and rainfall cannot be manipulated.
“”The soil type and the contents which are organic and inorganic colloids determine to a large extent the ease of soil to erode in any place ” he said.
The University don warned those living in affected areas to avoid any human activities like soil excavation and building on erosion water ways that were capable of worsening the environmental condition as well as exposing more people to danger.
“Most soils in places where gully erosion is causing havoc is very fragile and we should avoid any human activity that will worsen the situation..
“Policy makers and administrators should exercise restraint in opening and deforestation of lands under conservation as most times it has resulted in serious erosion,” he said
Igwe expressed appreciation to the Vice chacellor of the institution, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, for finding time in spite of his tight schedules to attend his inaugural lecture.
“Ozumba and his family have been a good motivator to my academic, administrative as well as social life,” he said.
In a remark, the Vice Chancellor said the day was a special day for him as his Deputy Vice Chancellor administration delivered 135th inaugural lecture of the university.
“Today is a special day for me as one of the principal officers of the university excellently delivered the university highly rated inaugural lecture.
” I came back from Abuja on Wednesday to ensure I witnessed the lecture today,” he said.
The VC commended Prof Ken Ofokansi, the University senate ceremonial committee chairman who had been doing a marvelous job in the organising of the inaugural lecture.
Also in a remark Ofokanisi said he was not surprised on the turn out of people because Igwe is an erudite professor as well as the deputy vice chancellor administration of the university.
“his lecture is superb and rich in knowledge, I commend the DVC for a job well done as well as keeping to time while delivering the lecture, ” he said