Changing Climate and the Effect of Gully Erosion on Akpo Community Farmers in Anambra State, Nigeria

Angela Akanwa
2018 Journal of Ecology & Natural Resources  
Climate variability has increased rainfall intensity resulting in floods and storms which have aggravated environmental and land degradation problems globally. Land degradation problems such as gully erosion happen to be a big threat to agricultural development and rural livelihood in developing countries. Gully erosion affects lands, soils, and vegetation, water and landscape resources in areas where it is prevalent. This study therefore, investigated changing climate and the effect of gully
more » ... osion on Akpo community farmers in Anambra State, Nigeria. The field survey and Remote Sensing and GIS techniques were employed in this study. The survey approach involved questionnaire distribution, observation, interviews and photography. 95 questionnaires were randomly sampled to Akpo farmers. Remote Sensing/ GIS techniques were used for detecting and mapping gully erosion prone areas. The gully characterization was carried out using Digital Elevation Model (DEM) as a prerequisite for assessing the relationship between field topography and gully occurrence. The geometry of the eroded channels especially their width (W) and depth (D) was characterized through its cross section width and maximum depth.The hypotheses were was tested using chi-square (x 2 ). The results showed that a large proportion of (94%) farmers were below tertiary education and the land could be their only means of livelihood. Also, majority of the farmers (63.2%) agreed that rainfall has exacerbated gully activities and is majorly responsible for the large degradation of farm lands. Also, 40% indicated that gully erosion has affected their crop production levels. Findings also indicated that gully erosion in Akpo community is dendritic and has a network of branches. Gully erosion characterization indicated a V-shape representing that the surface soils are more erodible than the subsurface soils due to surface run-off producing concentrated overland flows that cut channels. Further, the gully length (563m), maximum elevation (226m), and elevation gain (0.9m) and maximum slope (2.2%) which happens to be responsible for the large distribution of the gullies on the spots along farmlands aiding the generation of sufficient volume of run-off. Farmers revealed that gully erosion has the most significant effect on farmlands, poor growth/harvest of crops (especially
doi:10.23880/jenr-16000147 fatcat:3wwgjkn7qjgvrhkcfzw6l73miu