Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 1431–1450 | Cite as

Causes and consequences of gully erosion: perspectives of the local people in Dangara area, Nigeria

  • S. A. MashiEmail author
  • A. Yaro
  • E. D. Jenkwe


This study examines the causes and consequences of gully erosion, as perceived by the local people of Dangara area, Nigeria. The study particularly seeks to explore the local people’s perceptions of gully erosion and how it affects crop, settlement development, crop yields, land ownership and values, rural economics and private conservation investments in Dangara area of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. It is based on analysis of data collected using questionnaires administered to 346 respondents in the area. The responses received for the various aspects considered in evaluating the respondents’ perspectives of the processes, causative factors, consequences and control measures of gully erosion in the study area were subjective to Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) to detect and explore relationships between knowledge of causes of gully erosion and use of conservation measures. The results obtained indicated that the major factors causing erosion that the respondents identified in order of preference were climate, land cover, hydrology, land use and topography. For the processes, the main ones identified were slope wash and valley slope retreat, while all the other (including potholing, solution, hydraulic action, corrosion and attrition) ones were ranked with zero (0) scores indicating that the respondents were not aware of them. In the case of consequences of gully erosion, the MCA analysis indicated that livelihood, infrastructure, economy and social life were the main ones. For measures of controlling gully erosion, the analysis revealed that engineering, mechanical, land use control and agronomic measures were the ones being applied. The results obtained thus indicated that (1) the farmers were familiar with gully erosion but less aware of splash, stream bank, sheet and rill erosion; (2) the farmers did not fully understand the processes involved in gully erosion; (3) the respondents’ personal traits significantly influenced the level of their perception of the problem in the area; (4) only the uneducated among the respondents claimed to largely be unaware of gully problem in the area; (5) most of the respondents were aware of gully erosion-control measures such as sand filling, terracing, afforestation, planting of cover crops, grazing control and road construction control but could not adopt to them; and (6) the main control measures being adopted by the people include avoiding cultivating steep slopes, contour ploughing across slope, stopping land scarification, crop rotation, bush burning control, fallowing and strip cropping. These findings suggest that promoting gully erosion control in the area requires that adequate attention be given towards educating the people on the processes of gully development and the values of adopting new control measures as well as those they were aware of but have not been adopting. Since the farmers were not adopting some of the measures they are aware of largely due to lack of technical and financial base, there is the need for the development and adoption of strategies that could improve their technical and financial capabilities to enhance their capability for adopting them. In order to enhance capacity of the people of the studied community, there is the need to develop and adopt strategies that could improve technical and financial bases of the people in the area. It was further recommended that any policy aimed at comprehensively addressing gully erosion in the area must address the differences in people’s perception of the problem at the outset.


Soil erosion Gully control Perception Nigeria Dangara People 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental ManagementUniversity of AbujaAbujaNigeria
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUmaru Musa Yar’adua UniversityKatsinaNigeria

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