Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 313

Full Length Research Paper

Resolving the gully erosion problem in Southeastern Nigeria: Innovation through public awareness and community-based approaches

Obidimma C. Ezezika1,2* and  Olorunfemi Adetona1,3
1Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511 USA. 2McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health 101 College Street, Suite 406, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1L7. 3Department of Environmental Health Science, College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 September 2011
  •  Published: 25 October 2011


The formation of gullies is one of the greatest environmental disasters in Southeastern Nigeria. Large areas of agricultural lands are lost or have become unsuitable for cultivation due to gully erosion. There have been numerous attempts to curb gully erosion in the region; especially through large-scale engineering projects, however, little has been discussed about ways to prevent their onset or the use of community-based low-technology approaches to mitigate their development. We reviewed pertinent literature, interviewed key stakeholders, observed gully erosion sites and had informal discussions with key experts in the field on the causes of gully erosion and community-based approaches in tackling the problem. Based on these discussions, interviews and observations, we showed that many eroding gullies in the region are human-induced and therefore can be prevented. The results also reveal that many of the causes of gully erosion can be traced to poor land management practices and to a lack of innovation and awareness measures. We conclude that community-based, low-technology land management practices and public awareness programs through workshops could halt the development of many gullies in the Southeastern region of Nigeria.


Key words: Erosion, gully, environmental management, soil, Southeastern Nigeria, workshop, public awareness.