Gully spread is a menace or phenomena that causes degradation, depletion of some minerals and natural resource on the earth surface. Farmland, forest, household, properties and entire ecosystem is affected by the menace of spread. As it getting advanced, when proper measures for check and monitoring are lacking, prevention is difficult where depth of above 6 feet is created.

Globally, international cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries and domestic policies to protect environment, biodiversity, landform, ecosystem, ecology in the process of development. Thus, agricultural development, road construction and other engineering works could cause negative implications on life, economic, socio-political as gully spread initiated in the area.

Gully spread has been included in United Nations Department for Policy co-ordination and sustainable Development (Division for sustainable development) (UNDPCSD 2009).

The detection of geologically recent channels and gullies on mars has been interpreted as evidence for recent water activity on this arid and cold planet. The presence of active water would have considerable implications for the history of mars and for the potential for an active near-surface biota; however, water is not the only substance that can flow and may actually be one of the least likely factors when the modern permafrost environment is considered. Here, a key site of recent gully and channel development on Mars is reported at 710S in SIsyphi Cavi, within the annual zone of polar CO2 ice and snow accumulation. Super – position of channel features over and/or through the deforesting Co2 snow pact shows that the channels are active at the present day and probably have fluid flows every spring during the annual defrosting (Nick Hoffman, 2006).

However, the ambient temperature at the time of gully activity appears to assume a role for Co2 in the formation of the channels, rather than water only, meaning water alone is not element of causing channels.

The roots of trees make gaps in the soil so that when it rains, the water has space to move around in the soil before being absorbed. When trees are removed and the heavy machinery used in removing vegetation, Gully sets in.

In response to Global problem like Gully spread, United Nations Department for policy coordination and sustainable development has the following in its agenda:

  • International cooperation to accelerate development in developing countries and related domestic policies
  • Combating poverty
  • Changing consumption pattern
  • Demographic dynamics and sustainability
  • Protecting and promoting human health
  • Promoting sustainable human settlement development
  • Integrating environment and development in decision-making
  • Protection of the atmosphere
  • Integrated approach to the planning and management of land resource
  • Combating deforestation
  • Managing fragile ecosystem: combating desertification and drought.
  • Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development
  • Promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development
  • Conservation of biological diversity
  • Environmentally sound protection, rational use and development of their living resources.
  • Protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources: application of integrated approaches to the development, management and use of water resources
  • Environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, including prevention of illegal international traffic in hazardous waste
  • Environmentally sound management of solid wastes and sewage related issues
  • Safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive waste
  • Financial resources and mechanisms
  • Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity building.
  • Science for sustainable development
  • Promoting education/ public awareness and training.
  • National mechanisms and international cooperation for capacity-building in developing countries
  • International institutional arrangement
  • International legal instrument and management
  • Information for decision-making.

Some Sections of the List above of United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development is relevant to this context of gully implications

In Nigeria, gully spread has suddenly become major phenomena that attract much attention of Government. In an effort to curtail the problem of erosion, the Nigerian Government has made progress in setting up the necessary institutional framework geared towards sustainable development. For instance in 1992, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) was given a broader mandate over natural resources conversation and its functions were enhanced by it supra ministerial status within the presidency. Land degradation as a result of gully spread remains the greatest problems in Nigeria. In addition, we still witness high levels of water pollution while efforts to reduce the rate of natural resources depletion, distortion, destruction of ecosystem and desertification are yet to yield significant results.

The menace of gully spread in the South-East has become a scourge that threatens (Ofomata, 1990). Various communities in the five eastern states notably Anambra and Abia, as well as in Bayelsa had sleepless nights. Some of the identified prone areas include Nanka, Ekwuluobia, Agulu, Udongwu and Igboukwu in Anambra State: Isukwuato, Ahaba Ime-enyi in Abia and Saybuma, Agbene, Sajuna etc in Bayelsa States. Anambra State is estimated to the worst hit in terms of the number of gully spread sites and the potential to cause financial and human casualty. In order to minimize deterioration of environment and socio-economic consequences, it is imperative that land not suitable should be exempted from redistribution carried out peasant farmers, perception of soil erosion in south Africa to date found that only gully is perceived as a problem to economies development(Watson 1996).

Federal, State and Local Governments often make an attempt to intervene in dramatics cases, such as when a road is cut. The town of Ekwulobia, in Anambra State, is a testament to the regions environmental problems. Some years ago crack in the soil from erosion on the outskirts of the affect are a seemed harmless.

A number of gullies in southeastern Nigeria are caused by the overflow of concrete rainwater gutters at the side of highways, leading to Gully – particularly at the point where the gutter and the road meet that destabilizes hillsides and undermines roadbeds, (Simpson, 2009).


The serious ecological and socio-economic implications of gully desertification and drought in Nigeria have informed the government to take certain steps in mitigating the problems associated with Gully, desertification and drought (Olaitan and Lombi, 1984). The hectares of shelter belts and woodlot are being increased in the marginal semi-arid lands of the country while emergency relief assistance are to be provided to ameliorate the effects of ecological problem arising from gully. The proper planning and monitoring before the establishment of nationwide drainage basin irrigation projects extensively demonstrate the Government’s commitments to promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development (Udosen, 1991).

Internationally, collaborative efforts are made with the West Africa sub-region under the Gulf of Guinea large Marine Ecosystem (GOGLME) project aimed at monitoring coastal water in terms of pollution, Gully and biological diversity conservation. Also, some of these include the preparation of a National Water Resource (stream and river) master plan (1995-2020) should be implemented, water resources assessment, promulgation of enabling decree, rehabilitation of dams and soil erosion sites, to ensure Gully from pollute stream and River which is source of drinking water in rural settlement protected.

Gully spread has posed serious threat to environment, human and biodiversity as natural vegetation lost cover and deteriorated. Etinan is a densely forested area with a kind of a rolling, hilly terrain along Southern Iman zone. But this has green land could soon become an arid bad land that is unsuitable for cultivation, dangerous for human habitation (environmental determined), and will on the process become a parcel of useless land warmness (Frank Simpson).

On empirical research, some places like Ikot Mfon around Ndiya (Nsit Ibom) axis, Mbioto II Ikot Nte Road, Oniong Iman Ndong Utim Road, and Afaha Urua Essien except that of Ekpene Ukpa has been given attention by NNDC. Others yet to receive attention make communication and transportation difficult. Since Akwa Ibom State is coastal plain soil formation, Gully spread is prone to section of base complex rock type of southern Nigeria.

Gully spread is in gradual process deeping, eroding of section of soil with laterite formation depend upon rainfall intensity where runoff as  a leading factor create or initiates development of channels therefore distort earth surface (vegetation).

Gully spread has devastating effect on environment as some species of plant is endangered; animals (organism) lost through ecological integration or alteration. The whole vegetation cover seen as supporting life, protecting soil from direct splash of precipitation lost, percolation of water to the soil is intensified through runoff.

Gullies are relatively steep sided water courses which experience ephemeral flows during heavy down-pour or extended rainfall. Soil eroded from the gullied area can cause siltation (sand, mud etc carried by moving water) of fencelines, water ways, road culverts, dams and reservoirs. Suspended sediments which may have attached nutrients and pesticides can adversely affect water quality.

These fine colloidal clay particles remain in suspension and may clog ground water aquifers, pollute water course (Rivers and Streams) and aquatic life affected. Controlling gully spread can be difficult and costly since it involve money and time. It may be justified on better quality soils where there is a reasonable chance of success or where a road or building, farmland is threatened by an advancing gully.

However controlling gullies over large areas of poor soil may be impracticable. For this reason, preventive measure is far better than control. According to monrouse and small (1976) it is the removal of soil by the forces of nature more rapidly than the various farming processes can replace it, particularly as a result of man’s ill-judged activities.

Thus, Etinan Local Government Area is characterized by subsistence farming method as a source of livelihood where menace of Gully spread jeopardizing the sustainable development. A phenomenon called Gully erosion, sometime as a product of human activities such as deforestation, unsustainable farming practices, path and road construction and poorly constructed drainage systems (engineering works).

Indeed, Gully spread takes place when wear and tear on the surface land causes rainwater to accumulate in one area, causing loss of vegetation cover, localized erosion, and the formation of Gullies. It only a matter of month’s particularly rainy season and years, where there was previously no gully, there might now be a gully of metres or metres deep and long. Across large areas of Etinan rainforest belt, hundreds of farmland is threatened by Gully spread because of decades of uncontrolled deforestation and other types of pressure on the land.

In fact more villages are still suffering from Gully related problems in Etinan despite Government existence. In the 1980’s the Federal Government set up an ecology fund to help check desert encroachment in the North and soil and coastal erosion in the South where Etinan is located in the South should be a full beneficial but the review of ecology law have not be given attention. Only on recently that Ekput Akwa Etinan Road was constructed by NNDC to check Gully in Ekpene Ukpa axis.

Ebisemiju (1954) defines gully as a channel that is incised by fluvial activities into unconsolidated earth materials.

Poor engineering work such as road construction, building of bridges, broken water pipeline, poor drainage system, excavation, construction companies, continuous farming practice without application of crop rotation method. Gully spread is caused ultimately when run-off concentrates and flows at a velocity sufficient to detach and transport soil particles. A waterfall may form, with run-off picking up energy at it plunges over the Gully head. Splash back at the base of the Gully head erode the subsoil and the Gully eats its way up the slope. Gully may develop in water courses or other places where run-off concentrates. In cultivation or pasture, advanced rill erosion can develop into Gully erosion if no protective measures are taken.

Cattle pads can be a starting point for a small rill that can develop into a large Gully. A watercourse is ordinarily in state of balance where its size, shape and gradient are suitable for the flow it carries. If the balance is disturbed, for example by larger than normal flows, Gully formulation may begin.

Gully development may be triggered by:

  • Cultivation or grazing on soil susceptible to Gully spread.
  • Increase runoff from land use changes such as tree clearing in a catchments or construction of new residential areas (urbanization).
  • Poor vegetative cover e.g. from overgrazing, fires or salinity problems.
  • Low flows or high flows over a long period, it may develop Gully.
  • Diversion of a drainage line to an area of high risk to erosion e.g. a step creek bank or highly erodible soils such as Ekpene Ukpa, Oniong Iman, Ikot Nte.
  • Improper design, construction or maintenance of waterways in cropping areas.
  • Down cutting in a creek causes spread of Gully to advance up the drainage lines flowing into it.

Vegetation has no substitute wipe away by erosion relate agent. Gully spread may causes economic, political and cultural boundaries to dissolve and new surface emerge as the result of erosion. Vegetation is vital for soil protection. Plant break the force of raindrops hitting the ground and slow the speed of surface runoff plant root hold the fact sheet. Where possible increase ground cover where the ruin is most likely to full above the gully to reduce runoff. If vegetation above the gully is sparse look at removing stock from the area and fencing it off so that plants can regenerate. Keeping stock out of gullies will encourage faster stabilization and natural regeneration. Plant deep-rooted perennial grasses in and on the side of gullies and ephemeral water ways that have the potential to become gullies, sometime entire forest swept off by fire outbreak. Plant trees further way from the gully to take up groundwater. All gully erosion indicates that the soil is beyond its capacity to cope with the land use.

In case of conservation review of land management should be adopted. Before any engineering works commence, the services of experts should be sought for technical advice related to earthwork as some activities may worsen the erosion process. Generally, advice, talk to Local communities on erosion development and prevention.

According to Inyang et al (1999) , land availability in Akwa Ibom State has reduced the total crop productivity particularity in area of Ikpa River and Upper Qua Iboe River Basin which an dotted with high incidence or reports of gully with its resultant effect. High population explosion has forced people to migrate and settled in available land or space for cultivation with step slopes inclusive, watershed, stream and river banks and even buffer of 1 – 5 meter temper upon for subsistence Agriculture (Akpan, 2000). Other population related problems cited by Abraham (1998) include ever decreasing fallow periods, diminution of farm plot size and increase in incidence of land fragmentation, land disputes. Decreased fallow periods are evidenced in the study area by immature vegetation cover on most fallow lands. Against the background of contemporary land-use situation in the study area. Ogban et al (1999) commented that, the increasing incidence of erosion and land degradation informs the need for land management and a means of developing effective land resource use standards where sheet, rill and gully erosion will be adequately controlled. The dream for agricultural expansion, productivity and development could hardly actualize for now as the available space for agriculture are devastated by Gully spread.

According to Ebisemiju (1979) cited by Udosen (1998) gully erosion results in the development of poor land topography in area that was formerly under cultivation. The effects of gully spread on agricultural productivity, health, and general economic activities and potential cannot be overemphasis. The limited land now left for agricultural production could not support the presence population as Gully impedes the attendance of food surplus (Inyang, 2004). The most urgent problem confronting many agro-ecological communities is how protect environment, resource from depletion, degradation.

The gully that been taking place in Ikot Nte for few past years horrible and terrible to the inhabitants of the area. The gully spread led to loss of valuable, virgin land that would have serves as a recreation center (animal and vegetation conservative unit), agriculture and planning purposes.

The recent phenomenon of the earth surface is Gully spreads which facilitate or accelerate degradation or denudation. The rate of Gully formation may be enormously speed up through man activities and mature which should be prevented, rare natural events to result in a state of accelerate erosion, removing the soil much faster than expected (Strahler and Strahler, (1973). Economics activities on the landscape have contributed to the worsening condition of the accelerated erosion. This has occurred in the area because of the cultivation of marginal land like very steep slopes.

The alarming threat of Gully in Ikot Nte has deteriorate environment is viewed by the indigenes; appealing to the authorities or commission concern to tackle, combat the problem of gully. Despite the realization and awareness of severity pose by gully; constraints which the phenomenon place on the socio-economic and political development of the study area little attention has been paid to ease the problem.

As pointed out by Ofomata (1981), effective control gully mechanism should be regarded as pertinent to the planning strategy of the study area.

The culprit is a phenomenon called “gully erosion”, mainly a product of human activities such as deforestation, unsustainable farming practices, path and road construction and poorly constructed drainage systems. Indeed, gully erosion takes place when wear and tear on the surface land causes rainwater to accumulate in one area, causing loss of vegetation cover, localized erosion, and the formation of gullies.


Gully implications have posed untold hardship to rural communities and potential development especially agricultural production. Gully reduces soil fertility resulting in low agriculture output. it has been observed that attitude of rural communities toward ecological conservation is very poor relate  to modern science and technology where they have seen  as exorbitant to acquire. Implications of gully if attention is not given will cause economic waste and loss of vital resources.


Erosion: This is process whereby rainfall create, channel through runoff, washing top and sub, soil nutrient away.

(Cilson 1980) relate soil erosion to the different processes of denudation-wind, glacier, river and mass wasting. Soil erosion to some extent is regarded as a process whereby the surface layer of weather rock is loosened and carried always by wind or running water and a lower horizon of the soil is exposed (Ofomata, 1981).

Gully Erosion: This is a well defined water worn channel on a hillside or it’s the formation of gullies v-shaped channels in weak materials by the turbulent action of ruin (runoff).

Raindrop Erosion: This is the displacement of soil particles by the impact of heavy raindrops particularly under intensive conventional rainfall and bore earth conditions.

Deformation:  These are process of cutting down trees and clearing of vegetation, whereby expose soil to erosion. Man for purpose of development of land often causes it. Exploration and exploitation of material resources has been seen as a leading factor such as cold mining, petroleum and even the wood etc.

Afforestation: It is the planting of trees (the cultivation and development of vegetation) to check adverse effect of erosion.

Rainfall Intensity: This is the amount of rainfall divided by the decoration of rain.

Landuse: The method in which land is put into use. For instance, industrial land uses Agriculture land use and economic land use etc.



          The aim of this research work is to evaluation and analyse the relationship between gully spread on economic potentials, agricultural activities with sole objective of assessing the implication on productivity in the study area.

The aim will be achieved or accomplished through the following.

  • The description and quantification of some factors that contributed to Gully development and spread in Etinan L. G. A.
  • Analyses of the interrelationship between Gully spread and agricultural production in the study area.

The scopes of the study areas cover Ikot Nte and Oniong Imanthat been identified on the Map where gully spread has been distorted for a long time and there was  no immediate attention to the problem.

Limitations of study areas were impeded by:

  • inadequate of finance for effective procurement of logistic equipments
  • accessibility to good road network have been seen as a major problem that does not permit speedy cover of distance
  • Accessibility of information: the reliable source of information was identified as a limitation of the study area, needed to aid this research work. these were important factors militating against or stagnated research

These areas are Ikot Nte, interior part of Onion – Ndon Utim Road, Ikot Nsung and other villages. This research will assess the effect of Gully spread on the economic and agricultural activities environmental and aquatic habitat.


  • This research work was carried out to evaluate and analyze the relationship between gully spread implications and economies development.
  • To make suggestion for ways of protecting environment.
  • To find out factors militating against transport network in study areas which is necessity of economic development.
  • It will help local communities to utilize traditional scientific method of erosion control
  • This will serve as reference to planning on impact assessment; also will serve a need of environmental management.


Etinan has co-ordinates between latitude 7045’ N and 8000’N and between longitude 5000’ w and 4045’ S of equator.

In distance location, Etinan is located 26 kilometers South of Uyo and 24 kilometer North of Onna Local Government Area.

Etinan shares common boundaries with Uyo in the North, Nsit Ibom in the North East, Nsit Ubium in South-East and Mkpat, Enin in South-West and Onna in South-South of atlantic.

Ndon Utim, Ikot Nte, Ikot Nsung have the tributaries of Qua Iboe River in Ekpene Ukpa river which is the major drainage system of the area.

Stream Erosion  

The streams are very clear and sparkling which villagers treasured and attributed it to nature as blessing. The eroded materials because of the terrain run through covered by tropical forest. Also, Ikot Nsung, Ikot Nte stream, rosses the road that lead to Mbioto II, Onna and Eket tributaries of Que Iboe River. The major periodic markets are Obo market in Ndon Utim and Ndimmi Ikpe market in Ikot Inyang.

At the Bank of Ekpene Ukpa River, one could seen 20 years relice of the trade in palm oil product, raffia palm, rubber in form of decay warehouse, now sharp sand for domestic consumption replace palm oil exportation. Some areas are hilly and slope.

Etinan had in 1991 population figure of 90, 085, density of 408 and 221,000 Area km2.


The study area is located with the humid tropical zone with mean annual rainfall of 2400mm and 3600mm and temperature of about 26.60C. It is marked by seasonal climate, thus brought 2 season of dry and wet season. Seasonal variation in rainfall is mainly attributed to the two major air masses, which influence the climate of the place. These are moisture laden tropical maritime (MT) air masses from Atlantic ocean and the dry, dust laden tropical continental (CT) air mass from North Sahara desert accompanied by harmattan in December – February, but there is variation as a result global warming recently.

Temperature is high all year round with a monthly mean of about 300C and slight variation around a monthly mean of 270C. soil in Etinan is derived from various complexes of sandstone and shale, is rich in ferro-iron but has a relatively low mineral reserve (Okoji 1991). The clay fraction consists of reavlinite and iron oxides. Generally, the soil type has deep profile with little gravel in the depth of 30mm (sub-soil).


The following hypotheses are formulated to achieve the relationship existing between the variables of the research.

Null Hypothesis (HO): There is no significant relationship between Gully implications and economies development those relatively unaffected by Gully in Etinan Local Government Area.

Substantive or Alternative Hypothesis         

HI there is a significant relationship between gully implication and economies development in Etinan Local. Government. Area.


This consist of introduction and definition of gully spread where other critical look is at various areas of erosion and factors contributing to Gully development, problems associated with erosion. Statement of problem shows area that experienced erosion problem, there; few quotations came from Robinson and stabilizer, also definition of terms.

Aim and objective state to show reasons and relationship of different factor that brought Gully spread on economic potentiality of study area.


Scope and limitation of study area: It analyzed area affected by erosion menaces. Significance of the study area shows why area affected is emphasized; attract attention and suggestion made for remedy.

Download complete project material