PHYSICAL SETTING

Posted by on 1/30/2003 7:55:05 AM
Post Comment PHYSICAL SETTING Nigeria

Geology: In general, Ekiti State is underlain by metamorphic rocks of the PreCambrian basement complex, the great majority of which are very ancient in age.

Adekunle Fajuyi Memorial park, Ado-Ekiti
Adekunle Fajuyi Memorial park, Ado-Ekiti

These basement complex rocks show great variations in grain size and in mineral composition. The rocks are quartz gneisses and schists consisting essentially of quartz with small amounts of white micaceous minerals.

In grain size and structure, the rocks vary from very coarse grained pegmatite to mediumgrained gneisses. The rocks are strongly foliated and they occur as outcrops especially in EfonAlaaye and Ikere Ekiti areas (Smyth and Montgomery, 1962).

Relief and Drainage: Ekiti State has no coastal boundary, hence it has no coastal relief. Indeed, the term, Ekiti, denotes an interior or hinterland area as opposed to a maritime area (Oguntuyi, 1979). It also means mound. This name invariably implies that Ekiti State is mainly an upland area.

In the main, the relief is rugged with undulating areas and granitic outcrops in several places. The notable ones among the hills are IkereEkiti Hills in the southern part of the state; EfonAlaaye Hills to the western boundary of the state and the AdoEkiti Hills in the central part of the state.

Most of these hills are well over 250m above sea level. The drainage system over the areas of base ment complex rocks is usually marked with the proliferation of many small river channels. The chan nels of these smaller streams are dry for many months, especially from November to May.

In Ekiti State, there is no major river. However, the state serves as the watershed and source region for three major rivers that flow into the Atlantic ocean. These are the Rivers Osun, Owena and Ogbese. Other rivers are Ero, Ose and Oni. Another impor tant aspect of the relief of Ekiti state is the preva lence of erosion gullies along hill slopes and valleys.

The gullies are very common in Efon Alaaye and in the northern part of the state. Indeed, in EfonAlaaye, the gullies could be devastating

New Model Market , Ado Ekiti
New Model Market , Ado Ekiti

Climate: The climate is of the Lowland Tropical Rain Forest type with distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry season comes up between November and April while the wet season prevails between May and October.

In the south, the mean monthly tem perature is about 28°C with a mean monthly range of 3°C while the mean relative humidity is over sev entyfive per cent. However, in the northern part of the state, the mean monthly temperature may be over 30°C while the mean monthly range may be as high as 8°C.

The mean monthly relative humidity here is about 65 per cent. The mean annual total rainfall in the south is about 1800mm while that of the northern part is hardly over 1600mm.

Vegetation: As indicated under climate, the expected climax vegetation is the evergreen high forest composed of many varieties of hardwood tim ber, such as a procera Terminalia superba, Lophir, Khivorensis, Melicia excelsa and Antiaris africana. This natural vegetation is hardly present now but relics are observable, especially in the southern half of the state where some forest reserves are estab lished by the government.

It can therefore be stat ed that the state is covered by secondary forest. To the northern part, there is the forestsavanna mosa This is a woody savanna featuring such tree species as Blighia sapida, Parkia biglobosa, Adansonia digitata and Butyrospermum paradoxover most of the state, the natural vegetation has been very much degraded as a result of human activities, the chief of which is bush fallow farming system.

Others are fuel wood production and road construction. An important aspect of the vegetation of the state is the prevalence of tree crops. The major tree crops include: cocoa, kola, coffee, oil palms and citrus. In the southern part, cocoa is the most prevalent while in the northern part, fruit trees such as mango and cashew are very common. Cocoa and oil palms are cultivated in large planta tions, especially by the government.

As a result of the degradation of the natural for e est, exotic trees have been introduced as forest plantations. The exotics introduced include Tectona grandis (teak) and Gmelina arborea. Teminalia superba, a native species is also cultivated. All these cultivated trees now replace the natural veg y etation of the forest reserves, as in Ikere and ljero ti forest reserves.

Soils: The soils derived from the basement complex rocks are mostly welldrained, having a mediumtofine texture. The soils of Ekiti state fall into two main association classifications according to Syrnth and Montgomery. These are Egbeda I Association and lwo Association.

Under the e FAO/UNESCO classification, they are Orthic and n Plinthic Luvisols, respectively. The former is of high agricultural value for tree crops especially cocoa. The latter is found to the north of the state classified al as Ekiti series. The

Source of Ikogosi Springs
Source of Ikogosi Springs

soils here are skeletal in nature and of comparatively recent origin. Both soil types d are of high value for arable crops.

Ecological Problems: The main ecological problem of Ekiti State is the accelerated soil erosion, which is very devastating in Eton—Alaaye. As a result of the nature of the land surface of the state e and the continuous opening of the land for agricul lS tural and constructional purposes, accelerated soilty erosion becomes pertinent especially when no con al certed effort, is being made to control it. For instance, it took the former Ondo state government's intervention in 1988 to avert a total division of EfonAlaaye town into two separate entities by gully erosion.

It is, however, gratifying to note that ih this ecological problem is receiving the attention of the government and the people as observed in a visit to EfonAlaaye in October 1999.




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