Ethiopia Soil Degradation and Overpopulation

Topics: Population ecology, Population, Overpopulation Pages: 8 (2146 words) Published: February 1, 2008
Introduction Two Environmental Problems in Ethiopia would be soil degradation and overpopulation. This presentation will cover the main questions of why this is happening and answers that could help and control Ethiopia's land and overpopulation problems. Strategies will be assessed as to the help Ethiopia needs from inside and outside sources. Other regions in the world will be identified that have progressed from these same problems, and what impacts these implementations have had on their success.

Summary of the overall environment The country environment has characteristics of grasslands, woodlands, forests, wildlife, rivers, lakes, farmlands, livestock, and open space. More than half the land surface is arid and dry; the rest of the land has moisture in the air which can help with the growth of faming and woodlands (Ethiopia Table of Contents, n.d.).

The city environment is characterized by high populations of people, many homes and housing, market centers that are overrun with people and industrial waste. One of the countries most concern at this time is the use of land resources and how the land is being managed with use of resources available. The land has been degraded because of the maintenance the land needed and did not get. The government of Ethiopia has been careless about what the future would hold for their people (Ethiopia Table of Contents, n.d.).

Overpopulation in Ethiopia is a problem for many living there, the streets can not occupy all the people, there is a need for better roads and housing (Ethiopia Table of Contents, n.d.). Through social changes and making adjustments to an increasing population in Ethiopia, there have been industrial expansions. This has caused the water and air to produce more pollution (Ethiopia Table of Contents, n.d.).

Populations are vulnerable in Ethiopia; they have been affected by a wide variety of conditions.

1. "The lingering effects of past drought and war disasters.

2. Shock disasters such as flooding and drought.

3. Years of declining or limited access to means of adequate productivity, leading to chronic structural deficiencies" (UN Emergencies for Ethiopia, 2006).

Soil Degradation Assessment Soil degradation is a widespread problem all over the world. An attempt was made to isolate the problems in Ethiopia with soil degradation. Annual cropping was considered one of the major problems for soil degradation including the changing of crops each year. Overgrazing, water, and wind are causes of soil degradation in Ethiopia (FAO/AGL, 2000). Higher the population size the more highly sever is the land degradation.

All over Ethiopia there are varied rates of soil degradation due to climate, soil types, biological conditions, and plant life and farming systems. The soil is not getting the nutrients that it needs to grow vegetation. Salinization and acidification is "seriously affecting crop yield and agriculture productivity" (FAO/AGL, 2000).

Nitrogen and phosphorus, major nutrients are limiting productivity. Very little chemical fertilizer is used (FAO/AGL, 2000), pests accumulate; eat the vegetation and the nutrients out of the soil. Pests can eat a full crop of vegetation in less than a day in some areas.

Shallow soils depth and water erosion are important factors in sloping highland areas. Additionally, water logging and flooding is a problem. Farming and heavy rainfall in some areas are problems, by leaving the soil open to pests and animals (FAO/AGL, 2000).

Management and Rehabilitation of Degraded Soils There have been several attempts to replenish the soil and improve agricultural productivity. Fertilizer promotion has been a big step for improving crop yields. As a result the crop yield farmers were expecting were higher than the percentage yield they expected. Better seeds were also used in areas that were prone to drought and surplus areas. There have been problems associated with organic source fertilizers and lime....

References: Ethiopia Table of Contents. (n.d.). Land Use. Retrieved October 15, 2006, from http://countrystudies.us/ethiopia/88.htm Ethiopia Table of Contents. (n.d.). Population. Retrieved October 16, 2006, from http://countrystudies.us/ethiopia/43.htm FAO/AGL. (2000). Land and Plant Nutrition Management Service. Extent and Causes of Land Degradation. Retrieved October 16, 2006, from http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/agricult/agL/agll/madssea/topic2.htm Mian, A. & Mirza, M. (1993). Pakistan 's Soil Resources. Retrieved October 16, 2006, from http://www.iucn.org/places/pakistan/pdf/4-Spol%20Resources.pdf UN Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia 2002. (2006). Strategy for Ethiopia 2002. Retrieved October 16, 2006, from http://www.reliefweb.int/appeals/2002/presskit/ethiopia/ethiopia-cap2002-summary.doc World Overpopulation Awareness. (2006). Overpopulation in China and Its Family Planning System. Retrieved October 15, 2006, from http://www.ccds.charlotte.nc.us/History/China/03/Bshaw/Bshaw.htm
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