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Soil Erosion.

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Introduction: Soil erosion is a gradual process that occurs when the actions of water, wind, and other factors eat away and wear down the land, causing the soil to deteriorate or disappear completely. Soil deterioration and low quality of water due to erosion and run off has often become a severe problem around South Africa. Many times the problems become so severe that the land can no longer be cultivated and is abandoned. Problems: > The loss of topsoil reduces the country's soil fertility, hence the ability to grow food. More fertilizers will have to be used as a substitute for the lost soil, therefore a raise in food costs. ...read more.


> Ploughing of soil vertically with a slope, increases runoff and accelerates soil erosion. > Destruction of forests is also a major cause, as well as footpaths used for domestic purposes, which turn into channels for water when it rains. These streams further erode the soil. > The average raindrop in South Africa hits the ground at 50km/h, this has enormous erosive power. > Velocity of runoff. Preventions/Solutions: > People need to be made aware of the problem and how to overcome it, such as keeping to the footpaths on mountains and forests. > Farmers need to be educated on the correct ploughing methods such as; ploughing parallel to land contours, irrigation techniques as not to wash topsoil away, and how to avoid overgrazing, crop rotation, and use of manure and dead vegetation to improve soil fertility. ...read more.


planting fast-growing shrub. Case Study: Between January and June 1996, 6 scientists studied the perception of soil erosion in the Port Durnford community. After working in close contact with 33 farmers that lived in that proximity their findings were: Most of the farmers finished primary school but had not furthered their education; The majority of the farmers professed that erosion due to different soil types, splash erosion, wind and water had little or nothing to do with their decline in soil fertility and water availability over the past years. When asked if Soil erosion was a problem a large amount of farmers believed that it was only a problem when gullies were formed. The scientist's findings clearly highlighted that lack of education is one of the major causes of soil erosion around South Africa. ...read more.

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