Deforestation Trends in Forest Estates of Vandeikya Local Government, Benue State, Nigeria

  • SIN Agera
  • AO Adegeye
  • SO Jimoh
Keywords: Deforestation trends, forest area, forest offences, forest fires, Vandeikya LGA

Abstract

The variation in total forest area over time (years), the number of forest offences and annual forest fires was appraised in Vandeikya Local Government (VLG) Area, Benue State, Nigeria. Six wards were randomly selected from the twelve wards making up the Local Government. These wards were: Mbadede, Mbagbera, Mbaakaange, Mbaityough, Ningev and Tsambe. All the sixteen staff members of the VLG Forestry Service were interviewed. Secondary data was also obtained from VLG Department of Agriculture on forest areas, forest offences and annual fires .The study compares data for any observed variations that may have occurred in subject parameters at five year intervals between 1955 and 2000. A total of 1642 forest offences were recorded within the period. The total forest area for the six sampled wards was 312.9ha in 1955. This area declined to 193.5ha in 1980 and to 83.5ha in 2000. There were no significant differences (P>0.05) in the number of forest offences between the years though differences between the following pairs of wards were significant (P<0.05): Mbadede and Mbakaange, Mbagbera and Mbakaange, Mbagbera and Mbaityough, Mbagbera and Ningev, Mbakaange and Ningev as well as Mbakaange and Tsambe. Forest fires recorded within the same period totalled 192. There were significant differences in the number of forest fires reported between the wards such as Mbadede and Mbagbera, as well as Mbadede and Ningev (P<0.05), however, the number of forest fires were not significantly different over the years (P>0.05). Among other measures, increased reforestation efforts involving the rural communities using both indigenous and exotic tree species is suggested. Also, there is need to sensitise members of the public on sustainable forest management and its merits.
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