The importance of land reclamation in Nigeria is broad and of great value, as it plays a significant role in the present and future welfare of the environment. Since land reclamation aims at transforming wasted land into useful land, it helps to increase land area, create habitat for wildlife, improve the quality of life environment as well as turn these wasted land into residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Land reclamation in Nigeria can be done by using different methods such as sand filling and the construction of drainages. In this article, the importance of land reclamation in Nigeria will be looked into in detail.
The importance of land reclamation in Nigeria will be discussed below:
Land Reclamation Increases Land Mass
In Nigeria, one of the importance of land reclamation is that it helps to increase land mass. When certain land is reclaimed, it, therefore, increases the area for human occupancy. In areas where there is quite a several damaged land, the monetary value of the properties there would be relatively low, hence drastically reducing the quality of living conditions of the people living there. What land reclamation does to such damaged land is that it helps to restore the quality of the area to its initial glory by increasing the monetary value of the properties in the area.
Land reclamation creates extra land for the new development of quality residential buildings as well as other developments, whether industrial or commercial.
Land Reclamation Helps to Improve Agricultural Activities Thereby Providing Food
Another importance of Land reclamation in Nigeria is that it helps to improve agricultural activities thereby ensuring food security. For example, agricultural activities such as swamp rice production are normally encouraged where land has been reclaimed. The species of rice cultivated on reclaimed land are usually salt tolerant.
Another agricultural activity that can be done on reclaimed land is fish farming. These areas largely favour the creation of fish ponds. Swampy lands can be also converted to farmlands that can be used for the cultivation of crops. All these agricultural activities that take place in these areas help to ensure food security in the country by providing food for the citizens
Land Reclamation Creates Habitat for Wildlife
In Nigeria, the land is reclaimed to create homes for wildlife. Reclaimed land is used for various wildlife purposes. This is another important role land reclamation play in Nigeria.
It is common knowledge that most of our forests have been destroyed for various activities thereby causing these wild animals to lose their natural habitat. With the increase in urbanization, these animals are been threatened to go into extinction. Land can thus be reclaimed to create a habitat for these wild animals. This could be as a form of the game reserve, where they are been cared for and protected.
Land Reclamation Promotes Tourism
One of the importance of land reclamation in Nigeria is that it promotes tourism thereby generating government revenue. Reclaimed land is sometimes used for recreational purposes such as the creation of national parks which are tourist sites.
These tourist sites attract tourists from all over the country and even foreigners who visit the country. When these people visit these centres, they spend money. This money is then used by the government to provide more infrastructure where they are lacking. Thus, land reclamation promotes tourism.
Land Reclamation Creates Land for Grazing Purposes and Preserves The Fauna
In Nigeria, land reclamation creates land for grazing by animals. Some reclaimed land is used for grazing by ruminant animals such as goats, cows, sheep and cattle. Therefore, one can say they land reclamation provides food for ruminant animals
In some areas, after land reclamation, water is normally conserved after the land has been reclaimed in waterlogged areas. Such water reserved usually serves as the natural preservation of fauna thereby providing food for aquatic animals.
Land Reclamation can be Used to Create Artificial Islands and Industrial Zones
Another importance of land reclamation in Nigeria is that it can be used to create artificial islands where they have not existed before. Examples of artificial islands in Nigeria include Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, Gracefield Island, Lekki, Lagos, The Eko Atlantic, Victoria Island, and Lagos. These areas are created to increase the availability of quality residential areas. They are also home to many companies and industries.
Another example of an area that is reclaimed in Nigeria is the Dangote Refinery, located in the Lekki free trade zone in Ibeju- Lekki, Lagos. These areas make more land available for developmental purposes. More buildings and infrastructures can be built for the development of the economy, availability of living areas, and also reducing congestion and overpopulation. This is because as the population of people increases, there is a need to reclaim existing lands that were occupied by water.
The creation of such areas also provides jobs for Nigerian citizens thereby reducing the rate of unemployment In the country since industries and companies are available in these areas. This is so because trade and other commercial activities are created in reclaimed lands, and new industries are sited in reclaimed lands by industrialists.
Land reclamation can be done using various methods. These methods include sand filling, afforestation, construction of drainages, and emboldening, amongst others. In sand filling, sand, rocks and other elements are dumped to raise the surface of the land above the water level. Afforestation is another way to reclaim the land. This involves the establishment of forest plantations in areas where they did not exist before. These trees are planted to make the environment more suitable for human habitation and other agricultural activities.
Emboldening is another way of doing land reclamation. It involves walling off an area to remove water. This particular method needs years of maintenance to pump water out to improve the quality of soil present there. Also, drainages are constructed intentionally in areas that are waterlogged so as to channel water away.
All these methods make land available for human habitation, commercial activities, industrial activities and other activities.