They killed my daughter and my son is truly horrific as the world ponders the recuring brutal massacres around Nigeria's Middle Belt which is largely attributed to Muslims and Christians. However, the bigger killer remains silent and many more are in real danger. Never mind the lawlessness on a grand scale from top down government, this cycle of violence was left to ferment and it is not going to be over quickly. The struggle between ethnic groups for fertile land and resources in the region is not new in an area with a history of tin and columbite mining as abandoned mines mark the landscape. Vicious fights for the scraps of state patronage has corruption coming back full circle as huge sums of cash allocated to land rehabilitation simply disappeared.
In the surrounding countryside, abandoned mining equipment and rain-filled quarries litter a barren land, where waste dumps and gully erosion render much of the land unusable for farming. Nigeria has lost 285,000 sq km of land, nearly a third of its total 924,000 sq km territory, to various forms of soil degradation, according to official statistics. The culprit is a phenomenon called 'gully erosion'. Mainly a product of human activities such as deforestation, unsustainable farming practices, path and road construction, and poorly constructed drainage systems, gully erosion takes place when wear-and-tear on the surface land causes rainwater to accumulate in one area, causing loss of vegetation cover, localized erosion, and the formation of gullies.